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LifeScape uses volunteer opportunities to give back

SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) – This week is “Direct Support Professionals” week. DSPs are those who work on the front lines of caring for children and adults who sometimes need extra supervision to get through life.

It can be challenging and at the same time really rewarding. It can also provide an opportunity to give back in ways you might not expect.

As we have shown you before, it takes a whole support staff to help all the children and adults who work with LifeScape improve their quality of life.

“Direct support professionals are truly the heart and soul of LifeScape.” Amy Hoekstra works at LifeScape and oversees some of the DSPs and the work they do…day in and day out. “They are the ones that keep the wheel of LifeScape turning.”

Direct support professionals are the glue of LifeScape. They fill so many different roles. Curtis Dunn is the Senior Support Professional at LifeScape. “We help people…take them on dates…their parents or guardians may be 200 miles away.”

They provide emotional support. They provide advice and encouragement. And here at LifeScape… Direct support professionals also have the opportunity to do something else: give back in ways you might not expect.

“We deliver meals on wheels to people who are unable to support themselves,” said Curtis Dunn.

It’s true. They volunteer; a way to support the organizations that supported them.

In this case, Meals on Wheels, the program that delivers meals to people who…for one reason or another…have difficulty getting meals on their own.

That day we caught up with Rheanon Larson and her LifeScape friend, Robbie.

“You help people have fulfilling days while still going about their daily chores: doctor’s appointments and other things, but you still have fun opportunities to get out and be active with them in the community,” Larson said.

Rheanon and Robbie, working as a team at LifeScape and beyond its walls in the community of Sioux Falls, learn firsthand that it is better to give than to receive.

“You also bond with your colleagues. you also get a good connection with the people you support and their families,” Larson said.

The day we were with this group, they made 14 stops in Sioux Falls…bringing meals to those who needed it.