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Until December 31, all increased gifts will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $50,000 in matching funds. Please give generously in support of Iowa’s most vulnerable people during this season of gratitude and thanksgiving.
Dakota and Pastor Dennis

Dakota and Pastor Dennis Bauer in the Spiritual Life Center
at LSI’s Bremwood Residential Treatment Center

This Christmas will be one of the best yet for Dakota, thanks to you!

You have helped him find the hope and healing he needs to thrive. Now, he’s ready to make a positive change.

There’s no greater joy than when we see children like Dakota become the best they can be. But those changes wouldn’t be possible without you.

Will you make a year-end Christmas gift to transform another child’s life? When you take advantage of our $50,000 matching gift funds today, every dollar of your increased gift can be matched, dollar for dollar.

13-year-old Dakota’s childhood was filled with trauma and instability.

Dakota started acting out. He became verbally and physically aggressive, lashing out at close family members. For years after, Dakota struggled to find a way to calm his rage.

With your support of Lutheran Services in Iowa, Dakota has found his faith.

Dakota spent years away from his family, in and out of residential care across Iowa. He lost count of how many times he stepped through the doors of a treatment center.

When Dakota came to the Bremwood Residential Treatment Center in Waverly, his life finally started to change. He began to attend Spiritual Life, a program that introduces the children to Scripture, prayers, and Christian art.

For Dakota, Spiritual Life has been more than a time to practice his budding faith. It has given him a second chance at life.

With your help, LSI can create more second chances for children like Dakota this holiday season. We are so grateful for the generous support you have already given this year!

Music is a crucial part of the Spiritual Life program. Pastor Dennis Bauer, the program’s leader, says music is a way for the children to find their voice and take the first steps toward a better future.

Dakota had trouble expressing his emotions, and turned to music as a creative outlet. He remembers the moment his adoptive father introduced him to hip-hop, his favorite genre. But the lyrics filled with violence, aggression, and negativity fueled his anger.

Pastor Dennis introduced Dakota to new musicians, who performed the same styles Dakota loves, but with faith-based messages of positivity and acceptance.

“Music is a big thing we love to do in the chapel,” Dakota says. “To me, it’s like a home away from home. We can come and be ourselves. It brings people together instead of pushing people apart.”

Thanks to your support, Dakota is transforming his future. Because of you, he is ready to use his voice to guide more children toward a path of change.

What a beautiful gift you’ve given Dakota this Christmas – a future shining brightly with hope and joy.

“This music has been a way to bring God into the picture,” Dakota says. “Our chapel is a place where I can feel comfortable talking about my experiences. I feel more positive now and I know I can bring my troubles here. This is a place that won’t let me down.”

Will you continue to help more youth like Dakota find the same joy this Christmas season? Give today and increase your impact with our dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity!

Thank you for your faithful support. Dakota’s transformation wouldn’t be possible without you.

With gratitude,

John Twardos,
CEO – President, Lutheran Services in Iowa

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