The numbers are impressive by themselves. In 2023, Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio impacted the lives of more than 30,000 individuals across the region with our various services.
While that number is huge, it can be hard to truly visualize what that impact means on a personal level.
Here are some success stories from clients.

The holidays are a stressful time for everyone. There’s plenty to do, whether buying and wrapping gifts or getting ready for big family gatherings.
But what if your stress is more basic? What if you don’t know how to put food on the table for a Thanksgiving meal?
That was the reality for the 870 people who visited our pantry in November 2023 ... an increase of 256 people over 2022.
One woman broke down in tears after receiving a full frozen chicken and all the trimmings she needed for a proper Thanksgiving dinner. She thanked our volunteers and Pantry Coordinator Debbie Lisk, admitting she had no idea how she would serve dinner to her family before visiting the LSS pantry.
“My son doesn’t like turkey, so this chicken is perfect,” she said.

After storms ripped through the Point Place area of Toledo in June 2023, residents were left with a mess. With red tape to work through and insurance deductibles to come up with, many residents were left without an end to their misery.
A collection of churches came together and approached LSS to form the Point Place Relief Fund, which would aid residents in paying for deductibles and costs associated with storm damage.
The LSS Financial Stability Program department handled the funds and evaluated the applications for the relief fund. In the end, more than $37,000 was raised to help 62 families.
A few weeks later, a Point Place resident named Pat sent a thank you card to LSS. The handwritten note inside read, “Thank you so much for the tornado relief. It helped more than you’ll ever know. It was an unexpected blessing.”

Our employees in the Financial Stability Program wear many hats. Not only did they handle the Point Place Relief Fund, but they’ve been at the center of the Emergency Rental Assistance funding over the last four years.
At the heart of their job, though, are the people who are ready to improve their financial lives and turn to us for help.
Hunter came to LSS in May 2023. She is an employee at the University of Toledo and is currently working towards her Master’s degree.
She first got a loan through her church to help her pay down debt, and she’s now working on paying off that loan to her church. With LSS Financial Counselor Katie R., Hunter has simplified her budget and worked on a plan of action.
In the 10 months since she came to LSS, Hunter has paid more than $6,000 in debt and raised her credit score by 129 points.
“Hunter was very much aware of her situation, but it’s overwhelming,” Katie R. said. “We give them options and they decide on what they want to do for themselves. They choose which route they want to take. It’s up to them to make the decision. I’m just here as a guide.”

A huge part of our caring for an entire individual is their mental well-being, whether it’s individual counseling sessions, Anger Management classes, or our Abusive Partner Intervention Program.
Last year, a 27-year-old woman, “Diane” came to our Fremont office after losing her boyfriend to a drug overdose. While grieving his loss, “Diane” found out she was pregnant. She already had one child from a past relationship who was also grieving his loss.
While working through her grief, “Diane” had to step away from work. She came to LSS for help to figure out how to deal with her grief, pregnancy and anxiety.
“Diane” participated in treatment two to four times per month. Now, she has steady employment and continues to care for her children, utilizing healthy choices and strategies. She has gone through various anniversaries with an appropriate attitude, and her children are thriving.
Another mental health client came to us seeking help working through emotions after her husband passed away at the end of 2021.
“Angie,” a 57-year-old woman, had fears of being alone while also being afraid to leave her house and go to work for more than 10 years.
At first, “Angie” couldn’t drive or go shopping by herself. She had trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep while also getting out of bed.
She attended at least two sessions of individual counseling with one of our therapists monthly for nine months. Now, “Angie” can drive herself to her sessions, pay her bills, and go shopping without assistance. Not only that but she’s gotten a job and an apartment.
“Angie” once again enjoys painting, drawing, and crafting while living a full life.

2023 By The Numbers Messenger v4