Eye on KELOLAND: 12 days of donations
SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – A Sioux Falls sporting goods store is spreading holiday cheer in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Scheels is handing out tens of thousands of dollars to local nonprofits during his 12 days of donation.
Scheels fills the stockings of local nonprofits with money during the 12 days of donation.
“We received almost 5,000 votes. We narrowed it down to your guy’s top 12 and over the 12 days we announced who our winners are, ”said Scheels Events Coordinator Jenna Schlapkohl.
In 2020, the winners shared a total of $ 12,000. This holiday season, in the campaign’s second go-around, Scheels more than tripled that dollar amount.
“We wanted to be able to give back even more this year, so yes $ 37,500, $ 2,500 to eleven people and $ 10,000 to one lucky person,” Schlapkohl said.
Events coordinator Jenna Schlapkohl handed out check after check-in over the past few days and said every nonprofit has a unique story.
“Every time I talk to someone from the nonprofit they are so invested and they care so much about their cause and it’s really fun to hear from them because I don’t know not much about them either, so it’s just heartwarming, ”Schlapkohl said.
More than 100 nonprofits were named among the top 12 checks, including the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation.
“We have 24,000 students and 1,800 teachers, so you get what you pay for when you support Sioux Falls Public Schools and the Education Foundation,” said the Executive Director of the Schools Education Foundation. Sioux Falls Public, Allison Struck.
Executive Director Allison Struck accepted the check for $ 2,500 on behalf of the Educational Foundation.
“It’s just an amazing gift for our students and staff. This donation will fund our programs that improve education in the 37 schools in the Sioux Falls School District, ”said Struck.
The money will eventually get into the hands of the teachers.
“This will be used for our Public School Pride grants that we are giving out in the spring. Any teacher can charge up to $ 10,000 to purchase immersive, hands-on material for students, ”Struck said.
“I grew up here, I went to school here, my sister is a teacher here, so to see that turn around and help these kids, I love it,” Schlapkohl said.
The Yakkity Yak Coffee Shack in Sioux Falls is also among the $ 2,500 winners.
“We are thankful and grateful,” said Ashley Meiners, Marketing Director of Yakkity Yak Coffee Shack.
The Coffee Shack offers an all inclusive environment and opportunities for people of all skill levels.
“The motivation behind this is this startling statistic that 80% of people with intellectual and developmental differences are unemployed in the country,” Meiners said.
Yakkity Yak is currently fully staffed, but dollars will be spent with each new hire.
“This money will be used to provide adaptive equipment which will then be used by workers and it just varies from person to person, what it can be and what they need,” Meiners said.
“Before my vision problem, my hobby was cooking,” said Yeshua Prestan, employee of Yakkity Yak Coffee Shack.
Yeshua Prestan is from Colombia. His vision problem started 13 years ago. Now he’s legally blind but cooks all the food at the Coffee Shack.
Yakkity Yak owner says Prestan never cut himself.
“The first time I cut really slowly, maybe ten years ago, and now for me it’s really easy, you know, it’s just practice,” said Prestan.
Prestan enjoys cooking Latin, Mediterranean and Italian dishes and feels at home in the kitchen.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity, yes,” said Prestan.
Yakkity Yak is part of the 12 Days of Giving for the second year in a row.
“I think it’s a great organization. I’m really glad they’re on the list again, ”Schlapkohl said.
They are also a great example of why Scheels plans to give back for years to come.
Scheels will announce its grand prize winner of $ 10,000 on Wednesday.
They have a Christmas party, including a visit from Santa, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday.
They will have gift wrap available for a voluntary donation to benefit the Children’s Home Society.