Changing Lives Today

LSS Center for New Americans
Tim Jurgens, Director

In early March, some of our students got the very cool chance to tour City Hall, meet Mayor Paul TenHaken, and learn more about their rights as people living and working in Sioux Falls. A big THANK YOU! to Assistant City Attorney Katie Dunn and Human Relations Specialist Valerie Schonewill of the Sioux Falls Human […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

If you find yourself unemployed or less than fully employed, it can be a very trying time. Here are 5 "C's" to help you through those challenges.

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

Read about a Sanford employee who has mentored a student for the past four years at three different Sioux Falls schools.

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

Life is good.  You have your plans, your schedule, your routine.  You know what is coming and are ready for it.  You have a six-month plan, a one-year plan, and a 5-year plan all laid out.  It may not always be easy going, but at least you know where you are going. And then…. life […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Teacher, Center for New Americans

“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” – Rita Dove My Oral 4 class recently dedicated nearly a month of their lives to one of my first loves: poetry. As their teacher, I may have had a hand in forcing their dedication, but nevertheless, they welcomed this challenge and tapped into their […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

So-and-So and So-and-So, Sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, Then comes marriage, Then comes the baby in a baby carriage. Remember the days when that was the insult of all insults on the playground.  Even if you really did like the other person they paired you with, you certainly weren’t going to admit […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

Mentors who are matched with the same student for several years often talk about the best thing about being in a long-term mentoring relationship is seeing the evolution of their student. Autumn Bates is no different. “Mentoring is such a great program,” said Autumn. “My student has evolved a lot since we met. At first […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Tim Jurgens, Director

A grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation provides intermediate (literacy level 3) and advanced (literacy level 4) English classes for our students. With this grant, we have been able to teach literacy skills for our students as they also work on College and Career Readiness Skills. Students learn important vocabulary and skills to help them […]

LSS Foster Care Services
Chelsie Ogaard, Director

When people are considering becoming foster parents, there are a lot of questions.  One of those questions is how adding children to their home will affect their family including any children already in the home.  Thank you to one of our current foster parents for sharing their insight on this topic. People wonder how foster […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

Mentoring Services Post by Michelle Madsen As we are quickly entering the third month of 2019, many have already Kondo’d their possessions, made fewer visits to the gym each week or have blown their budget goals. If you have already broken your resolution, or maybe did not even make one, LSS has something you can […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Teacher

Well, the deep freeze has hit us here in Sioux Falls, and for many of our students, this type of frigid weather is a new experience. In my advanced speaking class, we are studying poetry, and when my students were asked to think of something they were afraid of, many of them answered, “Cold weather!” […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

Valentine’s Day may be the day of love, but there are ample opportunities to find something you love everyday of the year. Today, we want to tell you about a new mentor who attended a Mentor Try-It Lunch in January. When she was least expecting it (volunteering over her lunch hour), she fell in love. […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

I’ve already stated my disdain for doing my taxes.  For whatever reason, I just dread doing them every year.  That said, I pretty much have everything put together and ready to go.  I just need to print out a few of the statements to have in the file.  Yes, my taxes will get done.  As […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Silke Hansen, ESL Instructor

Everyone is seeing red. Valentine’s Day is here. The day for lovers, for family, for friends, for co-workers – the official day when we show the important people in our lives how much they mean to us. The day is celebrated with cards, flowers and chocolates – and lots of them. Many of us grew […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

LSS Mentoring Services seeks nominations for the 2019 Citibank Outstanding Mentor, the Sanford Outstanding Rookie Mentor and First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard Community Partner awards. The awards, to be presented at the Annual Mentor Appreciation Breakfast on April 12, provide a platform to honor the contributions of individuals and organizations that have shown outstanding commitment to […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

So let me tell you about my last 24 hours.  In case you haven’t heard, it’s been cold around here.  Like, really, really, ridiculously cold.  In fact, I heard it’s so cold, THAT place actually had a freeze warning.  Being the GREAT guy that I am, I drove my wife to work the last two […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Teacher

In December, we rolled out a new class here at the Center for New Americans: Pre-GED English, or as the students call it, Lit 5. This class is for our students with high literacy skills and big educational and career goals. Some of my students, in particular, have plans to go to nursing school, open […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

Renberg may be one of the smaller school in the Sioux Falls School District, but it has become a place that Marty Davidsohn loves! Marty started mentoring five years ago and says Renberg is “a great school. It is fun and small and the staff here is just the best.” In addition to mentoring, she […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

And so it begins.  We had to start a new collection at home this week.  Our first W-2 showed up.  That’s right, it’s TAX TIME!  I’m not going to lie.  I’m not crazy about taking care of our taxes.  I have other things going on.  And I like doing most of those other things more […]

LSS Adoption & Pregnancy Counseling Services
Hayley Van Den Brink, Supervisor

Lutheran Social Services is licensed in South Dakota to help you determine if adoption is right for you. We’re here with adoption services to assist in every step of this important process.

LSS Center for New Americans
Lindy Obach, ESL Teacher

Hi! I’m Lindy Obach, and up until a year ago, I spent my career nagging college students about comma splices and reading poetry. I taught college English for the University of South Dakota at University Center-Sioux Falls for 11 years. And then it was time for a change. At University Center, I realized quickly that […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

As we start 2019 some of us are faced with a dramatic financial crisis – “What am I going to do now that I do not have Income as I was planning?”  This could be because the Federal Shut Down or that my employment plan I developed in 2018 has not been fulfilled, layoffs, seasonal […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Tim Jurgens, Director


graduation_and_celebration_december_2018

LSS Better Together Program
Michelle Madsen, Director

Lori Limoges and Marcella Cummings are one of our longest meeting matches in the LSS Better Together Program. Lori and Marcella have been matched for three years and seven months. These ladies know Sioux Falls well and have both been living in the area for over 30 years. They never have issues finding fun things […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

It’s the last Friday of 2018! We thought today would be the perfect time to recap this past year share our goals for 2019. First, a look at who mentored this past year. There are 1,144 current volunteers. 25% of volunteers are in their 30s. 17% of mentors work in the financial industry. Sanford employs […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

Last night my wife found an ad on Facebook for a super cute puppy.  Only $100.  If you haven’t shopped for a puppy lately, that’s pretty cheap.  Right in the ad, it stated that they couldn’t keep the puppy because dogs aren’t allowed in their apartments.  That may have been good to know before bringing […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Tim Jurgens, Director

This holiday season, there is a unique way to support LSS! Downtown Gives is a program that promotes the sales of coupon books that can be used at several downtown retailers. The books are $15/each.   Proceeds will benefit LSS adult English students at the Center for New Americans by providing them with Skills That Employ […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Tim Jurgens, Director

Happy Holidays from all of us at the Center for New Americans. We recently had an end of the year party with our students.  Please enjoy! A Festive Rendition of This Land is Your Land sang by teachers and students.   Nepalese Students Share their cultural dance     Our Ukrainian and Nepalese students dance […]

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

There are far too many kids in the Sioux Empire that feel alone. Kids who feel they have few people to turn to when they need to share their hopes, dreams, fears and frustrations. With all of the opportunities for connection these days, kids should not feel as if they are on an island. They […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

That is the question.  Somewhat regularly I will come across a home buyer who is about to sign a contract or already has who is “just working it out directly with the seller”.  After all, they are all grown-ups and can manage themselves.  People buy and sell properties all the time without the use of […]

LSS Pregnancy Counseling Services

In 1992, the song Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant came out. I was six years as a birth parent, and the first time I heard it, it hit me hard. I think I sat and cried for about an hour. That song always puts tears in my eyes because it so accurately portrays the […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

So….. It’s Christmas.  You know what happens at Christmas?  People give gifts…..really nice gifts.  You know what comes after Christmas?  New Years.  You know what people do on New Years?  They make commitments for the coming year.  Big commitments.  Maybe you have that special someone in your life who is waiting for the “really nice […]

LSS Pregnancy Counseling and Adoption Services
Hayley Van Den Brink, Supervisor

Lutheran Social Services offers pregnancy counseling for those considering choosing adoption. We support birth mothers, birth fathers, and children throughout the entire process.

LSS Mentoring Services
Michelle Madsen, Director

Stacy Walters and Katrina are genuinely friends now rather than mentor/student. However, a few years ago they were just meeting each other through the LSS USucceed program. Katrina was matched with Stacy when she was a freshman at Roosevelt High School in 2012. They were one of the first USucceed matches to complete four years […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

Let’s say I miraculously have $1,000 to just give away.  So I put a post out on social media that the first one at my office will get $1,000.  No questions asked.  No strings attached.  Cash in hand and you are on your way with some serious cash to fulfill all your dreams. Sounds great, […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

Coming from a family of story tellers, there is nothing like the telling of favorite family stories as we head into the Christmas season.  There is one particular female I’m close to (not my mom or sister) who has a family story that comes up somewhat regularly that I thought would be fun to share […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Heather Glidewell, ESL and Citizenship Instructor

konnichiwa ~ al salaam a’alaykum ~ mydokumbay ~  tibuy ~  preevyit ~  jambo ~ni hao ~ hola ~ dananish ~ salamnish ~ bonjeur ~ chào bạn ~  mbote ~ yambu ~ habari ~ is ka warren ~  sampurasun ~ min-ga-la-ba ~  sannu  Every day I hear “Hello” in a dozen or more different languages because I […]

Jamie Lennon, LSS Development & Foundation
Kylee Sivertson, Administration

AmazonSmile that is. It’s an easy way to get all of your holiday shopping done and support LSS at the same time.  When you purchase items at AmazonSmile you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Heather Glidewell, LSS English Instructor

On Monday evenings, LSS hosts a More English Monday class where students come from all levels of English ability to learn about computers and to expand their English knowledge.  This class is crazy and busy.  The energy is palpable.  The students are excited, even when  they are hungry and just off work after a 10-12 […]

LSS Adoption Services
Joyce Twite, Administrative Support Specialist

While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care. Coincidentally (or intentionally) the movie, Instant Family starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, opens today. The film, which is based on the real-life fostering and adoption experience of the movie’s director Sean Anders, has […]

LSS Center for New Americans
Heather Glidewell, ESL and Citizenship Instructor

It is definitely Fall!  In the mornings I am scraping frost off my windows and wearing a scarf and gloves to work.  Fresh cool air, yellow leaves on the ground, barren fields…they all account for beautiful Fall days.  With Fall comes some of the best fruits and vegetables and nuts…such as pumpkins and apples and […]

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

So I just had my birthday.  It was the big one.  I guess I’m no longer a kid, at least physically.  That’s right, I turned the big 40.  I guess it’s time to start thinking about retirement and senior care arrangements about now. OK, not really.  After all, I don’t really plan on ever even […]

LSS Counseling Services

Depression and its symptoms can be difficult to identify. With counseling from Lutheran Social Services, you can have a better life.

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator

You know the old adage – big things come in little boxes.  Perhaps it’s the key to your new car.  Or maybe a folded up $100 bill.  Or maybe it’s a diamond ring promising big things in the lifetime ahead. That’s all great.  But today we’re going to flip that idea just a little.  If […]

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