LSS Cares: A Mother/Daughter Story

Jessica and her mother never had a permanent mailing address.  Jessica’s father abused her mom, whose lack of education made it impossible to find substantive employment. As a result, the two of them—mother and daughter—moved from one city to another, from one state to another, running away from abuse. On a hot summer day, they came into our local Lutheran Social Service Center to receive emergency assistance—just trying to make it through another miserable week. This was a common occurrence for them: getting out of their car that was barely running, walking into a room full of strangers, who appeared as stressed and poor as they were, and hoping there would be some food, clothes and personal hygiene items they could take as their own. If they were lucky, there might be a washer and dryer so they could clean their clothes, and if really fortunate, perhaps a shower, as well. 

The LSS volunteer made certain the mother received the items she requested, and while that was taking place, a social worker struck up a conversation with Jessica. They talked about how long the teenager and her mom had been driving around homeless, the situation that brought it about, and how the young woman was handling the terrifying situation. 

Jessica was not expecting anyone simply to engage her in such a caring and personal way. She was shocked by the next question: What are your plans for the future? There were no plans. Jessica had more fear of the present than she had dreams for the future.  

LSS Steps In

The social worker referred mother and daughter to a nearby women’s shelter where they could spend a few days. She also told Jessica about an agency that specializes in meeting the unique needs of homeless teenagers. We were not able to eliminate her entire struggle, but we did give what we could and guided her in a positive direction. 

LSS encounters broken family units every day; just like Jessica and her mother.  We EMBRACE them in their trauma and actively listen to their story. We EQUIP them with the items, services, resources and networking available to them, so they can take the next step of their journey toward something positive. and stable. But our ultimate goal is to assist them in creating the security, focus and confidence that is necessary so they can EMPOWER their own lives, and lean into God’s promise of peace, hope and love for each of them.

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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!