Benefits of Family Volunteering!

March 1, 2015


Give Back, Get Back — The Top Five Benefits of Family Volunteering! 

1. Volunteering Makes You Happy: Helping Other People Kindles Kindness.

2. The Multiplier Effect: Children who volunteer are more likely to continue with community as adults, and ultimately carry on that tradition with their own family.

3. Improved Health and Well-Being: Volunteering enhances your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.

4. Children Develop Skills for Success: Social and relationship skills, effective communication, task completion, collaboration, understanding the larger community, compassion and empathy.

5. Increased Social Connections: Volunteering is for everyone!

For more information go to:


Younger generation jumps to volunteer

December 30, 2014

Today’s young Americans are more serious about giving back than their parents were.

In fact, those under age 30 now are more likely to say citizens have a “very important obligation” to volunteer, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds.

Click here to read the full article

South Dakota volunteer rates rank in the top 10 nationwide

December 16, 2014

South Dakotans ranked 7th in the country for overall volunteer rates, according to a newly released federal study.

The annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America study, released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), shows that service to others continues to be a priority for South Dakotans and millions of other Americans. Nationwide last year, one in four Americans volunteered through an organization and two-thirds helped their neighbors.

The study ranked South Dakota 7th for the second year in a row for overall volunteer rates, but South Dakota also continues to rank high in the nation for the volunteer rates of Older Adult (4th), Baby Boomers (4th), Veterans (5th), and parent volunteering (9th).

“With Volunteer Centers in the Sioux Empire and Black Hills, we are excited to see this study come out each year,” said Susie Ryks, the Volunteer Services Director for the Helpline Center. “We are encouraged by the study and where South Dakota ranks in comparison to other states.”

The study also highlighted the following volunteering and civic engagement trends for South Dakota.

  • 34.7% of residents volunteer, ranking them 7th among the 50 states and Washington, DC.
  • 219,290 volunteers
  • 21.5 million hours of service
  • $483.5 million of service contributed
  • 34.5 volunteer hours per capita
  • 72.2% of residents engage in “informal volunteering” (for example, doing favors for neighbors)
  • 28.5% frequently discuss politics with family or friends
  • 91.0% frequently eat dinner with other members of the household
  • 46.7% frequently talk with neighbors

“I am excited to spend time with this report over the coming days, and really digest the information it offers,” Ryks said. “The numbers help guide us in our work to engage even more volunteers in service.”

To see the entire report, visit For more information on local volunteerism, dial 2-1-1 or visit

A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter

November 24, 2014

Don’t wait until you make your first million to make a difference in somebody’s life. If you have something to give, give it now.

A Must Watch!



Holiday Volunteer Lists

November 17, 2014

The 2014 Holiday Opportunities Lists are now available! Click below to access the lists and share them with others.

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

Holiday Giving Opportunities

Holiday Special Events

Ways to “volunteer” this Veteran’s Day!

November 10, 2014
  1. When you see a person in a military uniform, shake their hand and say, “Thank you for serving our country.”
  2. Send cards and notes to hospitalized veterans and those living in Veteran’s homes.
    So many times they feel alone and forgotten. Your cards and notes can let them know their contribution was appreciated and it will ease their loneliness.
  3. Make requests to your favorite radio stations to play patriotic theme songs in honor of our troops.
  4. Attend a coming home ceremony and make a sign or wave an American Flag.
  5. Honor the flag and National Anthem (like at school sporting events). Be respectful while the anthem is playing.
  6. Check out the internet for programs that you might want to donate items to. There are programs that collect cellphones for soldiers, airline miles, paperback books, etc.
  7. Offer your skills to the family of someone who is deployed (offer to cook a meal, babysit, clean, etc), or spend time with them (have them come over for dinner, include their children in your family outing, etc.)
  8. Drop off snacks, personal care items, or gift cards at a Veterans Center near you.
  9. Go and visit someone in your neighborhood who is a veteran or drop off something special on the day like fresh baked cookies. Thank them for their service.
  10. Stop by a local diner/café/coffee shop – Great place to chat with Veterans and say thanks!

And…. many more ways that you might think of on your own!  Do something to say thank you to those who are the ultimate volunteers!  

Make A Difference Day – SUCCESS!

November 5, 2014

Argus Leader Media and Helpline Center have partnered again for Make A Difference Day

This year the event will be focused around Active Generation – Workers On Wheel’s Rake the Town project. This was a two-day event held on October 24 & 25, 2014 that will engage 1,000+ volunteers to rake the yards of 306 elderly and disabled homeowners in the Sioux Falls area.

More information in the Argus Leader Article below!

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Meet Chelsie Lind – HorsePower’s Newest Staff Member!

November 5, 2014

Chelsie was recently hired as the Office Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator for HorsePower. Chelsie grew up in the area and has just returned to South Dakota after spending the last thirteen years in Minnesota.

I am thrilled to be back in South Dakota and even more excited to have the opportunity to work with the staff and volunteers at HorsePower. I volunteered for Handi-Riders in 2003 and never forgot my experience there. When I moved back in August, I knew immediately that I wanted to volunteer again. I quickly found HorsePower’s website, and was delighted to learn of their need for a new staff member. The opportunity could not have come at a better time – and here I am!

I believe in the power of this program and have already been amazed by how thoughtful, caring, and dedicated the staff and volunteers are to our riders and horses. I am excited and honored to be able to support our Executive Director and Head Instructor so that they can focus on keeping HorsePower strong and thriving.

Chelsie Lind – HorsePower


Volunteer Connections Coordinator

September 26, 2014

Photo: The Helpline Center would like to welcome Lynn Taylor Rick to our staff! Lynn is our new Volunteer Connections Coordinator and will help to develop the volunteer program in Rapid City. Want to connect with Lynn? Dial 211.The Helpline Center would like to welcome Lynn Taylor Rick to our staff! Lynn is our new Volunteer Connections Coordinator and will help to develop the volunteer program in Rapid City.

Want to connect with Lynn? Dial 211.

Night Watch-Serving A Meal Is About More Than The Food

April 14, 2014

Every Saturday and Sunday evening you’ll find a diverse group of people hanging out at The Salvation Army.  They cross all boundaries-ethnic, gender, economic class, etc.  They come together to share a meal and spread the joy of friendship with those in need. There’s a misconception about people in poverty.  Sometimes they’re perceived in a negative light.  That they want something for nothing.  That is not the case.

Many of the people who come to The Salvation Army are not only seeking a meal but also the acceptance of those around them and a safe place to be.  Those living in poverty don’t have often have the means to socialize, meet with others and enjoy a time of fellowship.  When they come to Night Watch, they know they’ll be welcomed and surrounded by people who care.  We all want to be accepted no matter our situation in life.  If we truly want to help someone, we have to accept and love them where they are at.  It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day.  Start a conversation, share a few words and let them know someone cares.  

Individuals, families, groups and churches are needed to help share the gift of friendship every Saturday and Sunday night, where between 450 and 550 meals are served.  The Night Watch feeding program at The Salvation Army operates year round.Specifically, help is needed in preparing the meal, bagging Panera Bread donations, rolling plastic ware into napkins and serving the meal.  

Everyone has something to give whether it’s time, talent or treasure.  Maybe instead of serving a meal you’d like to share your talent?

Or if you’re not available during the weekend, maybe you’d consider being a monetary sponsor for a meal?  This could be done in honor of someone or in memory of a loved one.  We truly appreciate everyone who supports the programs of The Salvation Army.  If you’re able, we’d love to have you join with us in serving those in need. 

The Salvation Army and You, Together We’re Doing The Most Good