Ho-Ho-Holiday Spending

November 29, 2013
Some rights reserved by kelp1966

Some rights reserved by kelp1966

It’s that magical time of year–full of deals, steals, bargains–and least we forget, the pressure to spend, spend, spend.

(of course, there is way more to the holidays than buying stuff – but today is Black Friday…)

Check out these ho-ho-holiday spending tips to keep your budget in the black this year:

Read the rest of this entry »

Merci! Gracias! Asante!

November 28, 2013

Today all of us at the Refugee and Immigration Center wish to say:



Gracias (Spanish)

شكرا  (Arabic)

Hvala  (Bosnian)

谢谢 (Mandarin Chinese)

Merci  (French)

Спасибо (Russian)

धन्यवाद (Hindi)

ຂໍຂອບໃຈທ່ານ (Laos)

хвала (Serbian)

Asante (Swahili)

धन्यवाद  (Nepali)

Mahadsanid (Somali)

አመሰግናለሁ (Amharic)

ေက်းဇူးတန္ပါတယ္။ (Burmese)

የቐንየለይ  (Tigrinya)

Murakoze (Kirundi)

ជំរាបសួរ  (Khmer)

ありがとう (Japanese)

Hvala  (Croatian)

Falemnderit (Albanian)

cảm ơn bạn (Vietnam)

Thank you (English)



Words of Wisdom from Mr. J

November 27, 2013

As we near Thanksgiving and the end of National Adoption month I would like to share a letter I recently received from an adoptive parent, Mr. J.  Approximately 9 ½  years ago he and his wife took a leap of faith and became foster parents for the state.  Foster care eventually led them to adopting 2 daughters from the foster care system.  He wanted to share his story of blessings and thankfulness with anyone who may be considering becoming foster/adoptive parents.

Their story is one of hope, loss, gains and joy.  In reading the letter I can see the love he has for all of children and the passion he has for adoption and foster care. As the story goes “Mr. J” apprehensively was talked into becoming a foster family by his wife back in 2004. As they worked through the process and received training he began to realize that many kids just needed a safe and stable home environment and most importantly a lifelong family! So they made the commitment to become a foster/adoptive family to help change a child’s life. He shared in his letter that there are challenges to being a foster/adoptive family.  But what is most touching and what you would hear from other families who have adopted through the foster care system is his statement,

“So as I tell everyone they have done as much or more for s as we have done for them and I thank our wonderful God every day for the chance He gave us to love, raise these 2 wonderful daughters.”

 Mr. J went on to update me on how all of his children and grandchildren are doing now.  His  warmth, love and caring shine through in his words. He hopes that by sharing their family’s story of foster care and adoption that he may spark a fire for anyone else considering foster care and adoption. His final words of wisdom for you are as follows:

 “One important thing as we found out – it doesn’t take a lot of money, fancy cars, house etc. if you have love in your heart for a child and faith in our wonderful God you can do it. He will help you all the way!!

 Submitted with Thanksgiving Blessings, Dede Mogck, Director of Adoption and Foster Care

Thanksgiving Tradition

November 26, 2013

Tables set for 100.

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.  ~W.J. Cameron

For over 30 years, LSS has celebrated Thanksgiving with a lunch at our Summit Oaks program. The smell of roasted turkey, the hustle of getting tables and chairs ready — at noon on Tuesday? Yes, that happens here!

At LSS Center for Children and Youth (CCY), all staff in Adoption, Foster Care, Mentoring and Summit Oaks and Summit Oaks residents come together to enjoy a pre-holiday lunch. With over 100 guests and 45 pounds of turkey served, there was room at the table for all.


Delicious meal!

More than having a great lunch, this is an opportunity for our CCY community to celebrate and give thanks. This also gives youth in LSS care a chance to experience a family-style Thanksgiving celebration. For some, it may have been years since they have had the opportunity to indulge in this holiday tradition. And for others, this may have been a first.


Deb and the pumpkin pie.

The Summit Oaks kitchen staff work hard to prepare a full Thanksgiving spread for everyone to enjoy. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, apple cider and of course pumpkin pie with whipped cream complete the menu. A big thanks to the kitchen staff for the labor of love they put into this meal. Those on the receiving end definitely appreciate this wonderful tradition!

Dede, Director of Foster Care and Adoption serving.

Thankful Kids= Happy Kids (and Adults too!)

November 25, 2013

Last year we ran a blog post about teaching our children to be thankful. A year later I think it is worth another look and I found it to be a great reminder for me as we head into the holiday season again. Please give it a read and leave us some comments either on Facebook or right here on the blog to share some things that you are thankful for this year.

Heather DeWit
Director of Childcare and Education

Surviving the Holidays

November 22, 2013

It is hard to believe the that 2013 Holiday Season will officially start with Thanksgiving next week. It seems like we were just posting about back to school!

LSS has compiled a guide for our readers on surviving the holidays. There are gift suggestions, budgeting tips, and ways to give back included in this free download. We hope this will help you make this time of year merry and bright!

Holiday Survival Guide

Budget #Selfie

November 21, 2013

LSS Center For Financial Resources

From renting or buying a place to live, to paying off credit card bills or making a simple trip to the neighborhood store, we make important personal decisions about money every day.

Do you ever wonder, are we on the right track? Is there more we should be doing to be smart with our money? Does your budget need a #selfie? Read the rest of this entry »

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