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Inspired, January 2016 issue
Click here to read the story 'Providing a Needed First Step to Recovery'

Volunteers for all Seasons

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Charles

Going the Distance for Families and Children

Children's Community Services, Marion and Vienna

A Year-Round Passion for Helping Others

Volunteer Profile: Roberta Dietrich

A Letter from the CEO

Navigating Challenging Times

Photo of Mark A. Stutrud, President and CEO

Dear Friends,

From Chicago to Moline, Rockford to Marion, LSSI is present in the lives of nearly 100,000 Illinois residents, every day of the year. We provide our services in a state environment that is very exciting and challenging, amidst simultaneous opportunity and threat.

This is an unparalleled time for change within health and human services. Healthcare reform brings us Medicare coverage focused on health and home for seniors; people with disabilities are living longer and within a true community, not an institution, and more than 2 million uninsured Illinoisans now have health insurance. These reforms call us to service—it’s what LSSI does in response to the Gospel.

Our mission continues during an incomparable time of disruption in Illinois. The budget impasse—now entering its seventh month—may last into spring or even fall of 2016. We must navigate both the opportunity to pioneer reform while navigating the threats to services. We’ve become accustomed to this as our 148-year history shows. We must evaluate and make adjustments to ensure effective use of our resources to serve people in need.

This issue of Inspired highlights our Children’s Community Services in Marion. Our work with children impacts young lives—and outcomes for future adults. LSSI is working with the Department of Children and Family Services to create reforms aimed at fewer children entering foster care, less time spent in foster care, increased family reunification, and faster time to adoption.

Your partnership with LSSI provides us with many blessings as we usher in the New Year: helping others realize their hopes and dreams, to integrate with community, to maintain independence, and to have the opportunity to make personal contributions.

In Faith,

Signature of Mark A. Stutrud, President and CEO

Mark A. Stutrud
President and Chief Executive Officer

Giving—What Brings You Joy?

LSSI is grateful for the overwhelming support given to our programs each year, especially during Christmas. In addition to your annual support, we would like to encourage you to consider a planned gift—a simple deed which has a lasting impact on LSSI's future.

Do something special for the LSSI that you love. Making a planned gift with LSSI can be a simple process, and every gift, no matter the designation or size, makes a sustainable, lasting impact on our ministry. In strained financial times, we’ve become even more grateful for these gifts, which have helped uphold our organization and its mission for 148 years.

Join our Cornerstone Foundation members who have already remembered LSSI through a gift plan by visiting for more information or contact me at or 847.635.4671.

Peace and Prayers,

David Novak, J.D.
Vice President of Advancement
Executive Director of the Cornerstone Foundation

“We’d do it again in a minute. Being foster parents is the hardest job, but one of the most rewarding.”

-Jim and Tonya Hammer, foster parents who adopted a son and daughter through LSSI’s Foster Care program

A Special Thanks

Photo of Mark A. Stutrud, President and CEO

Thanks to all who attended our 34th Annual Amicus Certus Celebration on Nov. 21, 2015. It was an honor to recognize longtime donors and volunteers John and Mary Satter with the True Friend Award. More than $80,000 was raised for LSSI programs and services.