Newsmakers: Augustana Students Lead Neighborhood Cleanup Effort

On Saturday, 50 Augustana students helped Sioux Falls residents clean up fallen branches and debris left by the ice storm that hit the area earlier this week. The neighborhood cleanup effort, organized by the Augustana Student Association and the College's Volunteer Services division, began at 10 a.m. and focused on the streets surrounding campus.

KDLT-TV reporter Laura Monteverdi caught up with students and homeowners: 

Augustana Students Help To Clean Up
By Laura Monteverdi, KDLT

Whether it was shoveling sidewalks, or removing fallen branches, on Saturday, residents all over Sioux Falls had their work cut out for them as they worked to clean up the mess in their yards left behind from the storm.

"I had about 12 branches, big branches, down on my property. No big trees down, but a lot of branches and trees," said Sioux Falls resident, Steve Folk.

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Instead of sitting at home, dozens of students from Augustana College decided to give up their Saturday to lend a hand in their community.

“Our student government and our volunteer services wanted to go out into the community and help residents in our area clean up," said Augustana Junior, Matt Anderson.

Arming themselves with heavy shovels and extra thick gloves, nearly 50 students working with the Augustana Student Association, set out in neighborhoods close to home near Augustana's campus.

The students worked in groups to clear the debris in dozens of homeowners yards and their good deed didn't didn't go unnoticed.

“We saw some young kids come by and I was shoveling the neighbor’s yard and they volunteered to help me and I thought that was really nice of them, you know," said Sioux Falls resident, Laura Gillis.

With some homes so severely damaged, however, some homeowners couldn't even accept the help without filing an insurance claim first.

"We've run into a couple of problems with some of the houses trying to clean up. They might have insurance estimators coming out to look at the damage of the house so we can't help out in every way we want to," said Anderson.

Whether they could help or not, just being there for their community seemed to be more than enough.

"It's really nice that people come around and help you in time of need," said Gillis

The first group of about 30 students went out at 10 a.m. and the second group of around 20 students headed out at 1 p.m.

The students concentrated on homes along 26th street and Norton Avenue.

PHOTO ABOVE: Appears on the Augustana Student Association Facebook page