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Sioux Falls Humanitarian Awards Recognizes Volunteers

The Sioux Falls Human Relations Commission presented three humanitarian awards Monday night in Sioux Falls. The awards recognize volunteers helping to make the Sioux Falls community a better place to live and work.

The group known as SALSA which stands for Serve and Learn Student Association received the organizational award. Jennifer Abels is the coordinator of the group that connects students with volunteering programs.

“Confidence, social skills, direction for the future and self-esteem— the ability to realize I have something of worth that I can give back to my community that is a very important lesson in life and it’s just an honor to be able to help [the teens] learn that through service,” says Abels.

Throughout the year nearly 1,400 teens in Sioux Falls volunteer with SALSA. Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether says he believes the recipients of the awards set examples for the surrounding community.

Teen members of SALSA with Mayor of Sioux Falls, Mike Huether.

“In Sioux Falls what we do for at least one night of the year, we focus on humanitarians—those people, those organizations that actually really care about being a good steward, taking what they learn at church on Sunday and executing it the rest of the week and the rest of the year,” says Huether.

Other recipients include Augustana University Education Professor Julie Ashworth and the business DocuTAP which provides services for care clinics while giving employees opportunities to volunteer.