School fund drive aids United Way

Posted on: Dec 27, 2017

It’s the season for giving, and Delano Public Schools staff members did not hold back during this year’s collection drive for the Delano-Loretto Area United Way.
Elementary Principal Darren Schuler has headed up the district’s efforts since 2005, and said this year’s total of $12,540 is the highest he has ever seen.
“It’s pretty amazing, the amount of support we get from our staff in each of the buildings,” said Schuler, who also sits on the local United Way chapter’s board. “It’s neat that the Delano-Loretto United Way has been able to stay local. Many of the United Ways cover a pretty large area, but ours is really just Delano-Loretto, so the money stays local. I think a lot of staff who contribute really appreciate that.”
About 93 staff members participated in the fund drive during the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Each year employees in each of the district buildings compete to see who can raise the most money, but the high school has been the traditional winner. That was the case again this year, as the high school staff raised an all-time building high of $6,300.
Organizers in each of the buildings included Karen Hohenstein at the high school, John Bingea in the middle school, Schuler in the elementary and Diane Johnson at Community Ed.
Mutual relationship
The local United Way typically puts $30,000 to $40,000 back into the community each year, so the school district’s contributions to the organization are vital to help it fulfill its mission.
“The Delano-Loretto United Way really counts on the school employees’ generosity,” said Schuler, adding that the district has raised over $130,000 for United Way since 2005.
Courtney Olson, coordinator of the Delano-Loretto United Way, agreed.
“The school district’s donations definitely make a very big impact,” she said. “I think that helps to strengthen the bond between the employees of the district and the community.”
The relationship is mutually beneficial, because United Way also plays an important role in augmenting the district’s mission. It has helped to fund the Delano Area Scholarship program, summer recreation and Early Childhood Family Education, the Delano All Night Grad Party, a chemical health counselor and the high school’s COMPASS program.
In addition to school district support, the Delano-Loretto United Way’s other primary means of fundraising are a large fund drive put on by Coborn’s and a general mailing to all residents in the Delano and Loretto ZIP codes.
“The school has been the biggest (contributor) over the last few years,” said Olson. “So the United Way really appreciates the commitment of the schools to do this campaign year after year.”