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Changing Lives Today

Adoption and Birthparent services is where LSS started 100 years ago.

About one year ago, LSS expanded its mentoring options by adding LSS Climb to our programming. LSS Climb allows for kids ages 7-14 to be matched with a caring, adult mentor. Matches meet in the community, spending about four hours per month together doing a variety of activities. This program would not be possible without […]

Unless you live in a forest of nothing but conifers (pines, spruce, cedar), you know the leaves are falling like rain right now.  I love the fall colors.  I love the smell of dry leaves when I’m out for a walk (fortunately, not much for allergies). But I also live in South Dakota.  The leaves […]

Temps are dropping.  Leaves are changing colors.  The geese are flying south.  There is a certain bite in the air.  I love the fall!  But the changing of the season also comes with certain preparations.  I live in South Dakota.  I just know the snow is coming.  It’s going to be cold.  Not just chilly, […]

The pandemic can be isolating for a lot of people, especially older adults who are living alone. A program from the Sioux Empire United Way through Lutheran Social Services called Better Together is hoping to help.

What are you waiting for? The benefits of mentoring will not only give back to your mentee, but also to your community, and even to you.

Did you see our recent social media post regarding Pringles?  It was kind of an interesting factoid that, while most of us include Pringles in the potato chip family and they are in fact potato-based, the can’t actually be labeled as ‘potato chips’.  It’s actually a Food and Drug Administration rule (the things our government […]

Jenna Martin and her Better Together neighbor LaVonne, were recently interviewed. The two talk with Michelle Madsen about their relationship, why Better Together is important and what they do together. Take a few minutes to watch this video!

Flexibility.  What comes to mind when you read that word?  Maybe you think of a circus performer twisting their body in a myriad of positions that shouldn’t be possible.  Maybe you think about the stretches that are often a part of a workout routine.  Maybe you think about the last time you slipped on the […]

Seeking help for your adopted child, for yourself as an adoptive parent or birth parent is not a sign of weakness.

If you haven’t read my last blog post, it refers to our impending move as required by my daughter (said only somewhat tongue-in-cheek) and the school boundary changes.  Well, I’m happy to say things are moving ahead.  We have found a great house and it looks like we are going to be able to stay […]

Are your kids going to the school you want them to attend? Is that changing with the new school boundaries? A potential issue in any school district, here are a few things to think about as you consider where your kids will attend and whether open enrolling or even a move really are the right decisions for you.

As temps come down headed into fall, chances are that your electric bill is coming down to. And it will be great on your budget. But now is the time to take a bigger look so you are ready when the temps drop and the gas bill goes up again.

After a weird, weird summer of things sort of happening or not happening at all, it was like a quick snap back to reality as I watched the posts of all of my social media connections who have delivered their kids to college.  Whether it is the first year or the fourth of drop-off, it […]

Have you ever noticed how close the words “debt” and “death” are to each other?  As I ponder this, I find them a little too close for comfort.  Depending on who you talk to, some people in the world seem to consider carrying any debt to be equivalent to a long, slow death.  At the […]

Can spending make you sick? Maybe, maybe not. But there are always consequences for spending. Some are good and some not so good. Do you think ahead beyond the immediate gratification? Do you have a plan for your spending? Here is why you should think each purchase through before you finalize it.

Let’s talk about statistics!  How would you feel about odds of 4 out of 10?  5 out of 10?  Maybe 3 out of 10 is better.  How about 2 out of 10? I know, it’s hard to know which is better if we don’t know what the odds are for.  If we are talking your […]

Fireworks.  Picnics.  Trips to the lake.  Family.  This weekend is going to be awesome!  After all, how often does the 4th of July fall on the weekend?  I’m sure you have plans, even if those plans are extra pay for working a holiday. There are so many things that come with the 4th of July […]

It is becoming more and more common for couples to keep separate finances. That may be a mistake for many couples. Aside from the reasons why they are keeping finances, here are some reasons you may want to unify your finances within the household. It may have a significant impact on more than just your finances.

Determined to keep providing English classes the education department at the Center for New Americans built an online program.   The teachers at the Center for New Americans put their students first. So saying, with all the life changing events in the past few months, the teachers were determined to keep their students well being […]

Everyone involved in adoption needs to be aware of the seven core issues of adoption – grief, loss, rejection/ abandonment, mastery/control, guilt/shame, intimacy/trust, and identity.

With June being National Home Ownership Month, there is a lot of information about why you should buy a home. For the sake of a balanced discussion, here are some reasons you may not want to buy a home. It may not be the right decision for you. That is fine, as long as you make in informed decision.

The lobby at the Center for New Americans is usually filled with chattering students laughing and visiting before going to English class, but for the past month, it has been filled with staples like oranges, potatoes, flour, rice, beans, and onions. Our Direct Service Staff has spent countless hours buying, sorting, packing, and delivering food.

As things begin to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, how will you approach that? Do you have a plan? Or will you have that emotional release that often leads to overreaction? Beyond the pandemic, this applies to most financial crises. Your measured response can greatly reduce the overall financial impact.

LSS Pregnancy Counselors help clients decide what is best for themselves and their baby in a non-judgmental non-coercive setting.

Today, we want to introduce you to a few more of our 2020 LSS Outstanding Mentors! While were were not able to celebrate them in person, please take a moment to read more about these special people. Cathy Brechtelsbauer, Mentor at Patrick Henry Middle School Cathy is diligent in making her Wednesday meetings every week […]

The results of the NFCC’s annual Consumer Financial Literacy Study are in and there are some good trends and some concerning trends. Particularly concerning are the rates at which people face barriers to home ownership. Let’s talk about those barriers and how easy they may be for people to address.

We’ve shown you the medical workers who ran a COVID-19 test site, but there were other key individuals to make it work. For about a week, Smithfield Foods employees and their families lined up in the Washington High School Parking lot.

Please “meet” the 2020 Outstanding Rookie Mentor nominees! We hope to someday appropriately celebrate these individuals in person. Until then, please send them a virtual high five on a job well done! Nadine Benjamin, Mentor at Hartford Elementary Nadine quickly developed a relationship with a little girl who loves and looks forward to her visits.

Do you balance your account beyond just checking the balance? Here is why you should and how you go about that. Balancing your checking account could mean more money in your account. Use a checkbook register and protect yourself in an easy, free way.

Crisis is usually viewed as a negative thing and there is certainly more than enough crisis going around right now.  There is, however, a certain response that usually comes with a crisis.  It’s probably not going to magically make the crisis a positive thing, but at least maybe make lemonade out of a lemon.

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t just impacting our physical health, it’s also causing mental health issues.

Meet Ramsey, child of two essential employees who is spending her days with LSS Childcare & Education Services. At LSS, we are meeting the needs of essential personnel by continuing to provide high-quality childcare through the pandemic.

Families are encouraged to document foster youth’s histories with their birth families and celebrate milestones like sports, school or holidays that occur while the children are with their resource families.

Being the planners that we are, back in January when we were scheduling blog posts, the one for April 24 was going to be a slam dunk, easy one – 2020 Mentor Appreciation Breakfast Recap. We were going to share our emotionally charged stories, videos and messages shared at the event that was set for […]

Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota (LSS SD) for their creative solution to supply their community with much needed protective equipment.

by Tricia Warner, CSW-PIP Clinical Therapist, PATH Program, LSS Behavioral Health Services, Sioux Falls The COVID-19 virus has changed all of our lives. We are social distancing by staying six feet apart from each other. We are postponing holiday gatherings. We are visiting our older loved ones through windows. We are wearing masks to the […]

Whether you chose to parent or place your baby for adoption, it is important to have emotional support either way.

COVID, distancing, and quarantines are bringing so much uncertainty. With layoffs, furloughs, and loss of income, an emergency budget may be needed. It may not be exactly what you want right now, but it will help you get more of what you want in the nearer future. Here’s the what, how, and why.

Lutheran Social Services is taking time during the pandemic to show kids in their daycare how to make personal protection equipment. “We want people to stay healthy.” Berndt said.

It can be difficult to see the positives right now, but they do exist. Here are some things to help you find positives in your life and in your personal finances. Look deep and work with reality.

by Tricia Werner, CSW-PIP Clinical Therapist, PATH Program, LSS Behavioral Health Services, Sioux Falls The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused great stress and a need for adaptation for even the most well-adjusted in our society. Consider those who have mental illnesses or addictions. For example, living with an anxiety disorder, depression or alcohol addiction can make […]

Too often dismissed, today we honor the penny. More importantly, we pay attention to all of the pennies that we spend without paying attention. Tracking even the pennies can make a big difference in our budgets.

As finances become uncertain during the pandemic, student loans may provide options that will allow people to better control their finances while staying current with student loan finances.

At LSS Mentoring Services, our work to “empower people to succeed by establishing trusting relationships with volunteers” is not something that is possible in the formats that we are accustomed to. We also know that there are urgent needs and many unknowns for people to wrap their heads around.

With the current pandemic quarantine, personal finances will be a challenge. Here are five initial things you can do to help minimize that impact on your life as we all focus on prevention and then recovery.

If you are looking at monitoring your credit reports and scores, you may be wondering where to start. One popular option is Credit Karma. But is it really a good place to watch your credit report and credit score? To make that decision, you need to know what it actually offers. Here is the beginning of that conversation.

Podcast: Dr. Joel Allen, Biblical Conversations

Podcast: Dr. Joel Allen, Biblical Conversations

For the past seven weeks, a group of students at the Center for New Americans have been studying math, measurements, workplace safety, and engineered film production and technology.  All this, five days a week for two hours a day. Why? In the hopes of getting hired in the Engineered Films department at Raven Industries.

Lutheran Social Services is one of the 2020 Avera Tradition of Caring recipients. Michelle Madsen is with LSS Mentoring Services and Shane Matthys is a mentor. They are here to tell us more about their programs and how you can start empowering young people to succeed.

Khadija Sediqi is currently a student in our English classes, but, really, she is much more used to being at the front of the room, teaching. A woodcarving teacher, specifically, and a very talented one at that. Khadija became interested in the art of woodcarving because of her mother.

On January 27, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken announced a new initiative called Sioux 52. This initiative aims to mobilize 520 organizations across the region to support mentoring opportunities. It recognizes the power of people helping people – and LSS is proud to be part of this effort!

Savings.  It is a single word that can strike fear in the hearts of many Americans.  I think most people understand that savings are something they probably should have, but so many people still struggle with it.  Maybe it’s having the money to set aside.  Maybe it is the discipline to keep getting it done.