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Summer events face volunteer shortage in Sioux Falls

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After spending more than a year hearing about cancelled or postponed events, citizens of Sioux Falls can finally look at the calendar and see a packed summer of things to do.

But now, organizers are running into a new problem of not having enough volunteers for these events.

“We are having a tough time filling those slots for volunteering. Similar to previous years, of course, but this year seems a little extra tough,” said DTSF Community Outreach Coordinator Sadie Swier.

After missing out on crucial fundraising opportunities over the last year, many organizations are counting on the success of this year.

“So this year is really more important than ever that people in the community remembers that they volunteered in the past and that if they’re comfortable going out and doing so that we definitely need them,” said Helpline Center Volunteer Services Director Susie Ryks.

In the Sioux Empire alone there are over 600 open volunteer opportunities, according to the Helpline Center.

“Between the block parties and River Fest this summer, we’re looking for almost 150 volunteers. Those are all slots that we need to fill,” said Swier.

Summer events aren’t alone in this search for volunteers.

Non-profits like the State Theatre that primarily rely on volunteers in order to operate are always looking for help.

“Sometimes its around 10 shows a weekend and ideally we’d love to have three volunteers each show. We know that’s not realistic. That’s a lot of volunteers per weekend. We tend to get a few but we’re always looking for additional,” said State Theatre General Manager Steven Dahlmeier.

The Helpline Center is also a source that helps connect those in the community with volunteer opportunities.

“A lot of the things that happen in the summer are really event-based fundraisers which help these agencies continue to be able to serve those in need throughout the year,” said Ryks.

Now, organizations are hoping people will step up and help out.

“Once we get closer to the date we will hopefully fill in those spots. But, we are still hoping and asking people to make sure that they are spending sometime volunteering for our community,” said Swier.

You can find a list of open volunteer positions for events in DTSF on their website.

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