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Support LSS

Empower students to succeed by donating school-supply-filled backpacks

God's work. Our hands. Volunteer opportunity

Youth 250x178

Be part of God’s work, partner with LSS, and serve your neighbor in the spirit of Christ’s love!

Lutheran Social Service (LSS) supports thousands of young people every year, providing them with the services and resources they need to launch into a productive, healthy and independent life.

Calling for a new approach to early prevention and intervention, LSS aims to provide the continuum of care needed in the community to provide services that will strengthen youth and families, focus on student achievement and promote community engagement to reduce the risk of youth homelessness.

What to do:

Step 1: Let us know you will participate >

Step 2: Use this packing list to assemble backpacks for children ages Pre-K to 12th

Step 3: Drop off your donations on Mondays from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis, found at 2400 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Please contact Nicole English, Empowering Students to Achieve Program Manager, at or 612-879-5308 beforehand, so Youth Services staff can greet you.

Project grants

To help support your group’s efforts, you may consider applying for a Thrivent Action Team grant. Recipients receive $250 to make their service project happen. Learn more >

Additional project resources

Bulletin Insert >

Worship Guide and Bible Study >


If you have any questions about the Youth Services project, contact Nicole English, Empowering Students to Achieve Program Manager, at

Services you are helping

Empowering Students to Achieve (ESA)

LSS of MN’s Empowering Students to Achieve program focuses on the preferences, goals, and needs of young people as they transition into adolescence and young adulthood. ESA utilizes a collaborative and individualized approach to planning and decision-making that includes the persons served and members of their family/support system.

Staff partner with youth to reduce individual, family, and environmental risk factors, increase resiliency skills, enhance protective factors, and achieve individual and comprehensive community wellness through a collaborative approach.

Be@School Empowerment Program (EP)

The Be@School Empowerment Program (EP) prevents and reduces youth, ages 13 -18, from re-entering the juvenile justice system as a result of mental health and/or co-occurring dependency disorders by identifying and removing barriers to disadvantaged students’ success, thus helping them succeed in school and life. This program assists youth involved through the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, who are chronically truant, and/or are showing signs, based on the assessments, of increased risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system. ESA provides goal-oriented and individualized support through assessment, planning, resources, advocacy, coordination, and monitoring activities. In addition to counseling and crisis intervention services as necessary, the program directly focuses on achieving the particular goals of each youth served.

Student Movement to Achieve in School and Home (SMASH)

This program is a high quality program offered to youth outside of school hours throughout the year. It promotes personal, social, and career support to support youth so they can live successfully in the community. It uses a culturally responsive and research-based curriculum that provides opportunities for youth to connect with others in their communities, increase positive decision-making, improve mental and behavioral health. It also serves to reduce truancy rates, improve academic success and foster parent engagement.

Learn more about LSS Youth Services >