By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager of Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, which is supporting children and families in creative ways!
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) began serving Illinois in 1867 and touched nearly 50,000 lives across the state in 2019. LSSI’s mission is to bring healing, justice, and wholeness to people and communities, and provides foster care, mental health services, reintegration programs for the formerly incarcerated, as well as many other programs to holistically support the community.
LSSI holds an annual backpack drive to resource children in need before they go back to school, including children in foster care and served by other LSSI programs. This year, the pandemic created some challenges with the school supply drive, but local congregations came through. Several local churches donated hundreds of bags, school supplies, and funding to purchase supplies. Thank you to the Illinois congregations, and to LSSI for ensuring children are resourced as they return to school!
The Storybook Project is another way LSSI supports families, and this project helps children stay connected to their incarcerated parents. Parents select a donated book, and volunteers record them reading the book to their children. The recording ends with a message of love and support to the children, and the book and CD are sent to the children to read along. For many children, the CD is the only connection to their parents, so they treasure it.
Thank you to LSSI for your continued support of children and families through the challenges of the pandemic!