Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota


Pastor Don Block of Pierre, receives the 2011 LSS Distinguished Volunteer of the Year, Congratulations!

Each year, Lutheran Social Services recognizes a distinguished volunteer in honor of outstanding service and support to LSS during 2011.

Pastor Don Block, Pierre

Award recipients have touched the lives of many South Dakotans through their partnership with LSS. Pastor Don Block of Lutheran Memorial Church in Pierre was recognized as the 2011 LSS Distinguished Volunteer of the Year because of his leadership and hard work in the immediate response to the flooding in Pierre and Ft. Pierre communities. Because of Pastor Block’s leadership, Lutheran Memorial opened its doors allowing LSS to use their facilities to provide the much needed Volunteer Service Center and HelpLine. The center provided a stable and recognized location for flood victims, volunteers and business contacts. “Pastor Don’s passion to serve those impacted by disaster in Pierre and Ft. Pierre has been inspiring to those who have worked with him. His unwavering commitment exemplifies love,” said Betty Oldenkamp, LSS President. He worked alongside his congregation volunteering many hours to help those impacted by the disaster through sandbagging, sandbag removal and Camp Noah for the children, as well as financial support.

Pastor Block also assisted in the implementation of the Oahe Long-Term Disaster Recovery Team and serves as President. This Team works to minimize the impact on flood victims, as well as coordinate more than 30 agencies, non-profits, church groups, national groups, local volunteers and monetary relief donations. This team partners with agencies encompassing the entire Missouri River System and flood affected areas throughout the state of South Dakota.

Each year, employees, volunteers, community and corporate partners and many others have supported LSS in a variety of ways—building a strong foundation and tradition of serving those in need. The results of their actions cannot possibly be calculated numerically. Yet their efforts are vital in helping individuals, families and communities find inner strength during difficult and challenging times. LSS is grateful for all who have given in one way or another.

Last year, more than 56,000 lives were touched through a variety of services offered through LSS statewide. Core services offered by LSS include adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care, childcare, disaster response, consumer credit counseling, residential services for children and youth, mentoring, refugee and immigration services, affordable housing, and mental health counseling. LSS serves people of all ages, races, faiths and economic levels with professional, confidential and affordable services. LSS is licensed by the State of South Dakota and accredited by the Council on Accreditation.

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