BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Since 2005, Terri Mills Harris has been at the helm of Love INC-Heartland, based in Delano.
Her work with the neighbor-helping-neighbor organization has not gone unnoticed, as the Generated Federal Women’s Club of Delano has named her the 2018 Delano Citizen of the Year.
Mills Harris will be recognized during a banquet March 10, 2018, and a feature in the Delano Herald Journal will precede that banquet.
In the meantime, here is a glimpse of what a nominator and past Citizen of the Year had to say about Mills Harris, as well as more information regarding the organization she leads.
The nominator called Mills Harris a kind and generous person and noted that “Terri has made the Delano community a more caring and generous place to live.”
“Terri has been the catalyst to encourage community members to become involved in volunteerism,” the nominator wrote. “This is one of the reasons Delano is such a great place to live. People are involved and care for their community. More than 11,000 volunteer hours happen in one year. These are community members giving of themselves through acts of kindness.”
2007 Delano Citizen of the Year Donna Anderson has worked with Love INC-Heartland since its inception in Delano. She had this to say about Mills Harris.
“Terri will always give of herself 100-plus percent,” Anderson said. “She is involved with all aspects of Love INC. She is a hands-on leader. Terri believes we should give a hand up, not just a hand out.”
Love INC stands for Love In the Name of Christ and Love INC-Heartland serves Delano, Howard Lake, Independence, Loretto, Maple Plain, Montrose, Rockford, Watertown, and Waverly.
The organization works with 30 churches to help people seeking help.
Love INC is not an emergency agency and does not give away cash. Rather, it is designed to mobilize churches to help meet the needs of neighbors.
Love INC-Heartland’s involvement in the communities includes:
• Supporting five area food shelves.
• Lullaby ministry Lyndale Lutheran Church helped more than 60 babies with diapers, cribs, and baby supplies in its first year.
• Back-to-school bash Families in need enjoy a nice meal; free school supplies; and an afternoon of fun, games, and face-painting at WestPointe Church.
• Thanksgiving dinner food baskets three churches are involved.
• Toys for Christmas community donations are distributed to families in need at WestPointe Church.
Prior to her involvement with Love INC-Heartland, Mills Harris worked for YMCA Camp Ihduhapi from 1999 to 2005. She received her college education from Crown College.
Mills Harris is the 41st person to be named a Delano Citizen of the Year.
Those who preceded her were Loretta Diem in 1978, Mary and Bill Wallisch in 1979, Cliff Lundsten in 1980, Dr. Guilfoile in 1981, Angie VanLith in 1982, Jack Schumacher in 1983, Phil and Helvie Carlberg in 1984, Don Gilmer in 1985, Perry Ditty in 1986, Horace Keplinger in 1987, Gerhard Meiners in 1988, Char and Jim Iten in 1989, Bill Diem in 1990, Winnie Sinkel in 1991, Mary Robinson in 1992, Don Hamilton in 1993, Maria Logsdon in 1994, Rich Ditty in 1995, Art Zitzloff in 1996, Ann and Jim Lundsten in 1997, Jon Hanson in 1998, Cliff and Sandy Simon in 1999, Scott Shoutz in 2000, Carol Lundeen and Gordy Wetter in 2001, John Tackaberry in 2002, Gail Sinkel in 2003, Wayne Estby in 2004, Margaret Parsons in 2005, Dave and Gary Zitzloff in 2006, Anderson in 2007, Clarence “Deacon” Bruhn in 2008, Ted May in 2009, Steve Gilmer in 2010, Dave Carroll in 2011, Jack Lynch in 2012, Dale Vander Linden in 2013, Debbie DeBeer in 2014, Lloyd Griep in 2015, Carol Plocher in 2016, and Frank Muckenhirn in 2017.