Happy Friday! Megan here.

First things first, this issue is brought to you by Millennium Recycling.

  • Millennium Recycling accepts single-stream recyclables from waste haulers, residents, and commercial sources across the region. As Sioux Falls grows, they continually educate and innovate to help our community recycle more! Learn what you can (and can't) recycle on their helpful blog here. You can also get a special guide to holiday recycling here.

Status check: It's December. Holy moly. If you've been enjoying Sioux Falls Simplified this year, consider buying in to a smarter Sioux Falls with a paid membership. (Any new "reeeeeally good friends" will also receive a special edition SF Simplified tote bag.)

Weather check: Cold, with possible flurries

This weekend, the lovely Intern Olivia checked in with some local groups to talk about the importance of giving to local nonprofits – especially this time of year. We've also got a look at the latest county-level conversations about Airbnbs. Plus, don't miss some Super Simplified headlines and this week's event roundup.

And now, news:


How to find the right cause for your end-of-year giving

By Olivia Bertino

Simplified: If you're looking for an organization to give back to this holiday season, there's a few ways to find the right fit for your budget or time frame. Here's what to know about getting connected with local charities.

Man handing a woman a heart shape
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

Why it matters

  • It's important to find a charity with reasonable operating costs, testimonials from clients served, impact data and outcome examples of their work, said Olivia Essig, campaign director with Sioux Empire United Way.
  • There's a lot of nonprofits to support in the area, so finding reputable and impactful organizations that align with your time and budget can be difficult, said Susie Ryks, vice president of community development with the Helpline Center.
  • Finding a local charity is a way to directly impact Sioux Falls. It provides much-needed services to the community, Essig added.
“Giving back makes our community a great place to live and helps provide much-needed services to those in need,"  Essig said. "It also benefits the giver. Making a donation or volunteering your time provides a feeling unlike any other.”

How do I find the right local charity?

Find resources here (and ways to give that don't involve money).


How a proposed county-level change could restrict local Airbnbs

Simplified: The Minnehaha Planning Commission is looking to propose a clearer definition – and tighter regulations – for Airbnbs and other short-term vacation rentals in the county. Here's what an early draft would mean for local rentals.

Photo by Filios Sazeides / Unsplash

Why it matters

  • Planning Commissioners this week saw an early draft of an ordinance that would place stricter regulations on short-term vacation rentals such as Airbnb or VRBO.
  • It's an early draft, but it's an effort to separate the definition and rules for short-term rentals from the existing definition of a bed and breakfast. The topic has come up at recent county meetings after the planning commission denied a conditional use permit for a bed and breakfast near Wall Lake that owners had hoped to use as a short-term rental.
  • Short-term rental owners say some of the regulations are "excessive," particularly a requirement that the properties have a minimum of one parking space available per guest.
"Even in my own residence or for hotel rooms you don’t have that minimum requirement," said Albert Huizing, co-owner of short-term rental management company SoDak Stays.

What other regulations are under consideration?

And what happens next?


This six-month wellness program will help you stop hating your period

This is a paid piece from Selah Space.

Simplified: Life is too short to spend time each month miserable. Enter Selah Space's Menstrual Mystics program – designed to help you lean in to your body's natural rhythms, align with your cycle and learn from the pros how to create space for yourself and your own female wellness.

Tell me more

The six-month online experience (starting in January) will teach you about your body's wisdom, encourage healing and celebrate alignment with your cycle.

Why it matters

  • Women aren't taught enough about their bodies – especially as young girls. Selah Space Founder Jada Dobesh said she wants women to learn everything they should've been taught in middle school.
  • The Menstrual Mystics program takes a spiritual approach to wellness and offers space for women to connect with themselves and their cycles on a deeper level.
  • The program also features a slate of guest speakers from pelvic floor professionals to nutritionists to hormone health experts.
"Your cycle has a direct impact on every system in your body," Dobesh said.

What's included in the program?

And how do I learn more?


Super Simplified Stories

  • Say goodbye to overdue library fees. Siouxland Libraries is no longer collecting fees on overdue items as of Dec. 1. The library system is also waiving any existing fees that might be on your account – but definitely still return those books collecting dust on your shelf anyway.
  • Also, say goodbye to a pork plant lawsuit. Earlier this year, a group fighting future slaughterhouses in city limits filed a lawsuit against the city for issuing construction permits to Wholestone Farms. (Lots of background here.) On Wednesday, a local judge closed the case. Dakota Scout has the details.


Stuff to do: Dec. 2-8

  • Grow your heart three sizes.* The Sioux Falls Convention Center is turning into a winter wonderland fundraiser for 10 local nonprofits on Dec. 15 for "Grouchmas." This 21+ event will have delicious food, chances to win prizes and a game of "The Grouch is Right." Get your tickets here.
  • Play before you parade. Stop by the Children's Museum in Brookings for a pre-parade party on Friday at 5 p.m. Write letters to Santa and get some play in before the parade. Details here.
  • See the lights. Brookings' Parade of lights starts Friday at 7 p.m. Head downtown to Main Avenue and watch the parade celebrating the magic of Christmas. Details here.
  • Final free first Friday. Head to the Washington Pavilion for the last free first Friday of the year to get free access to the museum and science center. Details here.
  • See Santa and the Grinch. Santa will be visiting the Great Plains Zoo on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Grinch will also make a visit. Deliver your letters and take a photo, free with Zoo admission. Details here.
  • Shop local and handmade. Find gifts and more at the 605 Made Holiday Market at Cherapa Place on Saturday at 10 a.m. Details here.
  • Cookies and Cocoa. Make your way to the Museum of Visual Materials on Saturday at 10:30 for a holiday family event. Take a photo with Santa and enter the holiday raffle. Details here.
  • Socialize at the Siouxland Library. Tuesday at 6 p.m. the downtown library branch will host a social for recipe swaps, crafts, snacks and more. Details here.
  • Give back. On Wednesday and Thursday, join Sioux Falls Cares to help provide food, clothing, toys and necessities to families in need this holiday season. Info on volunteering and donating here.

*Denotes a paid event listing. Want to see your event featured? Email megan@sfsimplified.com.


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Not ready to commit to a membership? That's OK! If you want to help in a smaller way, you can buy me a coffee. :)

Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or your favorite holiday tune to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including Millennium Recycling, the Great Plains Zoo, Midco, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance, Selah Space and Silverstar Car Wash. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.

Special thanks to Millennium Recycling!

Learn more about how you can support this local recycling business by putting the right stuff in your bin.