Today is national Make A Difference Day. Here in Sioux Falls, some volunteers pitched in to help make the lives of our area's veterans, a little brighter.
KSFY News was at the Washington Pavilion where today's activities took place.
We sat down with the woman who organizes volunteers at the V-A.
Brenda Stevens appreciates the many volunteers who showed up to help the V-A.
"It means a lot that the community comes in and supports the veterans. all of our freedoms, everything we have comes from the veterans. They've sacrificed a lot to make that possible for us. And for them to give back to the veterans, it makes a difference to the veterans each day, they're greatly appreciative," Stevens said.
Make A Difference Day volunteers put together 200 care packages for patients at the Sioux Falls V-A.
"Personal care items, books, crossword books, there's also hard candies in there and other items that will go directly to the patients for not only their personal needs but for their entertainment or activity needs while they're hospitalized," Stevens said.
And Stevens says those care packages will go a long way.
"It will mean a lot to the veterans that they are remembered, appreciated for their service and that someone really does care about them. Even though they may not be able to come to the hospital to see them, they appreciate what they've done for them on the outside," Stevens said.
Stevens says the benefits of volunteering spread throughout the community.
"Volunteering is a community wide thing. It not only helps the veterans, but it also helps support the families in some way. It helps support staff. It makes a difference to others to know that they are being remembered by people in the community of all ages," Stevens said.
But Stevens says there's also a personal benefit to volunteering.
"For those that volunteer, it helps them give back to the veterans who have served this country and it makes them feel good about it too," Stevens said.
With 26,000 vets in our area, volunteering can make a difference to our community.
Stevens said the Sioux Falls V-A serves all of eastern South Dakota, northwestern Iowa, southwest Minnesota And parts of Nebraska.
She says if you would like to volunteer to help the vets in our area, you can stop by the V-A and apply for the volunteer opportunities available.
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