Eric Clement

Eric Clement

In a typical year, I’d be writing a column about the benefits of end-of-the-year donations for your tax purposes. But this isn’t a typical year.

Don’t get me wrong, donations to United Way of Northeastern Minnesota, or UWNEMN, are still 100 percent tax deductible like always, and I still encourage you to consider donating to UWNEMN if you are interested in making donations to reach the $300 mark — new this year due to the CARES Act — needed to receive tax benefits.

But this year, due to COVID-19, my year-end appeal to you is more urgent maybe than any UWNEMN president’s column has ever been.

The pandemic has increased needs for UWNEMN programs and the agencies UWNEMN supports. Meanwhile, it’s also limited UWNEMN’s ability to visit workplaces to fundraise, limited local individuals’ ability to donate through workplace campaigns, and limited the capabilities UWNEMN has for holding events to raise funds. These limits will have detrimental impact on the ability of UWNEMN to do its community work, while undoubtedly needs will only continue to rise.

The words – “Your donation is needed now more than ever” – could not be truer than in 2020. We know times are tough. We know the future is uncertain. But we also know that our communities will suffer if the programs and relief efforts provided by UWNEMN are not financially supported this year.

There is no easy way to say it. We need your help. We need your pledged workplace contributions for 2021. We need your end-of-the-year donations. We need your planned gifts and your donor advised fund gifts. We need you to unite your gift with others from across our great region to ensure support for UWNEMN this year.

If we can unite and come together during this season of giving, UWNEMN will be able to continue to feed hungry children through Buddy Backpacks, help local families hardest hit by COVID-19, provide holiday meals to veterans in financial need, and provide critically needed preventive and restorative dental care to uninsured and underinsured individuals. Your donations go far and do so much when you contribute to UWNEMN. Plus, they stay LOCAL and have direct impact on the lives of our families, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

UWNEMN is a cornerstone of the community, remaining strong and true in its support of our people. Its ability to be flexible is one of the organization’s greatest strengths, especially in times like these. If you are someone who is struggling at this time and unable to give, please remember that UWNEMN is here to help and is able to provide some relief to local families financially impacted by COVID-19.

If you are able to give, though, I’d like to encourage you to donate in 2020 to support UWNEMN, its agencies, and programs. UWNEMN is committed to our communities during these trying, unprecedented times. If you can, please send your donation to UWNEMN at 608 East Drive in Chisholm, MN 55719 or donate online at www.unitedwaynemn.org.

UWNEMN is grateful for each and every donation received, and as Board President, so am I.