Sharing meals together brings happiness and better health to older adults

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When Dallas’ wife died of complications from severe dementia, he was devastated. For more than 50 years, they were a team, each other’s best friend and constant companion. It was the loneliest time of his life. Dallas’ days, once packed with responsibilities of farmer and husband, suddenly stretched long and were too quiet. He missed the sound of his wife’s infectious laughter and the comforting smells of her famous roast beef and potatoes.

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A Journey to Sibling Adoption

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High school sweethearts, Brooke and Brandon Krause from northwestern Minnesota, married and dreamed of having a big family. Heartbroken and disappointed after tireless unsuccessful years of fertility treatments, they decided to move forward with adoption. An acquaintance, aware of the challenges Brooke and Brandon were experiencing, knew of a sibling group of four young boys in need of a forever home.

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All it Takes is a Big Heart

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When Baby Mason was born, he was in urgent need of medical care for respiratory issues and was later diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. His stay in the neonatal intensive care unit was preceded by his placement in the state foster care system at birth. Ill and alone, the tiny baby needed someone to love and care for him. When Amy and Mark Syvertson learned of little Mason’s plight, they welcomed the chance to care for him as his foster parents. For the Syvertsons, fostering is a way of life.

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Shedding Stress by Shedding Student Loan Debt

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LSS Financial Counselor Katie Eastman, back, works with Julie Killian on student loan repayment.

Only months away from a wedding to her husband-to-be, Julie Killian should have been spending time talking to wedding planners and making sure every last detail of her special day was in order. Instead, she was spending time on the phone with debt collectors, trying to remedy a problem with her loan.

Ten years earlier, Julie was working her way through school. To relieve some financial pressure, she co-signed a loan with her then husband. Always diligent about making sure every duck was in a row, especially the kind with bills to be paid, she made good on each monthly installment — even after she and her husband got divorced and the loan stayed in his name.

Without a hitch, years of payments went by until Julie got a notice from her bank stating that the loan had been forgiven. The language in the notice led her to believe she could stop making payments. Julie assumed everything was fine until she got a phone call from her ex-husband saying that payments weren’t being made and his credit score was severely impacted. Continue reading

The Courage to be Different

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Every time a shooting star crossed the sky. Every time a four-leaf clover was picked from its stem. Every time a coin was tossed into a fountain. Every time birthday candles were blown out.

Every time, Ally Taubenheim made the same wish. To live a life without a rare autoimmune disease and skin disorder causing pigment to disappear, leaving white patches in its place. But most of all, she wished to look and feel normal.

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