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Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

-1 Thessalonians 5:11

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Responding in Crisis

Healing Heroes

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Breathing New Life into Recovery

Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington

A Message from the CEO

Stand Firm in the Faith

Photo of Mark Stutrud, CEO

Dear Friend:

As our nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, our first concern is for people in communities across Illinois—children affected by trauma, seniors needing assistance in their homes, and counseling adults and children with behavioral health issues. Many are feeling anxious about the pandemic.

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) established a Pandemic Plan Review Committee that has been responding to various levels of alerts related to COVID-19 to keep employees safe and available to those in need.

To help people remain healthy and safe throughout this pandemic, we continue to make program modifications where necessary. LSSI staff have risen to the occasion of providing services to our clients despite all the changes that have been asked and required of them during this pandemic. Some continue to provide in-person services where essential; others have adapted quickly to provide video and teleconferencing with clients. Well before the state's shelter-in-place order, we opened a new program, a recovery home in Elgin for adults recovering from opioid addiction. While the program is currently not accepting new residents, we are providing services to those who were already living there.

These are uncertain times. I am reminded of Paul's letter and instructions to the early Christian Church in Corinth, where because of an opposing force, the Corinthians' faith had been shaken. "Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

We appreciate your concern for our staff and clients. We remain grateful for your ongoing support that enables us to provide critical services during challenging circumstances.

In faith,

Mark A. Stutrud
President and Chief Executive Officer

Coronavirus Relief Bill Impacts Charitable Giving

The "Coronavirus Relief Bill" signed into law on March 27, included charitable-related provisions. While "tax deductions" rarely are the primary motivation to making a gift to LSSI, these changes may be of interest:

New Charitable Deduction for Non-Itemizers

Taxpayers who take the standard deduction rather than itemizing their deductions will nevertheless be able to claim a charitable deduction of up to $300 for cash donations made in 2020.*

Higher Deduction Limits

Individuals in 2020 will be able to deduct cash gifts to the extent of their entire adjusted gross income. Typically, gifts of cash made to public charities are normally limited to 60% of adjusted gross income.*

Required Minimum Distributions Waived in 2020

For 2020, there will be no mandatory distributions from retirement accounts (whatever the age of the owner), thus allowing those accounts to recover. The minimum age for making a tax-free transfer from an IRA to a charity remains at 70.5, and the annual limit remains at $100,000. However, since cash gifts are deductible in 2020 to the extent of adjusted gross income, a person could withdraw and then contribute a larger amount—with the deduction offsetting the taxable withdrawal. Please discuss with your advisors as to how this might impact or apply to your situation.

For more information, contact contact David Novak, JD, Vice President of Advancement, 847.635.4671847.635.4671.

*Gifts to Donor Advised Funds or Supporting Organizations, like The Cornerstone Foundation, are not eligible.

You can help make a difference for children, adults, and seniors in Illinois by donating now!

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Lutheran Social Services of Illinois does not discriminate in admission to programs or employment in compliance with the law.