the Spirit of LSI

Finding Calm

Nine-year-old JD lost track of how many days he was removed from school.

He would throw things in the classroom, or rip up his papers. Almost every day, he was separated from his classmates and taken to the “Intervention Room,” an empty classroom where children have the opportunity to calm down and refocus.

But nothing worked.

One day, JD became so angry that he accidentally broke a window in the Intervention Room.

That’s when JD’s dad, Jerry, turned to LSI.

With his team of LSI therapists and caseworkers, JD has found an interesting way to control his anger: his rock collection.

He’s always had a love of gathering “cool, unique-looking” rocks, and AriAnna, his LSI therapist, has incorporated that into their sessions together.

She asked JD to pick out his favorite rock. He quickly found one he said “represented his anger.” It was a small stone, covered with red lines. JD connected to the rock because the lines “looked like the anger pumping through his veins,” AriAnna says.

“Rocks can be used as great relaxation tools, and he spent a lot of time pouring over the rocks I had in my office,” AriAnna said.

AriAnna knew JD had found something special. She let him keep the rock, and JD regularly uses it to redirect his anger.

“I bring my rocks to school and show people, and when I hold them in my hand and breathe, it calms me down,” JD says.

Jerry says LSI’s help has been life-changing for JD. “He’s making better choices now. I’m really proud of him.” he says.

This year, JD has been removed from class only once, and for only 15 minutes.

“He has a different identity at school now,” AriAnna says. “He’s creative and insightful. Now, he knows what he sees in himself, and he wants to share that with others.”

Thanks to your generous support of LSI, JD was given the tools and resources he needed to cope with his anger and be a happy, healthy kid again. We are so grateful for you!

Merry Christmas from LSI

LSI is blessed to count you as a partner in changing lives. Thank you for making this a year filled with hope for the children, families, and individuals we serve.

Your support means LSI can:

■  Empower people with disabilities and build their independence

■  Welcome people of former refugee status to their new home

■  Wrap care around families by providing early childhood services

■  Offer 24-7 mental health services at our residential treatment centers

■  Provide safe homes for Iowa children, as a partner in Iowa KidsNet

■  Prevent child abuse

■  Keep families together Thank you for your dedication to our mission that is rooted in the love of Christ. Your time, talents and donations are truly a blessing to LSI. Merry Christmas to you and your family during this season of hope and love.

Christmas Our Mission: Lutheran Services in Iowa responds to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service. 

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” – Luke 1:30-31

Dear friends, In the warmth and light of this holy Christmas season, I give thanks for you. Because of your faithful support and giving heart, LSI impacted tens of thousands of Iowans this year: the youth struggling to cope with the type of trauma no child should have to face, the at-risk moms in need of support, the refugees seeking to create a better life, the adults with disabilities working toward greater independence, and so many more who are hurting. Thank you for walking alongside us in this movement toward hope and healing. Have a blessed Christmas! John Twardos, CEO – President, Lutheran Services in Iowa