Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) had its beginnings in 1867 with the founding of The Lutheran Home for Children in Andover.
- The children were orphaned by a cholera epidemic and journeyed from their homes to a farmhouse in Andover to begin a new life.
- The Lutheran Home for Children was the first Lutheran charitable institution in Illinois and one of the earliest in the nation.
Since the first home opened in 1867, a tradition of caring has been passed on, and it now extends through a vast network of social service programs to people of all ages, races, religions and economic classes throughout Illinois.
Today, LSSI reaches out to tens of thousands of people each year. But behind the wide scope of today's services lies a cluster of community-based, church-related missions that arose in response to varying needs in each community. LSSI's history is a tale of grassroots response to human needs by diverse groups of people whose common characteristic was - and is - a concern for others.