At the end of the first “official” week of the community campaign, United Way is excited to announce pledges totaling $1,280,761, representing 28% of the overall goal of raising $4.5 million.
But these represent more than numbers. They represent the commitment of our community.
“Behind every gift is a name, a face, a decision…and these collective decisions are what translates into impact,” said Holly Miller, president and CEO. “That’s how a community transforms: by individuals at work or home making the personal choice to say, ‘I want to help improve lives in my own backyard.’ This first week of the campaign already reflects how people are willing to show up to help others in many different ways.”
After a successful pacesetter start, Dow employees kicked off their employee campaign with an encouraging, strong first week. They have already reached 82% of their employee goal and continue to show significant progress.
Team Dow is leading the way with innovative new ways to support the campaign. Dow and United Way collaborated to co-host a webcast, which engaged more than 400 participants across the region. Campaign ambassadors are going above and beyond with fun ways for employees to participate in the campaign, including digital trivia nights, online change wars and other special events like Crazy Hair day.
United Way shared that one in three local residents are considered food insecure in Midland County. To help combat this, Corteva Agriscience partnered with United Way, the Great Lakes Loons, Hidden Harvest and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan this week to host the Corteva Fills Pantries food packing event.
Over 100 volunteers joined together to pack an impressive 40,000 pounds of food to distribute throughout Midland County. The event helped fill a gap due to the postponement of the National Association of Letter Carrier’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
“Through the initiative and careful planning of the Corteva team, 40,000 pounds of food are now able to be shared with the food pantries typically benefiting from the food drive,” said Samantha McKenzie, president and CEO of Hidden Harvest. “We are so excited to be able to share this food to our network of hunger relief agencies. This will help prepare us for changes to come as certain COVID-19 relief programs are coming to a close.”
Mid-Michigan Health also kicked off their employee campaign with an outstanding new milestone. Thanks to overwhelming enthusiasm, their annual campaign T-Shirts sold out completely, recording the best shirt sales in campaign history. Keep an eye out for the unique blue jersey-style Live United shirts in the community.
Many organizations are launching their campaigns in the coming weeks, but companies like Fisher Contracting usually run their campaign earlier in the year. Because of the devastating flood, Fisher did a roll-over campaign to ensure stable support for United Way. They recognized that their employees are busy helping the community and made a corporate commitment of support.
Every community member has a story…and many people face challenges that are often invisible. The community’s dollars are invested into key local programs that focus on Youth Success, Household Stability and Health.
A local woman from Sanford serves as the caretaker to her 37-year old husband, who was diagnosed in 2011 with a rare form of brain cancer. They have a 6-year-old child. She used to have a corporate job she enjoyed, but had to quit her job to focus on caring for her husband and child. Cancer Services, who receives funding from United Way, helped offer much-needed resources to the family.
“Cancer Services came in like a breath of fresh air,” she said. “Not only did they remind me that I wasn’t alone on this journey, but helped us pay travel expenses for out-of-state treatments. I don’t know what we would have done without them. My son would not have his father today.”
The full story is shared as part of United Way’s new video series, “Dear Neighbor,” which will be shared weekly on United Way’s Facebook page.
The 2020 United Way campaign will continue until October 30 and everyone is invited to be a part of it. Donate here.
For more information about how you can help improve lives in our community, visit unitedwaymidland.org. To read stories of impact or view more videos in the “Dear Neighbor” series, visit unitedwaymidland.org/community-impact/stories/.