Jeff Finds His Best Life

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Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is a leader in person-centered planning, helping people with disabilities gain clarity around what is possible for their futures. “This self-discovery process gives people control over things they desire and find satisfying,” said Betsy Gadbois, program director for LSS. “It’s important to listen because the people we support know best about what they want in their lives.”

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Volunteer honored for her commitment to children and families in Minneapolis

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Sandy Munson has been volunteering as an Ambassador for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS of MN) for six years, but her connection to the organization as a volunteer extends back to 1970. In her role as Ambassador, Sandy learned about organizational impact and found innovative ways to connect her congregation, Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, to LSS’ work in community.

Now, Sandy is the 2016 recipient of the Heritage Quilt Award. This award, a handmade quilt purchased by members of the  Executive Leadership team, recognizes the outstanding efforts of LSS of MN volunteers who share their time and unique talents to deepen mission impact and build stronger community.

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A Source of Encouragement and Hope

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Chanté Liddell is a polished Spoken Word artist and proud working mother at a nonprofit where she helps others find good-paying jobs to support their families.Having lived through housing instability as a child and lots of family heartache, she is a great source of encouragement and hope.

“People who have fallen on hard times really connect with me because I was there,” she said.

As a young child, Chanté remembers a happy family life that slowly started to unravel. “It was just a matter of time before my father drank himself to death,” Chanté shared.

In third grade, Chanté also had a secret she was too embarrassed to tell her friends: she was living in a shelter. “I didn’t want to be judged. I just wanted to be a kid living a normal life.”

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Community Champions a Safe Place for Youth

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A house fire and growing challenges with chemical dependency led to homelessness for Jennah. Out of options for stable housing for herself and her unborn child, Jennah found her way to Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota’s The Reach, a drop-in center in Mankato for youth experiencing homelessness and instability in their lives.

As soon as she walked through the doors, she says, she was met with overwhelming support from staff. “Those first hellos were all I needed to know I was in good hands,” she shared.

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