In recognition of a long, mutually-beneficial relationship, and in light of extraordinary circumstances since the onset of COVID-19, the Delano Loretto Area United Way bestowed a special Community Caring Award on Delano Public Schools last week.

The award recognizes the school district “for being a champion for our communities and students, both in and out of the classroom,” and thanks all district staff for their partnership and service to the community.

Area United Way President Wendy Gilmer and Coordinator Courtney Olson presented the award to school principals and the Community Education director on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

“Obviously the school and our teachers have done a lot in the last two years, and over the decades that they’ve participated with the United Way,” said area United Way President Wendy Gilmer. “So we just felt like this is a really good time to give this recognition. We do lean on the teachers, the social workers, the support staff and the administration to help us identify needs in our community, especially the last couple of years. So it’s clear to the community and it’s clear to the United Way that they’re very deserving of recognition, and we wanted to take the time to do this.”

District staff compete annually to see which buildings can raisethe most funding for the Delano Loretto Area United Way, and United Way reciprocates by aiding the schools in various endeavors.

“Sometimes there are niche needs where the school is trying to find funding, and we’ve been able to partner with the school and provide that funding through the money that comes from school staff in a number of different ways. It goes full circle,” said Olson, citing Chromebook carts and support for the DIS School Store as recent cooperative projects.

Gilmer said the knowledge of school staff when it comes to community needs is invaluable.

“We know that they’re often on the front line for meeting these needs in our community, and certainly among our youth,” she said. “It’s great to have the school as a resource to help direct us where we can be most impactful with our grants.

“We wanted to recognize that and appreciate how they’ve come together for the whole community, not just through their giving or grant requests, but also how they handle themselves and how they contribute of themselves through their jobs and as members of our community.” 
On behalf of all school district staff, Delano Superintendent Matt Schoen thanked the local United Way for the honor.

“We always appreciate our local United Way and the role it has played in supporting our schools over the years, but this recognition is particularly meaningful to us as we strive to serve our students in these challenging times,” said Schoen. “The relationship between us is just one example of what makes Delano a strong community, and a place that continues to foster our tradition of educational excellence with each passing year.”

There is a new financial incentive for Americans to give generously to qualifying charities, including the Delano Loretto Area United Way. The new universal tax break for charitable donations was included in the final $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package signed into law and will go into effect starting with the 2020 tax year.

The measure grants taxpayers an above-the-line deduction for up to $300 in charitable donations given in 2020. For example, if you take the standard deduction and give $300 to charity, you will get a $300 tax break in addition to the standard deduction.

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this “above-the-line” opportunity and give to Delano Loretto Area United Way during this health and economic crisis.

Here is the tax benefit break down for those taking standard deductions, itemized deductions and corporate giving:

Standard Deduction
For people who take the standard deduction, the CARES ACT allows you to take a tax deduction for contributions made to qualified charitable entities up to $300 per year starting in 2020 – this deduction is “above-the-line.” The 2020 Standard deduction is $12,400 for individuals and $24,800 for married couples filing jointly. Therefore, any donation to qualifying charities of up to $300 will be added to the standard rate of deduction. This deduction applies for 2020 and beyond.

Itemized Deduction
For people who file for itemized deductions, the CARES ACT allows you to take a tax deduction of up to 100% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for contributions to qualifying charities starting in 2020. The new law temporarily lifts the limits on charitable giving from 60% of a taxpayer’s AGI to 100% for 2020.

Corporate Donations
For corporate donors, the CARES ACT allows an entity to take a tax deduction of up to 25% of their Adjusted Tax Income for contributions to qualifying charities starting in 2020. The new law temporarily lifts the limits from 10% of adjusted taxable income to 25% for 2020.


DELANO, MN – All people in the Delano area are, in some way, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In these uncertain and unprecedented times, people are concerned about their health and safety, and the health and safety of loved ones and the community.

The Delano Loretto Area United Way shares that concern.

The Delano Loretto Area United Way is initiating a COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. This effort will seek financial support from community partners, corporations, businesses, service and fraternal organizations, and private citizens.

The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is designed to assist community residents in responding to this health crisis. The goal of this fund is to provide a convenient way for the Delano community to donate funds to the organizations that need it most in this time of crisis.

Minnesota citizens are currently observing a “Stay at Home” order designed to lessen the impact of COVID-19. This important precaution can result in loneliness and isolation.

A second goal of the United Way mission encourages citizens to connect with each other. Although a safe distance must be practiced, a telephone call, warm smile, and a friendly greeting can help neighbors, friends, and acquaintances face this unusual circumstance. United Way believes a friendly, human gesture will help everyone during this period of isolation.

Plans for the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund are underway. More information is available at, and will be published in a future edition of the Delano Herald Journal.

If people are in need of immediate assistance, they should dial 211 or text the letters MNCOVID to 898-2111.