How volunteers helped clean up September tornado damage

Local News

The phrase “many hands make light work” is cliché, but true when you look at how many people stepped up to recover from September’s tornadoes. Six months ago, on September 10, three EF2 tornadoes damaged different parts of Sioux Falls. More than 800 volunteers helped clean up the city.

After the tornadoes, Jordan Stone found herself surrounded by a mountain of boxes from a storage shed.

“All I could think about were the memories that were in all of that stuff,” Stone said.

Stone and members of her church volunteered to get their hands dirty, and help put Sioux Falls back together.

“I was lucky, and I didn’t have any damage. “But, I wanted to help those who did have damage, because that was a scary time,” Stone said.

“They’re helping out. They’re making a difference,” Susie Ryks, 211 Helpline Volunteer Services Director, said.

Ryks says the hundreds of volunteers helped save the city.

“People can’t move a huge tree on their own. So, really it was people helping people, community neighbors helping their neighbors,” Ryks said.

Ryks says the Helpline needs that all year long, even when there isn’t a tornado.

“There are hundreds of non-profits in our community that need volunteers,” Ryks said.

Stone is happy to see how much the city has recovered, and says her time volunteering is proof that, if we all work together, we can move mountains.

“Let’s be neighbors to each other. It didn’t matter what part of town it was. It didn’t matter who it was. We were going to clean something up,” Stone said.

You can find volunteer opportunities on the Helpline’s website. The organization also needs your nominations for the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards.

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