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


Open Adoption – the Best Mother’s Day Gift

April 17, 2017

Every May LSS has an annual event to honor birth mothers. It provides them with an opportunity to visit with others who have traveled the same path in choosing to place their children for adoption. It serves as a support group as they struggle with grief and loss, but also allows them to celebrate their child. Read the rest of this entry »


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


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!


Inspiring Stories

January 27, 2017

Asnows teachers, we are sometimes privileged to get to know our students beyond the classroom. And when that happens, we can’t help but feel inspired by the stories we hear.

Laura Smith-Hill, the director of the Education Program here at LSS, recently shared with me two inspiring stories from our students enrolled in Citizenship Class, and I’d like to share them with you.

Laura speaks of a middle-aged woman from China who has lived in the U.S. for about 20 years. Laura explains, “She opens and closes her department at work, putting in 12-hour days. She is a star worker for her employer, and might have been promoted to manager, but her literacy and computer skills were lacking. At the end of the day, she comes home and scoops her sidewalks. On her day off, she exercises because she knows she needs to be strong.”

And the story continues, “She lives alone and emphasized, ‘I try to do everything myself, because I have to pull myself up.’ She didn’t seem to know the rest of the American idiom, ‘… by her own bootstraps,’ but I knew what she meant. She takes great pride in her son, who finished college and is working in New York City. He told her, ‘Mom, you can’t go back to China. This is your home. You have to become a citizen.’ She echoed to me, ‘I love America; I need to stay in this country.’ So on her days off, she comes to our Saturday Citizenship Class to learn to read and write for civic engagement and in order to become a U.S. citizen.”

Laura said this woman reminds her of “how hard all our ancestors had to work to make their way as first generation immigrants in our ‘land of opportunity.’ That opportunity doesn’t come easily to any first generation immigrant; they work hard for it to pave the way for their children and their children’s children.”

Yet another student Laura speaks of is a young man from Iraq who successfully completed the education program here at LSS, received his high school diploma and finished his job training. Today he speaks excellent English and works in one of South Dakota’s high-demand occupations – welding.

As he copes with daily worries for the safety of his parents and siblings back home, he hopes to become a U.S. citizen so he can bring his family to the U.S. for refuge.

Laura explained, “This man finds freedom of religion in the U.S. that his family can only dream of. He believes his purpose in life is to help other people. He shared with me that he didn’t know how he could be a help to people here in America. When I told him about volunteer opportunities at our center and how he could apply to mentor other families who are new to America, he decided to put in his application. The next time I saw him, he walked into the lobby and said, ‘Ahh, LSS is my home.’ He explained that LSS was the first place he came when he arrived in America and everyone here helped him start a new life.”

Laura said these two students are indicative of the immigrants she meets and works with on a daily basis.

“These two clients are gracious, thoughtful, generous. They are unafraid of hard-work and strive for the good of their families. They are ready to help people around them who are in need. They are stronger for the barriers they face and barriers they have already overcome. They are much like you and me. These qualities are a part of what makes our nation great,” Laura explained.

It is easy to hear the news on TV and the radio and feel afraid of newcomers. But what we see here at LSS, where we work daily with immigrants and refugees, is nothing like what one might hear in the news. What we experience here belies the news coverage. What we experience here are individuals with individual stories and experiences that would make any American with a history of immigration proud, and, of course, that is almost every American. : )

I personally find it a true privilege to work with these newcomers. If you, too, want to be inspired by their perseverance, hard work, generosity, and kindness, we are always welcoming new volunteers. We can use you in English, job training, and Citizenship classes. Your choice. Contact Kristyne Walth at 731-2009 or email her at kristyne.walth@lsssd.org to learn how you can join our volunteer program.

Have an inspirational day! : )

Posted by Julie Boutwell-Peterson


What You Are Really Paying For

January 24, 2017

Pop.  Soda.  Fizzy caffeinated goodness.  Whatever you call it, wecoke-in-a-glass go through a lot of it.  Have you ever paid attention to the cost of it?  More importantly, have you ever thought about why you pay so much extra for that one quick bottle? Read the rest of this entry »


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