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Changing Lives Today

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.

Thanks to a generous donation from youth groups from St. Michaels Church, children in foster care across South Dakota are going to receive a special duffle bag. St. Michaels Church partnered with Together We Rise and Sweet Cases to create unique bags for children in care.

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? What are you celebrating on Valentine’s Day? Here are a few thoughts to help you keep centered on a day that can be a blessing. Sometimes our getting carried away can take us away from our priorities and put us in a challenging spot.

Closing costs. Mortgages. Contract. Amortization. Do these terms seem difficult to understand? Would you like some help as you prepare to buy your first home? If the answer is YES, then the LSS Center for New Americans invites you to join our new Homebuyer Class!

Through a new partnership between LSS Mentoring Services and the Sioux Falls School District Early Childhood Program, mentors are now able to meet with some of the littlest learners in town! LSS mentors are now able to meet with students in Head Start at either Lowell or Laura B. Anderson elementary schools.

There is quite a bit of talk about identity theft. Do you know the closest threat of identity theft? It may be a whole lot closer than you know or even want to think about. In this blog post, we talk about why and what you can do to protect yourself from this specific threat.

While many people put off filing their income taxes, you may want to do that as soon as possible. With 5 different reasons listed, you will probably find at least 1 or 2 that speak to your situation. Filing sooner may just help you with your other goals and dreams.

The first month of a historic new year is now winding down to an end.  In a few days we will be greeting February.  However, we cannot forget that January is the month of New Year’s Resolutions. There are, of course, two types of resolutions: Those that are freshly made that we hope to accomplish.

If you are like nearly every other human being on this planet, you probably use Google and YouTube about 50 times a day. BUT, did you know that there’s so much more to these two miraculous sites than just typing in some words and hoping you find what you need?

Goals get discussed a lot. Yes, you should have them. How to go about setting goals. But one important piece that often gets missed is why setting goals even matters. Here are three reasons you should be more intentional about setting your goals.

As the snow flies and the ice builds up, most people aren’t really thinking about buying a new home. In fact, this may be the perfect time to start the process. When done better, a home purchase is a process that does take some time. Get started now with these thoughts so you are ready to actually move when the nicer weather comes back.

Do you speak English as another language? Are you looking for a job with good pay in a clean, comfortable environment? If the answer to both of these questions is YES, Raven Industries and the LSS Center for New Americans have an exciting, new opportunity for you!

As you likely know, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sioux Empire ended their affiliation with Big Brothers Big Sisters America and transitioned to LSS Mentoring Services. Now that the transition is complete, we are excited to announce the program will now be known as LSS Climb. Climb represents the journey mentors and children take.

Many people traveled over the holidays.  Some went to new places for the first time.  This probably requires directions and maybe even a map.  Whether you are still rocking the old school paper maps or depending on the wonder that is Google Maps, there is one important piece that HAS to be known.

Here in the United States, we typically follow the Gregorian calendar.  December 31 marks the end of the old year, and January 1 is the beginning of the New Year.  We here in South Dakota are some of those people.  However, it seems that around the world, there are many different celebrations for New Year’s.

This past month we have been discussing seasons, especially winter as the snow has come to visit us in South Dakota.  Of course with this topic comes winter safety and winter driving and all the reasons we don’t like winter.  However, I asked my students to tell me three things they like about winter.

Thanks to a generous donation from Howalt McDowell Insurance and Sanford Health, children in LSS Sioux Falls area Treatment Foster Care homes had an especially Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a busy time of year for most of us. But what time of year isn’t busy in its own way? This is a simple greeting with a simple point to set your priorities and not get lost in the other stuff.

In my class at the Center for New Americans we work on academic vocabulary.  Recently we came across the word, “inspire.”  As we discussed this word and came up with examples, one student said, “Teacher, you inspire us to learn more.” 

This isn’t charity; it’s family. – Clark Griswold I’m sorry, this is our family’s first kidnapping. – Ellen Griswold We’re gonna have the hap- hap- happiest Christmas. – Clark Griswold I don’t know what to say, but it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery. – Ellen Griswold Worse?  How could things get any worse?

It is a unique world that I teach in. On a typical day I have students from Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Congo, Burundi, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Ukraine…and a handful of other countries. I find that even what appears to be the simplest name may actually be a tongue twister for my American English tongue.

Have you gotten the statements for all of your Christmas shopping yet?  Probably not, or at least not all of the shopping you will be doing.  After all, we are still 3 weeks from Christmas.  PLENTY of time to get the shopping done.  Back to those bills that will be coming.

Dynamic speakers. Teachers and presenters from all over the world. Sudanese henna. Thought-provoking workshops. Community Engagement sessions. Multicultural artwork. Yummy tacos. I must be describing some international conference held in the bright lights of Las Vegas or something, right? Guess again!

It’s a big day today!  You may not realize it, but today is a fairly significant holiday.  It isn’t observed by too many different states, cities, or even businesses.  But it SHOULD be!  I have to admit, I don’t know that I’ll specifically observe it today, but I do several other times throughout the year.

September 6, 2019, was a magnificent day for many reasons.  For starters, it is was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, a reminder of our quickly ending summer.  Secondly, on that day 200 people from 37 different countries became United States citizens right here in Sioux Falls.

Now that we are into November, there has been a great deal of talk about being grateful for what we have.  We’ve even been encouraging people through our own social media to be grateful.  After all, that’s what the Thanksgiving holiday is all about. So, what are you thankful for?  No, really. 

OOOoooOOOOooooOOoooo…..  It’s that spooktacular time of year again.  The ghouls and goblins come out, the headless horseman finds a jack-o-lantern to use as a head, and all of those little punks show up on my doorstep begging my candy off of me.  (Don’t worry; I really do buy candy for them. 

We spent September studying Cultural Understandings at the Center for New Americans, so I worked with my pre-GED® literacy students on a project about writing their own immigration stories.

Of course the Halloween decorations are out for your perusal at the stores.  And the Thanksgiving decorations are on display.  And the Christmas trees are all set up and lit to tempt you deeper into the Holiday spirit.  But, really?!?  All three holidays at once?  Can’t we just deal with one at a time?

Is English Pronunciation Really That Hard? Yes, it is! Just ask Ricky Ricardo. He will demonstrate to you the many pitfalls of English pronunciation here! I am a big fan of ‘I Love Lucy’ and I have watched this clip many times and I still laugh so hard every time I see it.

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