THANK YOU!

May 10, 2017

Thank you to all donors, volunteers and businesses who helped make the LSS Benefit Dinner in Aberdeen a huge success!

Thank You to Our Sponsors

South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; L&S Agency; Lutheran Disaster Response; Aberdeen Federal Credit Union; Molded Fiber Glass; Plains Commerce Bank; Runnings; Aberdeen American News; Aberdeen Development Corporation; Dakota Broadcasting; Harr Motors; Lamar Advertising; Malchow’s Home Furnishings; Moccasin Creek Country Club; Sanford Health Aberdeen; US Bank; Bremer Photography; Health Care Plus Federal Credit Union; South Dakota Wheat Growers; 3M; Aberdeen Hearing Clinic; Aberdeen Parks & Recreation; Aberdeen Sports Recreation; Aberdeen Wings North American Hockey League; Advanced Auto; Airport Travel Center & Café; Ashley’s Furniture; Bethlehem Lutheran; Betty Tewksbury; BoHo Closet Boutique; Bremer Photography; Buffalo Wings & Rings; Butler Machinery; Canaries Baseball; Caribou Coffee; Courtyard Suites by Marriot, Sioux Falls; Crawford Trucks & Equipment, Inc.; Culver’s; Dairy Queen; Dakota Sioux Casino, Watertown; Dempsey’s Brewery Pub Restaurant, Watertown; The Flame; Foote Creek Bed & Breakfast; Gold Dust Casino and Hotel; Good Shepherd Lutheran; Heiser’s Jewelry; Herberger’s; Hitch’N Post Western Wear; Holiday Inn Express; Home 2 Suites by Hilton, Sioux Falls; Jimmy John’s Restaurant; The Junction; Kathy Bangasser; Ken’s Super Fair Foods; Kessler’s Food & Liquor; Lamont Companies; Mac Tools; Marlin’s Family Restaurant; Maurices; Mavericks Steak & Cocktails, Deadwood; Max & Erma’s; The Millstone Family Restaurant; O’Reilly Auto Parts; The Oil Room; Perkins Restaurant & Bakery; Philip’s Diner, Sioux Falls; Phnom Penh Restaurant, Sioux Falls; Pizza Ranch, Aberdeen; Pizza Ranch, Watertown; Pounder’s Pub & Grub; Pro Nails; Quality Quick Print; Riddle’s Jewelry; Ruby Tuesday; Super 8; Starbucks; Target; Texas Road House, Sioux Falls; Tip & Toe Nails Salon; Titan Machinery; TownePlace Suites by Marriot; Twist Cone; Wal-Mart; Watertown Confectionery; and Wells Fargo Bank.

A Special Thank You

A special thank you to Pastor Cassandra Lamb, Deacon Kris Wollman, Lori Langford, Pastor Tim Sersen, Dixie Garrett, Dan Huettl, Lew Koch, Pastor Rhia Strohm, Tasha Hoeltzner and Adrianne Korbakes for all of your involvement and volunteering your time. Thank you also to The Dueling Duo Pianos Show with Dan Witte.

Money raised at the LSS Annual Benefit Dinner will stay right here in Aberdeen, SD. The money raised will go to support LSS services such as Counseling Services, EAP, Center for Financial Resources, Adoption Services, Pregnancy Counseling, Foster Care, Kinship Services, Residential Services for Children and Youth–New Beginnings Center, Disaster Response Services and Community Resource Program.

Liesl Hovel, LSS Development & Foundation
Development Director, Northeast Region
110 6th Ave SE, Suite 200, Aberdeen, SD  57401
605-262-6301 direct, 605-290-2533 cell, 605-262-6357 fax
Liesl.Hovel@LssSD.org
www.LssSD.org


The Gift of a Lifetime: Bequests

April 26, 2017

Lutheran Social Services has recently received funds from several estates of donors who wanted to leave a legacy of hope for those we serve. These funds are put into our Foundation, with the interest earned each year by the fund going to LSS programs to strengthen individuals, families and communities.

If you don’t have a plan for your estate, now is the time to make one! LSS staff can help you decide the best way to meet the needs of your family while leaving a legacy gift that will help LSS fulfill their mission for years to come. Step by step guides available on the Lutheran Planned Giving of South Dakota website will allow you to explore a variety of planned gift options to meet your needs and your goals. View your own personal Illustration to see the benefits of a plan for you.

A charitable bequest is one of the easiest ways you can leave a lasting impact on your favorite ministries. A bequest may be made in your will or trust directing a gift to LSS. There are several benefits to you with a bequest:

  • Receive an estate tax charitable deduction
  • Lessen the burden of taxes on your family
  • Leave a lasting legacy for LSS

A bequest is one of the simplest gifts to make. With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift to be made to family, friends, church, and LSS as part of your estate plan. A bequest may be made in several ways:

  • Gift of a percentage of your estate
  • Gift of a specific dollar amount or asset
  • Gift from the balance or residue of your estate

Here are some examples of bequest language;  please feel free to change the numbers or percentages as you desire.

  1. Bequest of cash: “I bequeath the sum of $10,000 to Lutheran Social Services of SD.”
  2. Bequest of a percent of the estate: “I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to Lutheran Social Services of SD.”
  3. Contingent Bequest: “If my brother John Doe survives me, I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to John Doe. If John Doe does not survive me, then I devise and bequeath 20% of my residuary estate, whether real or personal property and wherever located to Lutheran Social Services of SD.”

A retirement asset, such as an IRA account, also makes an excellent bequest to LSS. If the IRA were given to your family, much of the value may be lost through estate and income taxes. By designating LSS as the beneficiary of all or part of your IRA (using a beneficiary designation form provided by your custodian), the full value of the gift is transferred tax-free at your death and your estate receives an estate tax charitable deduction.

Please contact Linda Jensen at LSS if you are interested in setting up an appointment with LSS staff. There is no obligation when you schedule a visit!

Linda Jensen, LSS Development & Foundation
Church Relations and Planned Giving Development Officer
705 East 41st Street, Suite 200, Sioux Falls, SD  57105-6048
605-444-7536 direct, 800-568-2401 ext. 7536 toll free, 605-310-9865 cell
www.LssSD.org


One Night Makes All the Difference

April 12, 2017
Dueling Duo Pianos Show with/Dan Witte

Dueling Duo Pianos Show with/Dan Witte

Would you like to enjoy a fun-filled Saturday evening and support a great organization and a wonderful cause? If the answer is yes then please join Lutheran Social Services in Aberdeen for its annual benefit dinner and performance of Dueling Duo Pianos Show! This annual event goes to support the following programs in the Aberdeen area. Your attendance will help make a difference in many lives in the Aberdeen area.

  • Counseling Services
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Center for Financial Resources
  • Adoption Services
  • Pregnancy Counseling
  • Foster Care
  • Kinship Services
  • Residential Services for Children & Youth – New Beginnings Center
  • Disaster Response
  • Community Resource Program
  • Center for New Americans

The annual LSS Benefit Dinner will be held on:

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Silent Auction begins at 5 pm
Dinner and Program at 6 pm
Dueling Duo Pianos Show with/Dan Witte begins at 8 pm
The Ward Plaza Downtown Event Center
104 South Main Street, Aberdeen, SD

Ticket Information
Dinner Ticket: $12 each
Dueling Duo Piano Ticket: $20 each
Dinner & Dueling Duo Pianos Package: $30 each
Gifts & Pledges for LSS will be requested at the event.

Please RSVP  by calling Liesl Hovel at 605-262-6301, or by emailing Liesl.Hovel@LssSD.org by Friday, April 21. Click here to RSVP online.

Please join us April 29 to have some fun and help LSS strengthen individuals, families and Aberdeen area communities.

Liesl Hovel, Development Director, Northeast Region
LSS Development & Foundation


Time for a Change

April 7, 2017

Spring is in the air! This morning I saw a bird singing on the parking ramp railing, and I even dared to wear sandals and capris this week.  Everywhere I look there is green grass poking up and any trace of snow has disappeared.  It’s certainly a time for renewing and growing.

Boxes, chairs, and tables ready for the big move to East Bank

 

With that being said, LSS Center for New Americans has been very busy this week packing for our move to the Campus on East Bank. After waiting, talking, touring, and waiting some more, it seems surreal to be packing up everything and moving into our new building.  Teachers and students alike are excited about the move.  For months students have been asking about the new building, and are so very eager to start this new chapter in their lives. Many students are happy about the little things (or maybe they are the big things) that will come with the new building such as a parking lot and a nearby bus stop.  Teachers are excited to have permanent classrooms and a place to call “ours.”

 

It is of course bittersweet to be leaving the building we have occupied for the past three years. I found I was a little teary eyed on Tuesday as we held our last classes in the “old school.”  However, my students were very happy to hear that the tables, the chairs, and (most importantly) the teachers, would be moving to the new school and would be greeting them when English class starts again.

Boxes and boxes all ready to go

 

Stacks of packed boxes and empty rooms greet us now, but soon we will be unpacking again and setting up new classrooms. It is time for our new journey to begin.  So this week, we are dreaming of the changes about to come…new building, new classrooms, new experiences…and it feels quite appropriate that spring is here now.

Posted by Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor


LSS Teacher Receives National Recognition

March 28, 2017

Our own teacher, Silke Hansen, formerly recognized as teacher of the year through the South Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning (SDALL), recently received national recognition as an outstanding instructor. Please see the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) press release below for full details about this prestigious award.


Silke Hansen, LSS ESL Instructor

COABE Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award Runner-Up: Silke Hansen

Lutheran Social Services—Center for New Americans

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is 15,000 members strong and growing, and provides a variety of services including annually providing competitive national-level awards, incentive grants, and scholarship opportunities through special funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Our mission is to inspire educators so adults succeed and communities thrive. COABE exists to provide leadership, communication, professional development, and advocacy for adult education and literacy practitioners in order to advance quality services for all adult learners. Fifteen thousand members strong, one way that we engage in these activities is by spotlighting excellence in the field. Silke Hansen was nominated for COABE’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award and was selected as a runner-up.

Silke Hansen is an excellent, dedicated, and seasoned veteran teacher, having taught in adult basic education for over 11 years. Her teaching duties reach well beyond the classroom. Whenever there is a function of any kind, whether it is the annual student-teacher picnic, yearly LSS fundraiser, The Closer Connections Conference, conference presentations, or welcoming new refugees to LSS, Silke is sure to volunteer and take on considerable responsibilities. Silke’s key role among the staff might be guessed by the position of her work cubicle in the teachers’ room—it is the first cubicle seen upon entering the room, an assignment that the coordinator, Laura, admits was a conscious placement. This crucial location puts Silke where she can assist teachers and students alike who are looking for some help or advice. Silke knows where everything is stored, students’ names (past and present) and what needs to be done in almost any situation practically without fail! She has built so many strong relationships with her students, not only in their classroom endeavors, but also in the greater Sioux Falls area. She has served on the board of directors of two refugee organizations in Sioux Falls: The Khor Wakow School Project headed by South Sudan refugee and past “Lost Boy” David Jal, and the Refugee and Immigrant Women’s Association, an organization that seeks to empower refugee and immigrant women in the community and provide a networking base for its members. Together, these activities and Silke’s level of commitment reflect the kind of dedication to students that her coworkers admire and her students gratefully love. They know that Silke really cares for them as people and friends, stands with them, and will support them. During all her years at LSS, it’s clear that Silke has done whatever she could, both inside and outside the classroom to help her students find meaningful successes in their adopted country. The South Dakota state organization has seen her commitment to excellence and chose her to represent their state for the COABE Teacher of the Year Award.

 

To learn more about COABE’s prestigious award program, go to http://www.coabe.org or contact awards@coabe.org.

 

Posted by Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor


Adult English Learners from Fourteen Nations Visit the South Dakota Capital

March 22, 2017

Students and government officials pose for picture inside the capital building

 

53 adult English language learners from the LSS Center for New Americans had the privilege of visiting South Dakota’s capitol this month. This is such an exciting opportunity for our students that we received 100 applications for these 53 seats.

These 53 learners are from 14 different countries: Burma, Guatemala, China, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Bhutan/Nepal, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Mexico and El Salvador.

About 60% of these LSS adult learners came to the US with refugee status. About 40% came as immigrants.

The goals of these learners are:

  • To become self sufficient communicators in English
  • To get jobs and advance to higher education and training
  • To become United States Citizens

 

This civics education field trip was sponsored by the Department of Labor and Regulation. The Department partners with the LSS Center for New Americans to provide adult education and literacy services in the Sioux Falls community.

The learners visited with legislators, toured the capital building, observed proceedings in the house and senate chambers and visited the Cultural Heritage Center.

On the Steps of the South Dakota Capital Building

 

Touring the Cultural Heritage Center

Having fled the impacts of persecution and injustice, the adult learners deeply treasure the freedoms and democracy of this great nation and the great state of South Dakota. It is, in fact, a dream come true for them to visit our state capitol. They are grateful to be residents of South Dakota, to have the opportunity to raise their families, work and contribute to a safe and welcoming new home.

written by Laura Smith-Hill, Education Program Coordinator


Here’s To Heather

February 1, 2017

LSS is blessed to have many dedicated long-time employees who believe in the mission and the work that we do. Heather DeWit, Director of Childcare & Education Services, contributed nearly 19 years of service to fulfilling the mission of LSS, and her story is extra special.

Heather DeWit and Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen

Heather DeWit and Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen

Heather’s very first job, while she was still in high school, was with LSS at the Circle of Hope daycare. She later transitioned to start the agency’s first after-school program for school-age kids in partnership with Southern Hills United Methodist Church. That program began with fewer than ten kids in one small room. At the time, LSS did not have a vision that included childcare. Heather created that vision.

Under Heather’s direction, childcare services expanded from one small room to six different locations in Sioux Falls, offering not only after-school services, but also infant-toddler and pre-school services. Last year, these programs provided 17,000 weeks of care for approximately 300 children each day. None of this would have been possible without Heather’s drive, vision and leadership.

Recently, Heather was presented an opportunity to take on the role of Director of Children’s Ministries at her church. The decision to leave her very first employer (19 years later) was difficult to say the least. But, as Heather shared at her farewell party last week:

heatherDr. Seuss said, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened!’ But that doesn’t quite cover it for me. I am still smiling because it is still happening and will continue to happen for a very long time.

Because LSS decided to say yes to the dream of After-School and Summer Programs that put kids first, yes to Preschool that prepares children for lifelong learning, and yes to helping infants and toddlers learn and grow with caring adults, we have a new generation of healthy, happy, caring and smart kids that are making the world a better place. I would say that is the definition of still happening. I still can’t believe that I was able to go along on that journey.

So, my smile won’t fade and my role as a cheerleader for LSS won’t either. I am, and will remain, forever thankful to the people who gave me a chance, trusted me and taught me and, of course, thankful to those that are continuing the good work of LSS.

Heather’s supervisor, Vice President of Community Services Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, said of Heather:

Heather has taught me so much about servant leadership, compassion and faith in our time working together. She has touched the lives of thousands of young people over the years — some of whom later returned to work for our programs. She has taught me to have high expectations for our children, to help bring out their best, and to see them for who they are and the promise they hold for our future.

Join me today in thanking Heather for all that she has done in the last 19 years. We will miss her at LSS, and are happy to see that she has found a new calling. On behalf of all of the children and families for whom you have made a difference, LSS thanks you. 

Thank you, Heather!


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