Rethink That White Picket Fence

November 30, 2017

My in-laws have decided it’s time to make a move.  It’s just the two of them and a small dog in their spacious 3 bed, 2 ½ bath home on a corner lot.  They’ve made a decision that a lot of people in their generation are making.  They are ready to downsize to a townhome.  When I first started selling homes here in Sioux Falls, that’s exactly what townhomes were – the first step of retirement housing in that gradual journey to the nursing home.  Now let me be clear – in no way am I implying that my in-laws are that old.  I’m just sharing why they made the choice they have…… I mean…….uh, anyway……..  While this is still the case for some people, the typical townhome buyer is changing.

If you are dreaming of your very own single-family, picket fence bird housestand-alone home with the white picket fence, you may want to rethink that regardless of your distance from the nursing home. Read the rest of this entry »

How do you spell THANKS?

November 17, 2017

Who doesn’t love an acrostic poem? For those of you who don’t remember what that is, it is when the first indexletter of each line spells out a word or phrase. This is a great activity for kid’s and will get them writing in a fun way! In honor of Thanksgiving and reflecting on things that we at LSS Mentoring are thankful for, here is our poem:

The most dedicated staff

Hundreds of volunteers

Amazing funding, school, corporate and nonprofit partners

Nice offices, facilities and equipment that allow us to do our work

Kind words spoken to kids and older adults who need them

Students that love their mentors and older adult neighbors that love their volunteers!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thankfulness and Adoption Awareness Month

November 16, 2017

As I pondered writing a blog that could address both Adoption Awareness Month AND Thanksgiving, I wasn’t sure where to start, until I was talking to a friend about the latest episode of the TV series, This is Us, and she asked me, “How old were you when you were first told you were adopted?” Wow! First, the answer is that I don’t remember, I just always knew. Second, I am so very thankful that I don’t remember! Read the rest of this entry »

Meet Caroline and Autumn

November 10, 2017
20171011_121347When Autumn first got a mentor when she was a 4th grader, she knew she wanted to meet with this person until she graduated high school. Her mentor, Caroline Deinema was not really sure what to expect. “When I heard about mentoring, it seemed like I could make a contribution by doing it,” said Caroline. For Autumn, mentoring is “something fun and something different.”

Now, they are part of the LSS USucceed program and can meet outside of school. For them, it means going out to different restaurants in Canton for lunch once a week. Caroline, who moved to Sioux Falls awhile ago, still makes the drive to her former community to mentor every week (and plays mahjong with friends after her meeting with Autumn!). When many people may use moving as a reason to not continue, Caroline has found a way to make it work, mostly because she says, “it is important to me.”

Caroline and Autumn have formed a great friendship. Autumn would encourage any student to have a mentor because “you can have a friend for life.” And Caroline said, “it’s good to make a contribution and connect with younger people.” Their conversation flows during their meetings. When we met, Caroline had made a note on her phone to remember to ask Autumn about an app that she had heard about. Autumn said she loves to hear about history and the adventures Caroline has when she travels.

For now, they are enjoying their time together. Autumn will graduate next year and has plans to attend cosmetology school. They plan to stay in touch and Caroline is looking forward to seeing Autumn realize her dreams.

Dream Series – 5 Steps to A Black Christmas

November 2, 2017

Cheesy as it may be, it’s a tradition.  Sometime in the next two months you will hear it.  “IIIII’m dreaming……… of a whiiiiiite… Christmas….”  Come on now, everybody loves a little Bing Crosby at Christmas.  As sentimental as a white Christmas may be, there are a lot of people dreaming of a black Christmas too…… or rather, a Christmas in the black.

christmas-presentsI think most of us dream of making Christmas magical for those around us.  There are a lot of ways to do that.  It could be anything from waking Christmas morning to find stockings stuffed and a new toy train going around the Christmas tree to a new tradition of Christmas on a warm, sandy beach under a palm tree.  Either way or any in between, it’s probably going to cost you. Read the rest of this entry »

TRY Mentoring

November 1, 2017

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a mentor? Please consider trying it this month! This November, LSS will host two “Try-It” sessions. Events will be held on Monday, November 13 from 11-12 at Laura Wilder Elementary and on November 15 from 12-1 at Eugene Field Elementary.

Potential mentors are invited to attend a session where they will complete a project and eat lunch with students who are waiting for a mentor. The event is a sample of what a volunteer would do should they choose to apply to become a mentor with the LSS Everyday Heroes Mentor Program before committing fully to the program. Volunteers attending this event do not need to meet with the student they meet at the event or volunteer at the school where the event is help. If you are interested in attending, please have contact LSS at or 605-221-2403. RSVPs are due November 10.

mentor try it 2017 email

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