More Donations Mean More Programming
After a successful fundraising campaign, the United Way is able to partner with two new Aberdeen agencies.

More Donations Mean More Programming

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With a record-breaking fundraising campaign ($787,000 for 2022/23 Campaign), the United Way of Northeastern SD (UWNESD) was able to add two more agencies to its partnership roster, East River Legal Services and K.O. Lee Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.

Although the home office of East River Legal Services (ERLS) is in Sioux Falls, Aberdeen has received their services for several years. Recently, they have established an office in Aberdeen with two attorneys covering northeastern South Dakota.  ERLS offers free legal services and they believe everyone should have equal access to our courts and that justice is a universal right.

While they cover a wide range of civil cases, priority is placed on seniors, victims of domestic violence, protection orders, child custody, divorce, Section 8 housing, and eviction cases – particularly cases involving disabled individuals, children, and seniors. ERLS does not handle cases such as criminal, immigration, personal injury, workers’ compensation, malpractice, traffic violations, or probate.
Unlike criminal cases, civil cases do not give individuals a right to an attorney. By focusing their services on civil cases, ERLS helps ensure everyone has access to an attorney and legal services in cases that could greatly affect a person’s safety, self-reliance, and financial insecurity.

Lea Wrobleski, Executive Director at ERLS, states “ERLS has proudly serviced Northeastern South Dakota for over 50 years. ERLS appreciates the financial support of the United Way but particularly appreciates the partnership with other United Way agencies, which helps us connect to the needs of the community.”

For more information on what they provide, visit

If you have not visited the K.O. Lee Public Library in recent years, you are missing out. The environment is a vibrant place full of people of all ages and backgrounds; there on their own or taking part in one of the hundreds of programs and events held within its walls. One such program is their Summer Reading Program (SRP). SRP was established to develop the library’s base of children programs during the summer months. However, perhaps the biggest mission of SRP is to fight against “summer slide.” Summer slide is the tendency for students to lose some of the academic gains they made during the previous school year. Schools spend extra time helping students “catch back up” in the fall, a struggle for students, teachers, and parents. Through UWNESD funding, when students participate in SRP, the program engages them with fun incentives such as prizes for number of books read and other goals met. The purpose of the incentives is to encourage even the most reluctant readers to meet their reading goals. Summer slide tendencies hit these children the hardest, so the library staff and UWNESD partnered together to scale up ideas that encourage enjoyable reading, increased reading, comprehension skills, and develop lifelong readers.

Anna Moser, Library Director, is enthusiastic for the new partnership.

“The annual reading program has always played an important role in the lives of hundreds of local children and their families. Now, with help from the United Way, we’ve been able to make our program even bigger and better, attracting more families to our library and the free resources we provide every day.”

For more information on SRP and other programs at K.O. Lee Public Library, visit or visit their Facebook page. //