A Life Led by Service: LSSSC/San Fernando Valley Director Shares Her Story

Lutheran Social Services of Southern California is one of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank’s Agency Partners in a network of about 700 organizations. Area director for LSSSC/San Fernando Valley, Jan Maseda, opens up about her 20-year experience in a virtual interview with the Food Bank on Zoom.

Jan discusses the people she’s been able to help, including those experiencing homelessness locally, children of families enrolled in Early Start Programs, and more recently, those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and college students sleeping in their cars and going hungry.

In Helping Others, You Help Yourself

Jan, who officially retired in 2014 and a total of 3 times, stepped in as the Director as LSSSC needed one. It could be a myriad of reasons Jan finds herself back on the frontline: her guiding principles in how she approaches being of service to others include kindness, compassion, trying to walk in the shoes of others, empowering others, embracing people and trying to help.

LSS Director

“It is a very humbling experience to help people, and that’s been my life’s work: helping people. In different avenues, but this avenue seems like God put me here.”

The mission of LSSSC is to serve low income, no income and those experiencing homelessness in the North Hollywood and San Fernando Valley areas of LA County. She feels that LA Regional Food Bank and programs are all acts of service for God.

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Ambassadors are short-term volunteers who open doors for our organization in the community, introducing new people at our bi-monthly Fostering Community Care event. These are one hour awareness events only (no solicitations are made) to expose people to the great work of LSS Community Care. To become an Ambassador here are your responsibilities:
  1. 1 – Attend at least one Fostering Community Care event during the calendar year
  2. 2 – Host or invite and bring 10-15 guests to one Fostering Community Care event within 3 months of your attending one yourself.
  3. 3 – Inform your invited guests of what the Fostering Community Care meeting will be about, and let them know that they will receive a follow up call from the organization
  4. 4 – Ambassadors will complete their commitment after bringing 10-15 persons within the 3 month time period. An Ambassador has the option to complete after one term, continue for another 3 month term or move into another role on the team.
Become an Ally

Allies are community members who want to be in a supportive, intentional, befriending relationship with an individual or family working to get out of poverty.

Other ways to help the Southern California Family Support Initiative
  • Be an Ad-Hoc Ally – share your special skill or talent
  • Be a member of your local Community Leadership Team
  • Assist with weekly Child Care/Children’s Programs
  • Be a Community Spokesman – talk about the initiative and recruit others to join
  • Financially Sponsor a Family Leader
  • Facilitate/assist with Training Our Leaders and Allies
  • Behind-the-scenes work – internet research, graphic design, writing
We are actively seeking individuals and groups to be a part of our on-going mission to serve those in need. LSS administers over 50 specialized programs and services throughout the Southern California region. Contact your nearest LSS Center to hear about the local opportunities they have available.
Be a positive role model
Give back to others and help change lives
Transform communities
Spend your time doing something rewarding
Meet new people
Have fun
Learn new skills, share your talents, build your resume

The life you change most – may be your own!