Every Gift Makes a Difference

LSSI's inaugural Day of Giving – "A Day in the Life" is a way to raise awareness and funds for LSSI. The depth and breadth of LSSI's service is remarkable due in large part to faithful partners like you. Support LSSI by donating online or by calling 1.855.GIFTLSS (1.855.443.8577). First time-donors will be entered into a drawing for LSSI prize packages; previous donors to LSSI who make a gift before Noon on Oct. 26 also will be eligible for prize drawings! Every gift makes a difference and helps us transform lives across Illinois!

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Throughout the night of 10/25 and the day of 10/26 we will be highlighting the programs and clients of LSSI every hour. Check back for updates!

  • 6 p.m.

    Residents at LSSI's group homes for adults with disabilities sit down to enjoy dinner together. LSSI has CILAs (Community Integrated Living Arrangements) in Chicago, Dixon, Sterling, Aurora, and Beardstown. These living communities allow individuals with developmental disabilities to live independently while still accessing limited services to enable them to thrive.

  • 5 p.m.

    It's 5 p.m. and the Head Start students have finished cleaning up after their afternoon arts and crafts activities. Staff members are helping children gather their belongings as they wait for family members to pick them up.

  • 4 p.m.

    A group of seniors at Gable Point Senior Housing in Crystal Lake leave their paintings to dry and head to dinner. The group looks forward to Art Therapy Sessions that the McHenry County Community Foundation provides. LSSI partners with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide affordable housing for low-income seniors and the disabled. LSSI manages 21 housing sites across the state. Each community has its own look and feel.

  • 3 p.m.

    A group of the 32 residents at Shady Oaks in Homer Glen make another test batch of kettle corn. These individuals with developmental disabilities are part of the "Handfuls of Hope" Kettle Corn Enterprise, designed to create meaningful work and generate income for Shady Oaks residents.

  • 2 p.m.

    Volunteers are shuffling through security at the Jacksonville Correctional Center, on their way to work with incarcerated fathers on the Storybook Project. Each father is recorded while reading a book to his child. The volunteers will make a CD and mail the book and CD to the child with a personal message.

  • 1 p.m.

    It's 1, and LSSI's President Mark Stutrud is cutting a cake while employees celebrate LSSI's 150th year of service and transforming lives in Illinois.

  • 12 p.m.

    A development officer meets over lunch with an LSSI donor, bringing her up-to-date on the project she helped fund for our drug and alcohol treatment program. LSSI provides a host of different treatment options for those fighting alcohol and drug problems.

  • 11 a.m.

    Volunteer members of LSSI's Women's Network are rolling in to the Des Plaines office for a day of assembling welcome kits for children coming into foster care. Each duffle bag contains comfort items like a stuffed animal and fleece blanket, an age-appropriate book, hygiene items, socks, and a gift card. We recently profiled new member Ann Klicar in our Inspired magazine.

  • 10 a.m.

    It's midmorning and LSSI staff are offering a workshop at a local Lutheran church, teaching families what they can do to prepare for an emergency situation. This is one aspect of LSSI's partnership with Lutheran Disaster Response. For full details and to see how one pastor graciously partners with LSSI and LDR, view our recent profile in the Inspired magazine.

  • 9 a.m.

    A caseworker takes one of the children in our foster care program to visit a sibling who has been placed in another home. LSSI knows the importance of maintaining birth families, and works to ensure those are sustained, even under difficult circumstances. One way LSSI works to maintain normalcy in children's lives is by working with Lifebooks. Lifebooks help children in foster care remember their past and provide something to take with them. LSSI's Lifebook, My Awesome Life has been provided to every child in foster care in the state of Illinois.

  • 8 a.m.

    Formerly incarcerated individuals are harvesting vegetables from community gardens throughout Marion. The gardeners are part of LSSI's re-entry program for returning citizens, offering them the practical skills needed to reintegrate back into society. The program also offers employment skills and computer training in order to provide a promising future to clients.

  • 7 a.m.

    It's 7 a.m. and parents are beginning to drop their preschoolers off at our Head Start sites in 3 Chicago neighborhoods. LSSI has been facilitating Head Start programs, which provide early learning opportunities to families on a low-income, since 1967.

  • 6 a.m.

    The cooks at Nachusa Home are preparing breakfast for the teens who live in our residential treatment home. The program treats teenagers with drugs and/or alcohol issues, teaching them how to create healthy living habits and find emotional stability before they re-enter their community. Read more about the other services offered at Nachusa Lutheran Home in this recent profile of St. John's Lutheran Church and their ongoing work to support LSSI.

  • 5 a.m.

    A child arises early and runs into their parent's room with 2 dogs in tow. Mom gets up and begins to prepare breakfast as Dad gets the child ready for school, bursting with excitement about dressing up in their Halloween costumes. Mornings weren't always this simple, as the child used to struggle with emotional and behavioral issues. In stepped LSSI's Adoption Preservation program, which helped the family to reconnect and continue to provide a loving home.

  • 4 a.m.

    The new patient who checked into Kenmore at 11 p.m. is still awake, questioning whether she made the right decision to come into treatment and doubting her own ability to overcome addiction. She spends the next couple of hours talking with the LSSI nurse, a former addict herself who has experienced recovery firsthand and is able to offer encouragement and hope.

  • 3 a.m.

    Police officers bring a belligerent and irrational man to the emergency room at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago. He is evaluated by LSSI staff members from Project IMPACT, who are trained to assess and stabilize individuals incapacitated by mental illness, substance abuse and/or domestic violence. Project IMPACT operates around the clock, averting unnecessary hospitalizations and freeing physicians to treat other patients with critical physical injuries or illnesses while cutting the costs for the hospital. Read a profile of our newest Project IMPACT site in a recent edition of our Inspired magazine.

  • 2 a.m.

    A foster mom comforts a child who has awakened from a bad dream and soothes him back to sleep. The impact a foster parent can have on the lives of the children who come through their homes cannot be overlooked. One family who works closely with LSSI, the Watson's, shared their story with us recently.

  • 1 a.m.

    An adult who was adopted as an infant lies awake, eager and anxious about what will happen in the morning. She is about to meet her birth mother after working with LSSI's search and reunion services. Each day LSSI receives requests to begin the process for reunification. Although we no longer provide private adoptions, it is still part of our mission to work with families who want to be reunited.

  • 12 a.m.

    An elderly patient with dementia is up, roaming his house in the dark. An LSSI Intouch worker is there and makes certain he doesn't hurt himself. In Cook County, Intouch staff work in shifts to care for people in their homes, keeping them out of nursing homes for as long as possible. To learn more about Intouch Home Care Services, read our profile in a recent issue of the Inspired magazine.

  • 11 p.m.

    A new patient completes the registration forms for LSSI's medically assisted detox program in downtown Chicago. Nurses are on the unit 24/7 to assist people in withdrawal from alcohol or opiate addiction. Patients commit to staying at LSSI's Kenmore Center for 3-5 days.

  • 10 p.m.

    Staff members at The Oaks in Joliet assist memory care residents with their medications and bedtime preparations. The Oaks, a section of the senior housing site Joshua Arms of LSSI in Joliet, allows residents a seamless transition to a supportive living environment when the time comes.

  • 9 p.m.

    Hundreds of foster parents across the state are doing what any other parent does: helping with homework, giving baths, preparing lunches for the next day, and convincing reluctant children to go to bed. We recently profiled the Bill family, who adopted 4 children through LSSI.

  • 8 p.m.

    A caseworker is called to the emergency room – a child in LSSI's foster care program has had a violent reaction to a previously undetected peanut allergy. The caseworker stays with the family into the early morning, until the medical crisis is over. There are so many groups dedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care, from the family and caseworkers, to local churches and communities. LSSI was recently selected to start a flagship program working with children suffering from severe trauma or behavioral disabilities while in foster care. We profiled this new program, Therapeutic Foster Care, in a recent edition of our Inspired magazine.

  • 7 p.m.

    Counselors at the Byron Street offices meet with school-aged children and their parents. Evenings are often the only time when families can receive mental health services without disrupting their work or school schedules. LSSI has recently expanded its counseling services for children, which is profiled in a recent issue of Inspired. LSSI also provides group counseling for adults at the Welcoming Center.


  • Rev. Leslie Weber
  • M/M Wilbert Bartelt
  • Mike Ouska
  • Carol Poplawski
  • Molly Arnoldt
  • Felice Bernstein
  • William C. Johnson
  • Mr. and Mrs. C. William Johnson
  • John Marston
  • David Novak
  • M/M Ted Maxeiner
  • Mrs. Dee Dee McCabe
  • Anne Barclay
  • Susan Wagner
  • Linda Wilberg
  • Debra Sarvela
  • Marilyn Black
  • Mary Getty
  • Amanda Moore​
  • John Rudy
  • Marilyn Breiding​
  • ​Ronald Dillow
  • ​Carrie Burrows
  • ​Susan Kapche
  • ​Roberta and Dave Dietrich
  • ​Gail Block
  • ​Peggy and Dennis Bullard
  • ​Roland Person
  • ​Judith Geissler
  • ​Adm. Joel Heffernan
  • ​Sandy and Brad Anderson
  • ​Dr. and Mrs. Ken Olson
  • ​Ellen Hunt
  • ​David Wilkinson
  • ​Rev. Art and Carol Puotinen
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ron Henning
  • Julie and Mike Leonard
  • Marilyn Currier
  • Mr. and Mrs. M. Pannucci
  • Rob Austin
  • Tryg Jensen
  • Jan Leverenz
  • Shawn Cobbs
  • Barb Hailey
  • Mr. and Mrs. Phil Hildebrandt
  • Dr. Robert Patrick Arnoldt
  • Julie Luck Jensen
  • Jeff King
  • Allison Bernardi ​
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jon Theeke
  • Susan Gilpin​

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BMO Harris Bank