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Changing Lives Today

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT/CEO Greetings! As I reflect on our rich tradition of service and prepare for the next century of service, one thing stands out—resilience. The resilience of our communities, donors, staff, volunteers, and business and church partners is astounding. I am humbled and honored to have witnessed the power and strength in […]

YOU CAN INSPIRE ACTION IN OTHERS WHO WANT TO MAKE AN IMPACT BY RESERVING YOUR SPRING SUPPORT NOW! GIVE TO HELP UNLOCK MATCH AND CHALLENGE DOLLARS. Not only will there be exciting matches and challenges within programs and regions, but thanks to our loyal supporter, DeMaris Nesheim, EVERY SINGLE GIFT will be MATCHED up to […]

LSS Behavioral Health Services provides mental health counseling for children, adults, or families who may be struggling with family and relationship conflict, depression, grief, loss, anger, anxiety, abuse, substance use, posttraumatic stress disorder or domestic violence. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing. The need for mental health counseling looks different for every person. Examples […]

For birth parents facing an unintended pregnancy and for adoptive parents wanting to grow their family, LSS provides essential information and compassionate support. Support services are a critical step in the process as they equip adoptive and birth parents with the information needed to make the best decision for their families. Your gift to LSS […]

From the window view of my desk, I can see the Big Sioux River thawing. Already I have seen more joggers and bikers frequenting the river walk, and I myself have enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather. Additionally, the great Canadian geese will soon be joined by Mallards, wood ducks, and American coots. They will […]

The number one priority at LSS is responding to the changing needs of communities across South Dakota. Volunteers, staff and donors come together every day to ensure services are accessible to all in need, regardless of age, faith, race and economic status. As a result, LSS is committed to ensuring all staff members are provided […]

In May 1921, an open house and donation day marked the opening of the House of Mercy, the first service offered at Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota. The morning after the House of Mercy opened, the first applicants for admission appeared—an elderly woman and a seven-year-old girl who needed a home. While they were […]

South Dakota CARES is a statewide opportunity for everyone in South Dakota to join together online or in-person to heighten awareness and support critical services at LSS. On May 16, 1921, an open house and donation day marked the opening of the House of Mercy, the first LSS service location. The morning after the House […]

This past month LSS Center for New Americans was host to teachers from across the state and from Sioux Falls as they worked on professional development.  The English Language Instructor Development Program (ELIDP) training yields the English as a Second Language Instructor Credential for the State of South Dakota.  This program is funded through the […]

This month we have been discussing fire safety in our classes. Though not always the most exciting of topics, it is an important thing to review with students so they, and their families, can be prepared in an emergency. In our lower-level speaking classes, we are reviewing how to call 911 to report a fire […]

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston, We Belong and With a Star in My Hand: Rubén Darío, Poetry Hero, three books recommend by the NEA for Read Across America. Though warm, spring weather is (hopefully) on its way to South Dakota, we are still in the midst […]

When moving to a new country, one thing that can sometimes be overlooked is learning about the history of that country. This is understandable; immigrants already have so much to learn and adjust to from language to culture to laws that history can sometimes be lost in the mix. I feel, however, that history informs […]

You can inspire action in others who want to make an impact by reserving your spring support now! Give to help unlock match and challenge dollars.

LSS Behavioral Health Services provides mental health counseling for children, adults, or families who may be struggling with family and relationship conflict, depression, grief, loss, anger, anxiety, abuse, substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder or domestic violence.

For birthparents facing an unintended pregnancy and for adoptive parents wanting to grow their family, LSS provides essential information and compassionate support. Support services are a critical step in the process as they equip adoptive and birthparents with the information needed to make the best decision for their families.

The number one priority at LSS is responding to the changing needs of communities across South Dakota. Volunteers, staff and donors come together every day to ensure services are accessible to all in need, regardless of age, faith, race and economic status. Learn more...

Not only do we recognize the deep passion our donors, church partners, volunteers, neighbors and community members have for our social ministry, LSS also holds values that reflect the South Dakota CARES name. Learn more...

Greetings! As I reflect on our rich tradition of service and prepare for the next century of service, one thing stands out—resilience. The resilience of our communities, donors, staff, volunteers, and business and church partners is astounding. I am humbled and honored to have witnessed the power and strength in the collective as communities across our state came together to support vital services over these last few years.

This May 11 and 12, we continue the tradition and vision with South Dakota CARES, a statewide, online and in-person event designed to bring all South Dakotans together to support critical LSS services statewide. Learn more...

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It is officially tax season, and parents who received child tax credits through the past year will need to pay close attention.

Watertown will participate in a pilot program meant to help the community bridge the gaps and create healthier, safer and happier families.

Olivia has worked for us for almost a year and a half and has been a huge asset to our team. We asked Olivia some questions and she gave some great responses about working for LSS in our department. Why did you come to LSS – Center for Financial Resources? Personal finance is a passion […]

It’s been 45 years since the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act has been updated. Let’s be honest though, ways of communication are quite a bit different than they were in 1977. With the new update debt collectors can now contact via text message, email, and even direct messages in social media. Yes, you read that […]

One of the wonderful things about working at the Center for New Americans is getting to interact with people from all different countries and cultures. In addition to our students and clients, we also have a diverse staff from many different countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. Read below as a few of our staff […]

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, But CFR staff are so delightful So if you don’t know where your dollars go Let us know, Let us know, Let us know CFR staff are always rocking And can help get the collection calls stopping If you have bills from long ago Let us know, Let us […]

Rod Lipka has been working for LSS-Center for Financial Resources for three months now, and he is fitting right in with our team. He has such a heart for wanting to help those in our communities. We asked Rod a couple questions about his thoughts on our department and here is what he had to […]

Yikes!  A high of 12 degrees today!?  So this morning I begrudgingly put leggings on under my pants, pulled on my heavy socks, layered my shirts, wore my warmest driving gloves, and wrapped my neck with a scarf before heading out to the cold air. I am prepared for the winter cold (and have in […]

As we prepared for time with family and friends this past week, consuming the proverbial turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie, I thought about my gratitude for my job and my students. I am so thankful to be a teacher of Adult English Learners at the LSS Center for New Americans. I am […]

The holidays can already be stressful enough without the concern on if you are being scammed by a deal that is too good to be true. There are a lot of scams out there: ones that try to convince you to donate to a charity, fake gift exchanges, or temporary holiday jobs. Now, working a […]

You hear it every year in November. Buy local! Support Small Business Saturday! Yes, I am a big supporter of small businesses because they are the fabric of our community. Small businesses help develop a unique and vibrant local culture. We all know money spent with local businesses stays in the local economy and in […]

South Dakota CARES is a statewide opportunity for everyone in South Dakota to join together online or in person to heighten awareness and support critical services at LSS. Read more...

As part of the LSS Centennial Celebration, the conference room at our East 41st Street location has been named the Bragstad Room in honor of Bertha Bragstad, the first President of LSS who served from 1920 to 1948. Read more...

At 17, Madii was referred to LSS Canyon Hills Center in Spearfish. “When you come in, you come in with a file, and those files say a lot of things about you,” she says. “You begin to have a thought process where nobody cares.” Read more...

“When you get to be 80 years old, you have time to reflect and realize that you’ve had so many blessings,” says Dennis Larson. Dennis and Shirley, his wife of sixty years, are retired from farming. Dennis readily talks about his blessings, but the stories are centered around his life’s trials and the burdens he carries. Read more...

The LSS Board of Directors is proud to announce the appointment of Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen as the new President/CEO of the agency. After a thorough search, the Board determined Kiesow-Knudsen was the right person to lead LSS into its second century of service. Read more...

FAREWELL --

“It has been the greatest blessing of my career to be entrusted with the stewardship of LSS and its glorious ministry. Every minute of the past fifteen-plus years has been a journey that has left me at times overwhelmed and always awestruck. Read more...

Betty Oldenkamp, LSS President/CEO, announced her decision to retire on December 17. LSS is honored to have been led into the second century of service under Oldenkamp’s vision, dedication and leadership. Read more...

I was pretty excited to see when I logged in to make my monthly student loan payment last spring that my payments were put into forbearance (but I could still make payments if I’d like) and no interest was accruing! There are two things I’m going to touch on in today’s blog. For those that […]

The English classrooms at the Center for New Americans rely heavily on the support and expertise of volunteers. Volunteers aid the teacher in classroom management (both online and in person), assist one-on-one tutoring, lead classroom and small group activities, and provide support to the teachers in numerous ways. Each year the Education Program has the […]

Two PowerPoint slides shown to students in Cultural Orientation class Adjusting to life in a new country is no easy task. New arrivals to the United States must learn new practices and ways of being to survive and thrive. To help with this transition, LSS offers Cultural Orientation class every month. The class is offered […]

Some of our counselors had a busy week at the end of September doing some speed counseling with students at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD. Brian Ringler, Dawson Muska, and Olivia Lima met with 79 students in 15 minute increments to discuss money management, what costs will look like when they complete school, and […]

As I meander the halls of the Center for New Americans, I find a special shelf dedicated to literacy for both our students and their families.  Through an outreach program via Siouxland Libraries, we are able to have a mini library at the convenience and delight of our students.  Our mini library allows students to […]

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — A South Dakota non-profit that serves newcomers and families in-need quietly reached an important milestone this year. LSS isn’t holding any public events celebrating its 100th anniversary, due to the pandemic. So we wanted to share the story behind this Lutheran-based organization that’s had such a profound impact across the state over the past century.

It’s been kind of a bittersweet week for those of us at the Center for Financial Resources. Today we bid goodbye to one of our own, Randy Rehling.  Randy is retiring to do the things we all want to do, spend time with loved ones, travel, see grandchildren. I think it’s safe to say that […]

The Board of Directors of Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota is proud to announce the appointment of Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen as the new President/CEO of the agency. After a thorough search for the position, the Board determined Kiesow-Knudsen was the right person to lead LSS into its second century of service.

LSS Center for New Americans once again received a generous grant from Xcel Energy. This grant has helped to provide classes that prepare students to enter the workforce. The project, called Career Literacy for Refugees and Immigrants, teaches students career readiness skills such as critical thinking, teamwork/collaboration, leadership and digital literacy. The project also provides […]

You have HOW MUCH in student loan debt?!?  Well, did you know you can pay a mere $5 a month for the next year and then have the rest of your debt wiped away?  Wouldn’t that be great?  Only $60 paid and no more student loans!  This would be great, but is also only going […]

What is National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week?September 19 to 25 is National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. This week focuses on public awareness and understanding of the essential role of adult education and family literacy in the workforce. Why is literacy important?Statistically we find that illiteracy leads to a multitude of socioeconomic […]

I once had a conversation with a young lady that was in one of my classes.  She had applied for a car loan, and the lender asked her about a credit card she hadn’t noted on her application. She wasn’t aware she had a credit card, but a little digging found that the card had […]

Our House… …Is a very very very fine house. Or is it in the middle of our street?  Either way, as a homeowner, you need to be thinking about what’s just around the corner. Autumn.  When the leaves fall and the wind blows and it’s time to get the house ready for winter. In our […]

I’m probably dating myself here, but for those of you on the planet for awhile, you may remember Dana Carvey on SNL and his Choppin’ Broccoli song.  If you don’t know it, do yourself a favor and hit the Google. You may wonder why I’m talking about broccoli, but it’s been on my mind.  Earlier […]

In case you weren’t aware, right now there is a lot of help available to those who have fallen behind on mortgage, rent and utilities because of COVID, or on rent and/or utilities because of financial setbacks during the pandemic.  LSS is one of several agencies processing these applications and there is a huge backlog.  […]

How’s that Christmas shopping coming? What? It’s only August?  I know.  But really, how’s that shopping coming? It might sound crazy, but now’s the time to start, unless you are way ahead of the game and already started.  You don’t actually need to wait until November (or even worse, December!)  to start that shopping. Spreading […]

For the past several weeks, students have been slowly filling our hallways and classrooms again. Yet, it is a quiet transition, with only a few in-house spots available while the majority of students remain online. This hybrid design was proposed to help students remain in English classes while still allowing for social distance and safety. […]