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South Dakota Cares Kicks off This Month With DeMaris Nesheim

April 21 marked the start of South Dakota CARES, a statewide day of giving held in support of vital LSS services. The event highlights stories of positive change through program tours, panel discussions and agency updates, and online giving matches and challenges. Last year, more than 300 unique donors came together to raise more than $323,000 during the event.

A handful of LSS donors have set up matches and challenges to double the impact of donations made during South Dakota CARES. This includes DeMaris Nesheim.

She is a longtime LSS donor whose giving started with the Canyon Hills Center in Spearfish — a residential treatment facility that helps youths with emotional, behavioral health and educational challenges.

Over the years, Nesheim has played a significant role in making the facility more practical and accommodating for youth.

“They had so many freezers and coolers but still not enough space, so we updated the kitchen with a walk-in freezer,” DeMaris said. “And we brought in more durable furniture that could withstand wear and tear from the kids.”

A former elementary school teacher, Nesheim has always been invested in helping children flourish. However, it was the loss of her 36-year-old daughter that sparked an even greater interest in the LSS mission.

“My daughter was a principal in California, and she devoted her life to children who were neglected and abused. I’m giving to honor her spirit.”

Nesheim notes her deep appreciation for the staff at Canyon Hills, as well as those with New Beginnings in Aberdeen and Foster Care Services statewide, for furthering her daughter’s passion through their work.

“I’ve found the people at LSS to be very dedicated. When I leave these facilities, like Canyon Hills, I think the people who work there are the saints among us. I have all sorts of respect and gratitude for them.”

Nesheim’s Enhancing Access to Mental Healthcare Match will help cover the cost of counseling for children, families and individuals, allowing them to get the support they need. Every dollar donated up to $25,000 will be doubled.

Visit and double your impact with a gift to one of four matches: Building Successful Families Match, Enhancing Access to Mental Healthcare Match, Helping Children in Foster Care Challenge and Offering Cutting-Edge Care Challenge.