Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is Human trafficking awareness month, shining light on an issue impacting some of the most vulnerable communities in our nation and state.  According to the Human trafficking Hotline, Florida ranks third in U.S. in human trafficking cases reported. LSF’s Trafficking Victim Assistance Program works with trafficking victims to help them rebuild their life and get a new start, like was the case for J.M. – a survivor of human trafficking here in Florida who we first met three years ago. (We are using the survivor’s initials to protect his anonymity.)

Every day J.M.’s heart ached with regret. He would have done anything to see his family again.

J.M. came to the United States in 2011 under a legal work visa, lured by morally bankrupt traffickers using the promise of higher wages and a better life for his family. He was told that he’d be able to send money home to them in Honduras, and that eventually they would be able to join him for a new, prosperous future in America.

The promise of prosperity given to J.M. turned out to be a living nightmare.

For five years, he was forced to work abusively long hours for meager wages while being restricted from communication with outsiders. He was housed in the unsanitary conditions of an overcrowded trailer with no AC or shower, sleeping on the floor without pillows and blankets. Any objections were met with threats to his family back home in Honduras. Every day J.M.’s heart ached with regret. He would have done anything to see his family again.

Miraculously, J.M. was able to escape after making sure that his family had moved to another area of Honduras, safe from the traffickers.

We are happy to share that J.M was reunited with his family and was able to celebrate the holiday season together for the first time in almost 10 years.


To report a trafficking tip, call the
National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888
a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

If you suspect someone is in immediate danger, please call 911.


Learn how to recognize potential human trafficking victims and how to report it.


Would you like to request an LSF representative to come speak on how to prevent human trafficking or provide on-site training?

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On this Parent’s Day

Parent’s Day is celebrated on the 4th Sunday of July. It’s a day that commemorates parenthood and appreciates all parents including mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers, stepmothers and stepfathers, adoptive parents and foster mothers and fathers, as well as their contribution to society.

On this special day, we want to celebrate those who chose to open their hearts to some of the most vulnerable children within our communities– foster parents.

Hattie Parsons, LSF Foster Parent.

“Parent’s Day as a foster parent to me means being an active mother in their lives.  I treat every child as my own,” said Hattie Parson, an LSF foster parent. “I work very well with birth parents, even taking them on vacation with me.  They know that I have an open-door policy. We all have a goal of reunification.”

Lutheran Services Florida served 4,600 children in foster care in 2018 and foster parents provided love, comfort, guidance and reassurance to foster children as they worked with the families to be reunited.

Dyecol and Taneasha Walker, LSF foster parents, shared a little more of their experience as foster parents.

What does Parent’s Day mean to you as a foster parent?

Parent’s Day is a special day on the calendar of foster parents because it is a grand occasion where parents are venerated and appreciated for their hard work, love and dedication that they have meted out to children that have come under their care.

How is it working with birth parents?

For the most part we have had a harmonious relationship with the biological parents. There is always an open line of communication to ensure that all the parties involved are able to maintain an optimal level of civility, thus reducing the shock on the child.

Dyecol and Taneasha Walker, LSF Foster Parents.

What would you say to encourage others to become foster parents?

Children are our future and sometimes dysfunctionalities threaten the potential spark that these children are capable of. Hence, every potential foster parent has a critical role in ensuring the best outcome of each child. It is gratifying knowing that for a period of time you are able to offer care and to positively impact the life of a child.

Becoming a foster parent


Fill out the information below and an LSF representative will be in touch with you with more information.

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Thank you, Head Start dads!

Father engagement is a vital and integrated aspect of parent, family, and community engagement work. LSF Head Start and Early Start staff engage fathers as advocates, lifelong educators, and first teachers of their children. Male family members and father figures serve key roles in the healthy development of their children and families and have much to add to their Head Start communities.

This Father’s Day we celebrate our Rock Star fathers throughout our LSF Head Start and Early Head Start programs!

Mr. nicolas

LSF PEPPI Head Start

Mr. Billy

A New Beginning Child Care 2 LCC

Duval Early Head Start Childcare Partnership:  A New Beginning Child Care 2 LLC spotlights “Mr. Billy Little”

“Mr. Billy” is a dedicated father who shows a high level of concern regarding his child’s education. We love having his son at A New Beginning Child Care 2 LCC! Mr. Billy looks for activities to assist his son with learning at home and does not depend solely on the teachers for his child’s education. Initially apprehensive, Mr. Billy made a 360 degree turn around with the Director of the Child Care Center as he came to trust that his child was in a safe place that offers the kind of quality care that every parent should expect.  Mr. Billy can be spotted participating at the parent meetings and helping out around the center.

Mr. Billy volunteers and gets into the trenches to help keep the center clean.  Mr. Billy is an inspiration to the child care team and a dependable father.  He is a shining example for the other fathers.

Happy Father’s Day Mr. Billy! We appreciate you.

-Submitted by Bridgette Carter, Owner/Director for A New Beginning Child Care 2 LCC

Mr. Gregory

Superior Christian Academy


Mr. Gregory is a phenomenal dad and I want to recognize him on Father’s Day!  He supports his daughter’s early learning experience at 100 percent.  He loves to stick around in the classroom to see the teacher’s interactions with his daughter and the children.

On his off day, he will pick his daughter up early to spend extra quality time with her. He is always asking her about the day and if there is anything she needs. He also offers help for other children who may not be able to afford at home supplies to enrich at home learning.

This dad wants to be informed on different strategies and ways to help him work with his daughter at home. We appreciate Mr. Gregory’s honesty and his hard work to provide a safe and caring place for his daughter.

He is LSF Duval Early Head Start’s champion dad!

-Submitted by Linda Reid, Owner/Director for Superior Christian Academy

Anel Nicolas is a father of two young children and recently took on the responsibility of adopting his wife’s niece. Anel is a hard-working father who generously helps others. Anel has been involved with our Head Start program for two years. Anel started out by attending every training/parent meeting that was offered to parents. Each time we had a parent meeting he would translate to the Creole parents and made sure they had a ride to the meetings.

Anel not only help the parents at PEPPI but throughout the Glades community. He was a part of our “Bikes Give-away” and he also passes out food to homeless in the community. He stated that his goal is for everyone in PEPPI and the Glades Community to come together and make a better future for our kids.

Mr. Nicolas is one the most dependable parents we have in our program. What more can I say about Anel Nicolas besides Happy Father’s Day and we are happy to have him as part of our program!

-Submitted by Shirley Coney, Director of LSF PEPPI Head Start


is a fatherhood involvement initiative program for the male staff, fathers or male figure that have a positive impact within our Head Start families.

The purpose of this initiative is to increase parent/guardian involvement in the Head Start program through center and local program activities that encourages positive child development. This initiative will also help the families by providing resources to participants and their families while helping them understand the importance of father involvement in a child’s life especially in the early development stages.

If you desire to join one of our parent engagement programs, please contact the main LSF Head Start office in your county or contact your Family and Community Engagement Specialists.

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21st annual Good Samaritan Awards

On June 2nd, around 200 people gathered in Miami, FL to honor good Samaritans who are making a positive impact in their communities. The event was hosted by the Christ the King Lutheran and was the 21st annual Good Samaritan event put together by Lutheran Services Florida.


Bay Shore Lutheran

These two Christian young men glorify God with their life and their service.

They currently serve at Bay Shore as acolytes, cross bearers, and lecterns. They have sung in the Sunday School choir, performed in the Christmas program, and they continue to participate in all youth related activities.

They help their father, Gabriel, with a community basketball camp.  This basketball camp has even gotten visits by Miami Heat players!

Both Daniel and Javier maintain a GPA even higher than a 4.0!  Chess anyone?  They are also chess champions.  They continue to enjoy and participate in High School sports at Columbus High School.

There’s no doubt about it, “the Twins” are fine examples.  They are visible signs of the Holy Spirit working in our youth of today for the future of the Church.

Kim Derr and Dennis Derr

Christ The King Lutheran

Kim and Dennis have something in common. They do not like to boast!  The Serving Commission at Christ The King has decided to do it for them!

  • Dennis was a steady hand on the recent Call Committee for a new Pastor
  • Dennis and Kim bake cookies for the Homeless facility Chapman Partnership
  • As a member of the ELCA, they faithfully participate in the “Gods’ Work. Our Hands” weekend of service. They work on the Habitat for Humanity Faith House one day and come back the next day to play bingo with the Vets at St. Michaels….. all while making homemade brownies and collecting and sharing clothes for the Vets!
  • Both Kim and Dennis serve on the Altar Guild
  • The participate in all the CTK Players plays and skits
  • Kim is Treasurer for the Miami Dade Monroe Conference and Dennis is the past chair.
  • They are a couple that you can count on whenever the need for a volunteer or support is presented!


Concordia Lutheran

Christopher Schur may only be 22 years old, but he has been one of the most active members at Concordia Lutheran Church for many, many years. He has helped with so many projects and activities at our congregation, it’s almost impossible to count.

He has led technology classes (some call him “Techie”), headed Vacation Bible School games and activities, and operated our sound system and laptop for worship services on Sundays and during the week. He has taught Sunday School, led “Trivia Night” activities, and has set up and taken down more tables and chairs than maybe anyone else in town!  Sometimes he does this as early as 4:00 in the morning!

He is always present at work parties doing yard work, power washing, and other tasks. He organized our shed and built shelves for it. He has visited people’s homes where help was needed with a variety of things such as cleaning and computer technology help.

He has participated in and assisted with several National Youth Gatherings. He helps regularly at our school. So many other things not listed here—and he does them all faithfully and never complains. His mother and father have also been Good Samaritan winners and he certainly follows in their tradition of service!  He is such a blessing to our Concordia family. We love you Christopher!


Grace Lutheran

Which hat does Susan have on now?

Susan has served as our Music and Worship Coordinator for over 8 years and Grace keeps begging her to stay on in this important position.  She has trained acolytes, given children’s sermons, provided altar guild services, ordered and delivered Christmas Poinsettias and Easter Lilies and she has even led the liturgical portion of our service when no pulpit supply was available.

Susan is always ready for more.  This year she became the Coordinator of the Diakonia Program.  This program is two years in length and provides training for Lay members in service ministries of the church.

She is also quick to join the fun of the numerous social events held at Grace.  Whether is it a musical needing a soloist, a banquet needing a cook or server, or a Bingo night needing a caller, she is an enthusiastic member of the team!

Did we mention her “real job”?  She is a Senior Training & Development Officer in Banking.  They are lucky to have such a knowledgeable, trustworthy professional!  So is Grace Lutheran.

Michael  Soltis

Lord of Life

We are honored to have Michael Soltis receive the Good Samaritan Award for Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Michael volunteer as a Liturgical Assistant, an Usher and he serves on the Church Council.  Michael completed the 2 year Diakonia program and graduated on May 19, 2019.  We know he will use what he has learned in this program to minister to those in need.

While his service to Lord of Life is a relatively new direction in his path, his path has always been one of service.  As the oldest sibling in a row house in a coal mining town, Michael has always had a hand in leading and counseling others.  That characteristic intrinsic personality also guided him in his decision to serve his country in the United States Army.  He did so, honorably, for many years.

His compassion and leadership forged his way in life towards becoming a good father.  This family path that was undertaken by he and his wife, Margaret, allowed him to once again serve others through his children.  He spent many hours as a youth sports coach and he ascended to become the President of a local Optimist Club chapter for many years.  This chapter serves many kids and their families in many positive ways.  His selflessness was further demonstrated day in and day out as he cared for his ailing wife, seeing to her every need.  His priority at this time was someone other than himself.  As is customary for him, he would have it no other way.

These are just a few of the many examples of Michael’s character and can only help to show what type of person he is and how his ascension into religion and the Lutheran Church came so easily.  Difficult in study but easy in the character needed to accomplish.  So many types of service over so many years has led him to this well-deserved award.


Lord of Life Latino Mission

We proudly select Myrna for the first Lord of Life Latino Mission Good Samaritan Award.

Myrna has been a member of Lord of Life Church for over 15 years, and part of the Latino Mission since 2017. Her educational background is in Clinical Nutrition and Food Safety, which she uses to help people in need of the basic knowledge on the topics, for their own wellbeing.

She dedicated 41 years to working in hospital settings in the active and tender care of patients. Her immediate plans include becoming a volunteer at West Kendall Baptist Hospital and to support the Lord of Life Community Group Assistance Program.

Since Myrna joined the Lord of Life Latino Mission, she has demonstrated strong faith.  She continuously responds generously to the needs of others.  By using her bilingual skills, she has become a leader in assisting with the Mission Development goals.  She assists the Program Director, Vicar Ignacio Estrada, in all activities as needed. She also represents the Latino Mission in the Lord of Life Church Council.

In the spirit of love, Myrna offers her daily service.  She is generous to all with whom she comes in contact. She strives to be kind and she is quick to help fellow members. She lives life to the fullest every day through her positive ways and in her thoughtful deeds.



Mision Luterana Sagrado Corazon

Mayra Aguilar is the first Good Samaritan winner from Mision Luterana Sagrado Corazon! Mayra stays very busy assisting their new pastor, Rev. Moises Carrasquillo, with all the needs of a new mission.

Mayra Aguilar is originally from Cuba. She came to the US at the age of 6 and Miami has always been her home. Mayra has been married to Carlos Aguilar for 17 years and they enjoy traveling to the Keys and the West Coast of Florida. They also like spending time with family and close friends.

Mayra keeps the Mission office running smoothly—she’s the person behind the friendly voice that greets you when you call. She has been with Mision Luterana Sagrado Corazon (Sacred Heart Lutheran Mission) since it began in August of 2018 and has been an integral part of its administration.

She’s not only the Secretary/Bookkeeper at the Mission, but she also makes sure that everything is ready for Sunday morning service.

She has been an integral part of getting the Good Samaritan Banquet ready this year and for many years. Getting our banquet hall set up, or our name tags ready, or our table assignments made or our themed table markers made, she does it all with a smile. That is just Mayra!

Ana Maria Alfonzo

San Pablo Apostol

Ana is a good Samaritan in and outside the church.

In the church she uses her musical ability to glorify God by playing the piano for our services. She is a warm and friendly member.

Outside the church she sends packages to the underprivileged in Cuba and in Peru. She aided in building a house for a needy family in Peru.  It was so appreciated by that family that the owner calls her “daughter” and she calls him “Papa Jose”. She also paid for his grandchildren’s studies.

She provides transportation to a group of ladies for their medical appointments. She took one lady to her dialysis for some time. Upon the death of this lady, her family donated the lady’s car to Ana.  She has provided such needed service to so many.

Eventually Ana donated this gently used car to a niece recently arriving from Cuba with no transportation options.  She gives, she receives, and she gives again.

For the gifts that God has given Ana, for her graciousness in sharing those gifts and for her love for those around, her we proudly nominate Ana as our 2019 San Pablo Good Samaritan.


South Miami Lutheran

In just two years of involvement, Katie Snyder has become a leader and integral member of South Miami Lutheran Church.  Katie is a lifelong Lutheran from Portland, Oregon and has been engaged in servant ministries in Central and South America since high school.

She did undergraduate and graduate studies in the engineering field before serving in the Peace Corps in Panama for three years. While serving there, she worked on water distribution, sanitation and hygiene, and AIDS awareness.

Katie became active at South Miami Lutheran after relocating to Miami in 2017 to work for an engineering firm involved in wastewater projects in Florida and Latin America.

She sits on the church council, serves as an assisting minister, and oversees many of the outreach projects of the congregation.  Her work has ranged from sandwich making, to hygiene kit assembly, to the crocheting of cancer caps.

She is a Good Samaritan in the community as well through her membership in Engineers without Borders and her mentorship of University of Miami student teams.

Whether working alongside people in need, organizing compassion ministries, serving at church, or offering her engineering expertise to bring hope and new life to others, Katie is a true gift from God to the community.

South Miami Lutheran Church is thrilled to have such a worthy recipient of the Good Samaritan Award.


St. John Lutheran

Nikye Joseph has long been a powerhouse among the congregation of St. John Lutheran Church of Miami Shores. However, she has now also become the powerhouse of the Miami-Dade/Monroe ELCA Conference as its Chairperson. It is for her extraordinary work with the Conference that we nominate her.

She has tirelessly made sure that all the ELCA churches in the Conference have the most up-to-date information on upcoming events by her use of email blasts, bulletin inserts and personal visits.

She shares her Sundays by traveling to the various Conference Churches and she listens to their needs.

She has launched numerous new events throughout the year and seems to never run dry of ideas to bring the churches together.

She has been a significant help to Pastor Marc-Charles at St. John, who serves as the Dean of the Conference.

Nikye is a gem which the St. John Congregation is happy to be able to share with the whole Conference, the community and with you tonight!


St. Paul Lutheran

Angelica Agosto, known as Angie, started attending St Paul Lutheran School when she was in the fourth grade.  Angie has since been a faithful, young servant of the Lord in our church and is always willing to be the acolyte for the day.

While attending college, Angie worked part-time at St Paul’s in the Before and After School Care Program.

She willing shares her many talents of crafting, baking and cooking with all her friends and with the children.

A few weeks ago, Angie graduated from FIU with her Bachelor of Science in Education and looks forward to serving children as a good Christian example and as a special teacher.  Angie always sets a great example for our young adults.

She has a loving smile and her laugh is infectious. It is with love that St. Paul Lutheran nominates Angie as our 2019 Good Samaritan award winner.

God Bless you always Angie!

Beverly Roy

St. Thomas Lutheran Church

Beverly Roy has been a member of St. Thomas Lutheran Church since 2003. Currently she is an usher, lay reader, and she serves on the Altar Guild.   She recently served as the Call Committee secretary and is a member of the Outreach Committee. Prior to joining St. Thomas, Beverly was a VBS teacher for 10 years and assisted with the children’s handbell choir at Cutler Ridge Lutheran Church.

Beverly has participated in many outreach programs and has dedicated her time, talents and treasures to the following: Habitat for Humanity, Lutheran World Relief and the Homeless Assistance Center in Homestead. As the Outreach Committee liaison for the Miami Southridge Senior High, she incorporated a food and toiletry pantry for the homeless students as well as a card ministry.

As the liaison for the Outreach Committee at St. Thomas, she has helped over 250 homeless teens at Miami Southridge Senior High which includes buying gift cards for hot meals, donating non-perishable items and providing especially needed personal toiletry items during the summer months. Recently she directed generous gifts given in her son’s memory to assure that homeless students had tickets to their prom.

Beverly is a 5th grade special needs teacher at Gulfstream Elementary School and is very dedicated to going above and beyond for the sake of the children. Some of her class projects include:

  • Christmas Cards and care packages to troops deployed and to wounded soldiers.
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation Adoption Project.
  • Food, school supplies, clothing, and senior breakfast sponsorship money for the homeless students at Miami Southridge Senior High.

Beverly’s fingerprints are on all sorts of programs that live out Jesus words “Let the children come to me…”  Here are some:  2015 Alpha Delta Kappa Florida Lambda delegate at the International Convention in Salt Lake City,  Alpha Delta Kappa Altruistic Projects participant, Toys for Tots, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital,  Alzheimer’s Association, Branches, Samaritan’s Purse– Operation Christmas Child, Fundraising for scholarships for women pursuing a degree in education, providing Christmas stockings for homeless students at local schools and for children undergoing chemotherapy at Baptist Hospital, Autism Speaks Walk Volunteer, and  Past PTA board member.  Wow!

LSF Advisory Board:

Mayra Aguilar, Melissa Albury-Fernandez, Keith Berman, Olga Bostick, Emily Gomez, Donna Hennessy, Laurel Marc-Charles, Meredith Mills, Rev. Kit Robison, Rev. Alan Sielk & Tamara Thomas


Rev. Jean-Pierre & Laurel Marc-Charles

St. Paul Lutheran Church

Thrivent Financial, Keith Berman
Financial Sponsorship

Emily Gomez
Good Samaritan Flowers

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17 Family-Friendly Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

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LSF Sarasota Guardianship Staff Member Wins Shining Star Award from Florida State Agency

Sarasota, Fla. – 7/27/18 –Local Guardian and staff member of Lutheran Services Florida Sarasota
Guardianship Program, Taquisha Joyner-Stokes was recently named a “Shining Star” at the Public
Guardianship Awards Reception held at the Florida State Guardianship Conference in Orlando.

The reception was hosted by the Office of Public & Professional Guardians and the Foundation for Indigent
Guardianship and recognizes guardians who exhibit exceptional leadership & knowledge in the field of
guardianship and social services, and a willingness to go above and beyond to provide for the care of their

Colleagues nominated Taquisha because “she is an ongoing inspiration and mentor to those she works with
and is an asset to the LSF Guardianship Program and to the community.” Taquisha has been with Lutheran
Services since 2015 and is a certified as a Professional Guardian by the State of Florida.

“Taquisha deserves this recognition and so much more for her dedication to the disabled population in our
area,” Kathleen Houseweart, Executive Director of Sarasota Guardianship Program said. “This award is a
testament to her skill, character and passion.”

Media Contact:
Terri Durdaller, Associate VP of Communications
(813) 676-9465

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Lutheran Services Florida collects 1,250 pairs of shoes with the help of 25 community partners to benefit foster children

LSF collects enough shoes for foster children for the next 15 months

Largo, FL, June 6, 2018 – During the month of May Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) partnered with 25 community organizations to host a shoe drive, Step for Success. Every pair of shoes were donated to Eckerd Connects Raising Hope, a store-front like room filled with necessitates for foster kids.

The goal was to collect 1,000 new pairs of shoes to represent the number of kids LSF serves through this program. With the help of the community, LSF surpassed that goal and collected 1,250 pairs of shoes, which will help outfit kids in care for the next 15 months.

“Kids in care who have lived through some of the most traumatic situations deserve this level of community support and engagement,” Heather King, Executive Program Director for LSF said. “Every day many of these organizations that participated work together to provide stability and care for foster kids, but this campaign has brought us together in new and exciting ways. I promise to continue championing drives that bring out Tampa Bay’s most compassionate people to help deliver daily life essentials to our foster kids.”

Trevon spoke out about the love and support he felt after receiving a brand-new pair of Nike’s Air Jordan from the shoe drive.

“The outpour of community support for this shoe drive shows Tampa Bay people care about kids like me in foster care,” Trevon, a 13-year old foster youth from Pinellas County said.

The generosity from Tampa Bay was overwhelming as local businesses like Kookie Krumbs in Dunedin were trading cookies for shoes! Anyone who brought in a pair of shoes received a half dozen cookies. The Tampa law firm of Frank Charles Miranda Trial Attorneys gave a $500 donation, which bought 25 name brand sneakers for teenage boys from the local Nike outlet!

Local churches also joined the cause. Heritage United Methodist Church hosted a barefoot Sunday service where parishioners attended church that day with a new pair of shoes for the drive. Others directly involved in the system like the Florida Department of Children and Families in Pinellas/Pasco collected an unbelievable 132 pairs of shoes.

During a celebration party today, all the shoes collected were carried by community partners to Eckerd’s Rooms of Hope which are set up like small stores and are filled with fresh clothing, pajamas, shoes, hygiene items, diapers, school supplies and other necessities. The kids come in and are able to “no-cost shop” for the items they not only need, but deserve.


Media Contact:

Terri Durdaller, LSF Associate VP of Communications


About Lutheran Services Florida: (LSF) is a non-profit organization transforming lives by ensuring safe children, strong families and vibrant communities. Founded in 1982, LSF currently touches the lives of 1 in 50 Floridians every year through various programs, including early education, youth shelters, foster care, refugee and resettlement services, substance abuse mental health services, and adult guardianship. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, LSF has more than 60 programs throughout Florida and approximately 1,200 dedicated employees.



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LSF’s Step for Success Shoe Drive has collected 457 Pairs of Shoes for Foster Kids, Still Looking to Reach 1,000 Goal by June 1st

UPDATE: LSF’s Step for Success Shoe Drive has collected 457 Pairs of Shoes for Foster Kids, Still Looking to Reach 1,000 Goal by June 1st


Largo, FL – May is Foster Care Awareness Month and Lutheran Services Florida has been working to raise awareness about kids in foster care with a shoe drive, Step For Success. As of today, with the help of the community, we have collected 457 pairs of shoes!  Our goal is to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes to represent the number of kids LSF serves through this program.

There are several drop off locations including:


LSF Central Services
3627 W Waters Ave,
Tampa, FL 33614

Eckerd Connects
8550 Ulmerton Road #130
Largo, FL 33771

Kookie Krums
513 Main Street
Dunedin, FL 34698

Congregation B’nai Israel
300 58th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33714

Heritage UMC
2680 Landmark Drive
Clearwater, FL 33761

Thank you to our community partners who have embraced our shoe drive!

“Children entering Florida’s foster care system often come with only the clothes on their backs and sometimes have no shoes on their feet,” Heather King, Executive Program Director for LSF said. “As one of the case management organizations in Tampa Bay, we want to do our part to ensure Eckerd’s Rooms of Hope are stocked with brand new shoes for children. That’s why we’re asking our family, friends, and people in the community to purchase a new pair of shoes for a child from birth to 18.”

All the shoes collected will go to Eckerd’s Rooms of Hope which are set up like small stores and are filled with fresh clothing, pajamas, shoes, hygiene items, diapers, school supplies and other necessities. The kids come in and are able to “no-cost shop” for the items they not only need, but deserve.

Purchase a NEW pair of shoes.  All sizes and types are needed for children from birth to 18…so as you can imagine, any and all types, sizes, boys, girls, women and men’s shoes are all needed.

Not in town but want to help?

You can now send us a pair of new shoes on Amazon!

Visit to learn more.


Media Contact:

Terri Durdaller, LSF Associate VP of Communications


About Lutheran Services Florida: (LSF) is a non-profit organization transforming lives by ensuring safe children, strong families and vibrant communities. Founded in 1982, LSF currently touches the lives of 1 in 50 Floridians every year through various programs, including early education, youth shelters, foster care, refugee and resettlement services, substance abuse mental health services, and adult guardianship. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, LSF has more than 60 programs throughout Florida and approximately 1,200 dedicated employees.

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Spring Cleaning Tips (For Seniors)

Kathleen Houseweart, MBA
Director, Lutheran Services Florida Sarasota Guardianship Program

Spring is the traditional time for cleaning. Many of us take time to clean out closets, clean up the
yard, and deep clean our homes, all in preparation for spring. For older adults, downsizing our
living space and reducing the number of possessions can be an inevitable part of aging. Yet
studies suggest that while most seniors agree that they have too much stuff, most have made little
effort to give away possessions within the last 12 months.

Downsizing can be particularly difficult, especially if we have held on to things in hopes of
leaving them to children or grandchildren. Most senior move specialists advise that in many
cases, children and grandchildren are not interested in keeping most of the keepsakes that mean
so much to many of us. For many of them, they just don’t have the room, for others, they do not
have a permanent place to store them. In short, when you are gone, those items that you have
held on to for so long will be sold or donated to a local charity. A better option might be to plan
ahead. Here are some easy steps

  • Ask your children and grandchildren what keepsakes they might want. Keep those items
    for them, or better yet, give them to your family now to enjoy.
  • Look around and see what is “in the way” and make arrangements to sell or donate or gift
    to someone who can use it.
  • Honestly ask yourself what you no longer need, or have not used on over a year and let it

Cleaning out can make your life and your home less cluttered now, and in the long run, is a gift
to your loved ones.


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