10 Years of Lost&found

Building Resilience: Then&Now

Lost&Found’s 10th Anniversary • September 3, 2020

Lost&Found began in 2010 with the work of soon-to-be college students who wanted to take an active role in ending suicide among young adults.

Just like those young founders, the organization has grown and matured in the 10 years since, providing communities of support and tools for resilience for hundreds of students across South Dakota. The “Building Resilience: Then&Now” celebration honors the accomplishments of those 10 years and renews Lost&Found’s commitment to its vision of ending suicide.


10 L&F FACTS for 10 Years

1) Lost&Found started as a group of college students helping college students. In 2010, a group of five audacious young adults decided they needed to “do more” to put an end to suicide in South Dakota and the United States. Ten years later, that remains the driving force of our work.


2) After 10 years, Lost&Found is still focused on college campuses. Starting at the University of South Dakota, Lost&Found became a campus movement focused on raising awareness of suicide’s impact in our communities and the resources available to stop it. Today, Lost&Found serves five campuses in eastern South Dakota and is preparing to expand in every direction.


3) More than 450 student leaders have served in Lost&Found chapters over the past 10 years. It is no small feat to be involved in a student organization in college, let alone one trying to change the way we approach mental health. Lost&Found is proud of its 450 alumni and the wide-reaching impact they have on their communities today.


4) Lost&Found’s programming is focused on resilience. Lost&Found believes that resilience is not innate but based on skills that can be learned. We can all work to improve our resilience, no matter how strong or weak we are feeling right now. This focus on resilience is built on reducing suicide risk long before it can proceed to tragedy.


5) Our organization is led by one of our original founders. Erik Muckey, Lost&Found’s CEO and Executive Director, was one of the five incoming college students who founded the organization. He has led at nearly every level of the organization, through his college years at the University of South Dakota, several full-time jobs, and a pair of graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota.


6) Lost&Found’s best quality is its ability to integrate fragmented systems. One of Lost&Found’s key roles is as a connector. We are highly capable of knowing what mental health resources exist in a community, and then helping young people use them as needed. You might say it’s our superpower.


7) Lost&Found is the only student-centered mental health organization in the country that also provides research and evaluation services. Lost&Found is collaborating with its five university partners to develop a research-based Community Mental Health Score, helping students and administrators understand the mental health infrastructure of their community, identify gaps, and prioritize investment. That might seem like an obvious need, but today, Lost&Found is the only organization nationwide doing this under one roof.


8) Lost&Found was 100% volunteer-run for over 8 years! Now, because of a significant increase in donor support, Lost&Found has a staff of six, giving the organization the resources to grow significantly in coming years. This might help us better explain the meaning of “PAWS” (Pet Away Worry & Stress) and 100+ white flags on a campus lawn (# of college students who die annually by suicide) in the future. Needless to say: we’re excited about the future!

9) Lost&Found will meet you wherever you are on the spectrum from “lost” to “found,” hence the name! Our founders prided themselves on creating spaces where no judgment would ever be shared on your current state of mental health, and that remains the case. Whether you want to simply listen or want to contribute in creative ways, Lost&Found is for anyone and everyone on their mental health journey.

10) At its core, Lost&Found is an organization focused on addressing suicide risk—with a goal of ending suicide, forever. Our focus on resilience is a focus on reducing risk for suicide. When lives depend on this work, it becomes real, valuable, and a way to make our community better. Let’s do more to make our community healthy and happy.

Anniversary Event Schedule

All times in CDT


7:30 AM: Proclamation of September 3, 2020, as “Lost&Found Day” in Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Ten Haken has approved a proclamation to recognize Lost&Found on September 3 in Sioux Falls. Lost&Found will kickoff the day with a reading of the proclamation, and CEO Erik Muckey will give a preview of the day’s events.


9:00 AM: The “Founding” of Lost&Found. A virtual Facebook Live conversation highlighting stories of Lost&Found’s past leadership and founding featuring key leaders from Lost&Found from the past decade. The conversation will be moderated by Erik Muckey, sole remaining co-founder and current CEO/Executive Director.

Fellow “founding” conversation participants are:

  • Dennis (DJ) Smith – founding President of Board of the Directors (2010-2014)
  • Denielle Eitrheim – founder of the SDSU campus chapter (2012-2014)
  • Elliott Breukelman – founder of the DSU campus chapter, current CTO (2014-present)
  • Anna Hyronimus – current board member (2015-present)


12:00 PM: The Present: The Work of Lost&Found’s Campus Chapters. Over the lunch hour on September 3, Lost&Found will highlight the present work that is driving our progress as an organization. Tune-in for the premiere of our Chapter Highlight video, hear from current campus chapter leaders, and get to know the impact and work of our student leaders throughout eastern South Dakota.


2:00 PM: The Future of Mental Health for Young Adults in SD. This Facebook Live event will be a panel discussion among four community mental health leaders addressing the future of mental health for young adults in the city and the region in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Director of Campus Operations Nathan Hofer will moderate the conversation.

Panelists include:

  • Sheri Nelson, Helpline Center
  • Tosa Two Heart, Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board 
  • Amber Reints, Avera Behavioral Health
  • Angela Drake, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (SD)



6:00 PM: Building Resilience: Then&Now: Lost&Found’s 10-Year Celebration. This Facebook Live event will include the premiere of a video celebrating Lost&Found’s anniversary, stories from people who know the positive impact Lost&Found can have, a keynote from featured guest to be announced, the presentation of the first Lost&Found Resilience Award, and a look forward into Lost&Found’s next decade.

$10K to honor 10 years

Want to help us reach 8,000 students with mental health resources? Join our fundraising team!

To honor Lost&Found’s first 10 years and build momentum for the 10 ahead, Lost&Found is working to raise $10,000 to support our Campaign for Campus Mental Health. And there’s the possibility to create even more of an impact: If 100 friends, family members, and colleagues raise just $100 each, Lost&Found will receive up to $19,250 in matching donations and reach more than 8,000 students in the academic year ahead.

Sound like fun? We’ve made it even better:

  • For Ambassadors: Every person who starts a fundraiser (“Lost&Found Ambassadors”) will receive a handwritten thank-you note, 10-year anniversary laptop sticker, and a packet of social media and email tools to share why #MentalHealthMatters. The top five fundraisers will also receive an additional, customized “thank you” packet from the Lost&Found team!
  • For FOUNDers Club Members: Every person who starts a recurring donation of $100/year (<$9/month) will receive a commemorative travel mug from the Lost&Found team! Learn more about the power and support of the FOUNDers Club here.

Any amount you give can make a difference, whether $1 or $100. Become a part of our fundraising team, or simply make a donation.

Thanks to these generous sponsors of matching donations:

  • Astrup Family Foundation: $10,000 matching challenge
  • American Bank & Trust: $5,000 matching challenge
  • First Bank & Trust: $3,500 matching challenge
  • Vern Eide: $500 matching challenge
  • The Diamond Room by Spektor: $250 matching challenge

help us celebrate!

We want you to be a part of the virtual party!


  • Make plans to join the events on Thursday, September 3. Click the links and indicate your interest on each event page, and be sure to mark your calendar.
  • Watch our Instagram and Facebook pages in the 10 days leading up to September 3, and share the posts with your friends, family, & followers. Sharing the story is one of the best ways to advocate for our work. Now is the time to raise your voice for mental health.
  • Start your fundraiser and become a Lost&Found Ambassador. With your advocacy and support, we can reach our fundraising goal and continue the effort to reach over 8,000 college students with mental health resources in the year ahead.
  • Make a donation. Every dollar and every donation makes a difference in the lives of others.