News and Resources

8 Lakes Bike Ride Moves to June

Enough of the smoke already! Our 8 Lakes Leg Aches annual fundraising bicycle ride in Spokane will take place in June instead of August starting in 2019. Next year’s ride will be June 22, and will take place the Saturday after Father’s Day in upcoming years. “This is the third year in a row we’ve had the smoke issue,” said ride director Christie McKee. “It keeps getting worse each...

Coping with Panic Attacks

Right as the interview started in our Prineville office, Christopher Koontz made it clear he had a rough night. “I had a really bad panic attack last night,” he said. “It’s always tough for me to think clearly the next day.” But for the next hour, Koontz talked about the debilitating panic attacks that brought him to LCS Northwest and the progress he is making. His first panic attack hit when he...

Reform Ride for Refugees: The Backstory

In the summer of 2016, two friends who lived in Kitsap County (WA) were following the plight of Syrian refugees. They discussed how they could support their refugee neighbors. As triathletes who biked frequently and Lutherans who were aware that 2017 marked the anniversary of the Reformation, one friend mused: “What do you think about organizing a bike ride for the 500th anniversary of the...

Osbaldo Hernandez’s journey to citizenship

Hundreds of Spanish-speaking residents in Snohomish County pass through the doors of our Familias Unidas center in Everett each year. Some seek food, housing, health care and other basic needs. Others are looking for jobs, English language classes, citizenship classes or assistance with immigration documentation. Osbaldo Hernandez, program manager for LCS Northwest’s Familias Unidas, Everett and...

Providing Foster Care for Unaccompanied Children

We have been providing foster care for unaccompanied children and youth in need of safety and support here in the United States for more than 30 years. LCS Northwest has two programs that provide these services: Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) in Spokane and Refugees Northwest Foster Care in the Puget Sound area. All children referred to our care have either crossed into the U.S. alone or...

Holy Anger!

“no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark” - Warsan Shire There is a time for holy anger. That time is now. I am asking you to be angry with me, and I want you to turn your anger into action. Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted the Bible as justification to separate children from their parents at the U.S. southern border. The Trump administration just overturned asylum...

McGaughy Finishes Long Career of Kindness and Compassion

A long career of helping a whole lot of people recently came to a close for Denny McGaughy. On March 15, McGaughy retired after more than 27 years of leadership at LCS Northwest. Most of that time was spent heading up our Spokane efforts, and that job included stints of managing directors in the Tri-Cities, Central Oregon and Klamath Falls offices. “It was a rare day I didn’t look forward to...

Lori Titus earns Caregiver of the Year in Tacoma

Caregiving is in Lori Titus’ DNA. When Titus, a Tacoma resident, was in high school, her father, Robert Olsen, was a caregiver to her grandmother. Titus would help with her grandmother’s care by keeping her company while her dad ran errands, or she would sit with her grandmother as she slept. She enjoyed the experience. After graduating college, and with encouragement from her father, who was...

Port Angeles: What a difference a year makes

With 29 years of serving Olympic Peninsula communities, LCS Northwest was on the verge of shutting the doors to our Port Angeles office in autumn 2016. Thanks to an infusion of local support, the office has grown. “We asked local leaders what the impact would be if the agency closed its Port Angeles program. Would the community care?” Program Manager Lisa Lyon recalled. “The response was a...

Welcoming Their New Neighbors to Salem

Being neighborly took on a new meaning last year in Salem. People started welcoming refugees to Oregon’s capital city. Salem For Refugees, a volunteer organization launched in 2016, has become a key player in resettling refugees in the community. The group works with resettlement agencies Lutheran Community Services Northwest and Catholic Charities along with other organizations to welcome new...

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