May 2024 Uplifting Parents Newsletter

Empowering single parents to break the cycle of poverty by providing meaningful support, resources, and a community of encouragement while pursuing higher education.

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April 2024 Newsletter

Palm Sunday Brunch 2024 brings us together. In a stirring address, the veteran speaker offered heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to share his story, expressing appreciation to those who facilitated the event. With a military upbringing deeply ingrained in respect, responsibility, and discipline, his journey from Navy roots to Army service was punctuated by resilience and unwavering dedication...

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February 2024 E-Newsletter

In loving memory of Bishop Muhich, a beacon of faith, compassion, and unwavering dedication to the Church and its people. Throughout his esteemed tenure in the Diocese of Duluth, Bishop Muhich embraced a multitude of roles with grace and humility. As an associate pastor and pastor, he walked alongside parishioners, offering guidance, solace, and the sacraments. He exemplified a steadfast commitment to nurturing spiritual growth and community unity...

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Jim Kinyon to step down as Catholic Social Services Executive Director

After 31 years as the Executive Director of Catholic Social Services, Jim Kinyon has submitted his resignation.  “It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of Catholic Social Services for more than three decades. I would like to offer my gratitude for the support and dedication of so many people, and celebrate the numerous milestones that have been achieved,” Kinyon said.  “A few of the significant accomplishments that come to mind would include the acquisition of a new office, a significant expansion of our services, the growth in the professionalism of the team and a major increase in the numbers of people served throughout western South Dakota.

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January 2024 E-Newsletter

CSS invites you to our 2024 Palm Sunday Brunch. March 24, 2024 from 12:30pm-2:30pm at the Ramkota Hall. Author Colonel Gary Bridges will be sharing his message of service, faith, and his literary adventures...

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Annual Report 2022-2023

Through the support of many of you in 2023 we had a banner year at Catholic Social Services. You have supported and shared in our mission of offering hope, promoting individual human dignity, and strengthening families and communities to people of all faiths in western South Dakota...

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Catholic Social Services Rapid City Wins $633K Innovation Challenge

Catholic Social Services Rapid City (CSS) was announced as a winner of the Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) Social Innovation Challenge. CSS will receive a $633,333 grant to expand the successful Uplifting Parents program...

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October 2023 E-Newsletter

November is National Adoption Month. One family shares their story...

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August 2023 E-Newsletter

The Uplifting Parents program (UP) over the past 5 years, partnered with Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), has conducted a randomized control trial measuring the success of the program. Preliminary data shows that 76% of UP participants make it to graduation.

UP's success rate has led to an ongoing commitment from LEO to replicate the UP program across the nation...

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July 2023 E-Newsletter

CSS Community Outreach & Disaster Director Dominique hit the ground running when flooding hit Spearfish in June 2023. Tigert had been preparing for this type of situation where she could put her knowledge, preparational activities and “tackle what’s in front of you” attitude into action. “We project that we are going to be moving into a long-term recovery situation.” Tigert knows that it is going to take upwards of two months to have full closure of people getting back into their homes and lives. With the aim of getting people back into their homes and...

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Summer 2023 Newsletter

The Uplifting Parents program is proud to celebrate five participants whom have graduated spring 2023; and we look forward to cheering on two more for the summer semester! These new graduates are ready to blaze their trails in their new career fields including Engineering, Health Information Management, Medical Laboratory Technology, Criminal Justice, and Tourism and Hospitality Management. They earned their degrees from South Dakota...

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March 2023 Newsletter

Trinity Adoption, Uplifting Parents, and the Counseling Department at Catholic Social Services held an educational outreach session at the Newman Center in Spearfish. Presenters shared how CSS offers a continuum of care for parents from birth, to parenting, and beyond. CSS provided education of the services provided and how this relates to parents in the Spearfish community.

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January 2023 E-Newsletter

Join CSS for our 2023 Palm Sunday Brunch as Senator Mike Rounds reflects on Faith, Family and Leadership. “The teachings of the Catholic Faith have helped guide me throughout my life. My Faith has played a significant role in my decision-making process throughout my time in public service as I’ve worked to make South Dakota and our nation stronger for the next generation. Additionally, Faith gave my family hope during my wife Jean’s two-year battle with cancer. It continues to give us hope today as we adjust to life without her. I look forward to the opportunity to join Catholic Social Services to discuss my Faith and family.”

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November 2022 Newsletter (Annual Report)

Matt and Emily had two successful adoption experiences with Catholic Social Services, but it was their experience briefly fostering a third baby that proved to them the real benefit of working with a professional adoption agency. The couple finalized the adoption of their second child, a daughter named Annie, in January 2021...

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Celebrate Adoption Month With Adoption Story Time

Let’s kickoff National Adoption Month with a live reading of adoption and foster care themed stories for children at the Rapid City Public Library.
Watch Live on Facebook: 

Additionally, during the month of November, I would love to come to your program, classroom, or daycare and read stories about adoption and/or foster care to your kiddos. Adoption themed coloring sheets can also be made available. If you would like to schedule a time for adoption story time, please use this link

If you have more questions, I can be reached at

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August 2022 E-Newsletter

Last night as I held little Lucia, a three-month-old infant, in my arms I visited with her mother, who at 20, was welcomed back to the University of Mary in Bismarck. In support of the overturning of Roe V. Wade. U of Mary will provide free room, board and childcare for single moms who want to complete their higher education goals. It was made possible by 1 generous donor...

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July 2022 Newsletter

CSS held its Strategic Planning Retreat on Tuesday, June 7. In attendance were 15 CSS Board members and staff excited to chart the direction of CSS for the next five years. “We’ve had these types of retreats since our founding,” says CSS Executive Director Jim Kinyon. “They ensure that we have the input to remain on course of serving all peoples of faith."

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988 Lifeline to launch July 16 in South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 14, 2022

DSS MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Long, 605.773.3165,

HELPLINE CENTER MEDIA CONTACT: Wendy Dooley, 605.274.1417,


988 to launch July 16 in South Dakota

PIERRE – A new three-digit dialing code, 988, will launch on Saturday in South Dakota connecting those experiencing mental health distress to compassionate, accessible care and support...

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Uplifting Parents Segment

Uplifting Parents is a CSS program dedicated to single parents working to earn their college degree! 

Thank you to Anya Mueller and the Connect With US segment that recently aired, highlighting one of our amazing graduating participants. 

If you missed out, watch the segment above!  You can also see our Uplifting Parents page to learn more about the program or apply.

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Adoption Story Time

For our next Adoption Story Time, Kelli will be reading "Delly Duck" by Holly Markow and Suzy Garland.

Watch on Facebook

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Uplifting Parents Celebrates 15 Graduates

graduate with family

The Uplifting Parents Program celebrates the graduation of 15 participants from its program. Each individual has worked diligently to get to graduation. We congratulate each graduate for all your hard work! 

Read more to see the graduates!

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Tornadoes Make Destruction in Sioux Falls Area

May 12th, 2022 brought a destructive storm that did damage across eastern South Dakota. At least 28 counties have reported damage.

CSS is involved in Disaster Relief for western South Dakota and is a member of South Dakota VOAD (National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).
You can see our Disaster Relief services here.

Read more to see videos of the storm.

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15 Graduating from Uplifting Parents Program this Spring!

graduate with family

The Uplifting Parents program is excited to announce that it will graduate 15 participants from the program this spring. The participants will have obtained degrees from the following schools, including Bay Mills Community College, Black Hills State University, Oglala Lakota College, South Dakota State University, Western Dakota Tech, and University of South Dakota.

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May 2022 E-Newsletter

“Starting Palm Sunday, the church is telling us that these are the eight days that changed your life. Your life was redeemed by Jesus Christ and transformed,” said Dr. Tim Gray, guest speaker at the Palm Sunday Brunch sponsored by Catholic Social Services...

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March 2022 E-Newsletter

Keynote speaker Dr. Tim Gray, one time employee of the Diocese of Rapid City and now President of the Augustine Institute, is a well known Catholic speaker and author...

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January 2022 E-Newsletter

As we enter into the season of Lent, we are invited to fast, pray and give alms. Through these actions we set ourselves aside for the sake of God and others...

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Fall 2021 Newsletter (Annual Report)

Miss Clevia was having a very bad week. Her and her family of 4 were homeless. They secured a rental space that soon became uninhabitable due to an accident that left her with $10,000 in damages and holding an eviction notice...

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September 2021 E-Newsletter

With your assistance Margaretha received a car from CSS this summer and the impact is immeasurable...

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June 2021 E-Newsletter

Diana Redden is an Uplifting Parents participant who emigrated from Ghana 10 years ago. She hadn’t been back to Ghana since moving to America, but returned this summer to care for her ailing mother. Her family in Ghana will meet her 8-year-old son, Denzel, for the first time...

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UP graduate earns LPN degree

Empowering Single Parent Families. Applications open from January 2 through February 19. Click to learn more!

Congratulations to Kendallyn Wounded Face, an Uplifting Parent participant who earned her Licensed Practical Nursing degree from Western Dakota Tech in December 2020!

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Winter 2021 Newsletter

Whenever flannel goes on sale at a local fabric store, Catholic Social Services can expect more beautiful baby blankets to come in the door...

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CSS receives Sr. Marmion memorials

Sr. Marmion Howe

Memorial gifts for Sr. Marmion Howe, OSB, one of the first executive directors of Catholic Social Services who died Nov. 26, 2020 at the age of 100, will benefit Catholic Social Services.

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Fall 2020 Newsletter (Annual Report)

A $50,000 grant from the Medica Foundation will help CSS expand and improve telehealth counseling and behavioral health services across western South Dakota in 2021 and beyond...

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Area Family Celebrates 2 Generations of CSS Adoption

Matt and Carrie Bunkowske with child

Adoption is always a family affair, but for Matt and Carrie Bunkowske it has become a family tradition, too.

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Suicide Prevention (QPR) in a Covid World: What is a school to do?

child holding a help sign

Online Zoom Training: December 11, 2020 | 9:30am – 11:00am

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19 UP moms graduate from college

Tyresha Riquelmy-Yankton and family

When Tyresha Riquelmy-Yankton was first accepted into the Uplifting Parents Program (UP) in 2019, she was hesitant about the mentoring that she would be asked to do twice each month with an UP mentor.

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CSS gives help and hope during Covid closures

young girl wearing mask

People unable to pay their bills. Grandparents suddenly asked to provide childcare for grandchildren. Parents wondering how they would pay this month’s rent.  Families struggling to put food on the table.

They all found a little help and hope amid the Covid-19 pandemic at Catholic Social Services from the CSS Covid-19 Response Fund, which provides up to $250 per household for emergency needs.

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Prosperity Initiative Perseverance

Anna Castillo with degree

Per·se·ver·ance: noun Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Tenacity. Determination. Resolve. Resolution. Dedication. Endurance. Commitment.
You could add Anna Castillo’s name to that dictionary definition.

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UPLIFTING PARENTS helps single parents succeed

Kaitlyn with son

UPLIFTING PARENTS helps single parents succeed: Applications close March 14

Determination. Hard work. And the support of her Uplifting Parents mentor.

Kaitlyn, the single mother of a 3-year-old toddler, credits those three ingredients with helping her earn a  psychology degree from Black Hills State University in December 2019.

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Adoptive Families Needed

Jenny Spencer and family

I grew up in a big family with three siblings and over twenty cousins. I was very blessed to have two parents who loved each other and each of their children. They were positive role models that I wanted to be like for my own children one day.

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CSS Offers FASD Parenting 101 Classes

Monae Johnson teaching class

Monae Johnson has been parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder for the past 16 years, but the FASD Parenting 101 class at Catholic Social Services she attended recently was still a great reminder that there’s always something new to learn, or relearn, about FASD and its many challenges.

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You were made to do HARD things

Anna Haydock with child

Shortly before she graduated from college this spring, Anna Haydock got the chance to paint an inspirational sign as a gift for her 2-year-old daughter.

Its message reads: Beautiful Girl, You were made to do HARD things, so BELIEVE in yourself

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Uplifting Parents Program participants like to have some fun too!

Earning a college degree as a single parent is hard work, so the Uplifting Parents Program likes to add some fun to the process with fantastic family activities planned and led by the program’s Peer UP Advisory Council.

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Lakota Circles of Hope Partners with Rural American Initiatives

Ateyape Wicozani staff

Lakota Circles of Hope prevention curriculum is now being offered to students in Rapid City middle schools thanks to a partnership between Catholic Social Services (CSS) and Rural America Initiatives (RAI). Ateyape Wicozani, a RAI program, staff received training in December and have begun offering LCH to students in the Rapid City Middle Schools, grades 6-8 in their after school program.

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The Third Time’s a Charm for Uplifting Parent’s Participant Dani Hersrud’s College Success

Dani Hersrud

Dani will graduate with a surgical technology degree from Western Dakota Technology in May, about 20 years after she first enrolled as a college student. Her second college experience came in 2011, following a stint as a U.S. Army medic, when she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a degree that didn’t translate into a well-paying job with which to support her family.

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CSS Staff and Volunteers attend Catholic Charities USA Disaster Training Workshop in Colorado Springs in December


Staff and volunteers of CSS were able to attend a national disaster response conference due to a recent grant from Catholic Charities USA.  The Applied Institute for Disaster Excellence (AIDE) conference is a “by the network, for the network” training that strengthens local disaster response capacity. Attendees come away with best practices and new relationships that serve as a critical asset at a time of a disaster event.  In addition to the core training, peer-to-peer networking opportunities and daily liturgy, attendees had the opportunity to go the sites of previous disasters and witness the impact as well as recovery measures made post-disaster.

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CSS Staff and Volunteers helped with disaster relief in Oglala in November and December

volunteers smiling

The weather cooperated with sunshine and 60-degree temperatures on Nov. 20  and Dec. 11 as a teams of Catholic Social Services volunteers repaired Wilma Blacksmith’s mobile home and several others  that were  damaged  in a Pine Ridge Reservation hailstorm last summer.

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CSS Staff and Volunteers help with disaster relief in Oglala

volunteers working on trailer home

The weather cooperated with sunshine and 60-degree temperatures on Nov. 20 as a team of Catholic Social Services volunteers repaired Wilma Blacksmith’s mobile home and two others that were damaged in a Pine Ridge Reservation hailstorm last summer.

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November is National Adoption Month: Crosslands Grow Family Through International Adoption

the Crossland family

Chloe Crossland was born in China with a cleft palate birth defect. Abandoned at birth, she spent the first nine years of her life in orphanages.

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Founder’s Award honoree Mayor Barnett recalls Msgr. O’Connell’s wisdom

Don Barnett standing with award

In 1971 a 28-year old man became the youngest mayor of Rapid City. His two terms were pressure packed times of natural disaster and civil unrest. Catholic Social Services chose to award former Mayor Don Barnett with the Msgr. William O’Connell Founder’s Award for his work following the 1972 flood and the 1973 American Indian Movement demonstrations on Main St.

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