On Monday, September 11, United Way of Midland County will kick off its 2023 Community Campaign with a goal of raising $4.7 million.

Many organizations will officially kick off their campaigns in the coming weeks, but some are already reporting early progress.

“We are off to a strong start, already reporting early pledges of $553,069” shared Holly Miller, President and CEO of United Way of Midland County. “This represents an impressive 12% of our $4.7 million goal.”

United Way is continuing with the theme of “have you ever,” posing thought provoking questions to our community about issues people face each and every day.

Have you ever wondered where you will sleep? Skipped a meal so your kids could eat? Had no one to turn to? United Way’s hope is that your answer is “no,” but for many in our community, these are everyday realities. They believe that no one should struggle alone, and that by rallying together as a community we can provide hope.

“Our theme of “have you ever” sparked so many inspirational conversations last year,” Miller said. “Continuing and building on this theme encourages people to think differently about the issues our neighbors face. This powerful and inspirational message tells the lived story of our neighbors and demonstrates the amazing way our community has created a safety net of help.”

United Way is also excited to announce that the 2023 campaign is being led by Dr. Lydia Watson, President and CEO of MyMichigan Health.

“I was inspired to take on the challenge of leading this year’s campaign because I believe in the power of people helping people,” shared Dr. Watson. “As a healthcare provider, I understand firsthand how important it is to show up for neighbors in need of help, and I am honored to lead this community to provide the necessary resources to ensure that the vital programs are available when people need them most.”

Dr. Watson joined the Midland Community during her residency program and has considered this community home ever since. She expressed her love for all our community has to offer – sporting events, the arts, desired school systems, community engagement and most of all, the opportunity to get involved with volunteerism and mission driven organizations.  In a recent interview with United Way, she shared how welcoming Midland has been and how incredibly caring our community members are.

“Dr. Watson has such passion for our community,” shared Miller. “We are honored to work alongside of her as this year’s campaign chair, and believe her genuine care for our neighbors, positive energy and giving spirit will help us achieve success in raising dollars to ensure that the vital programs aligned with the most important issues continue to be there for our community.”

Some organizations have already kicked off their United Way workplace campaigns, while many others will be launching their campaigns beginning next week. To help inspire and educate, United Way staffers have been out in the community hosting Impact Bus Tours as well as giving presentations at team meetings and special events to talk about the work being done to change lives.

United Way does not do this work alone. The dollars raised during the campaign will be invested in nearly 60 community programs in the areas of Youth Success, Health and Household Stability. United Way places people at the center of everything they do and is proud to partner with 26 nonprofit partners aligned with the most important human service needs.

“The United Way Board of Directors are committed to ensuring our neighbors have the help they need to reach their full potential,” shared Michael Gavin, United Way of Midland County Board Chair. “We are confident that our community will come together to meet the increasing needs through the programs we fund.”

Gavin added that United Way is positioned to drive impact forward. Leveraging their strength around accountability, outcomes and non-profit capacity building, they have the system to ensure dollars raised are invested in ways that change lives.

During the campaign season, United Way is inviting all to get involved beyond making a financial contribution.

United Way is hosting Days of Action | Fall Edition on September 27 and 28. During these two days, volunteers will participate in a variety of critical activities with Hidden Harvest, Habitat for Humanity, Shelterhouse Release Shop and West Midland Family Center. To sign up, visit unitedwaymidland.org/falldaysofaction.

“As people, one of the greatest tools we all have is our voice,” shared Beth Sorenson Prince, Director of Impact at United Way of Midland County. “We are dedicated to serving as an advocate for our community by shining a light on important issues that impact our neighbors and work diligently to bring awareness and education about the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population.”

United Way is encouraging everyone to engage in their virtual equity challenge focused on learning more about sub-populations of ALICE. The challenge will begin on October 16 and run through October 27. Registration will open soon and be available at unitedwaymidland.org/diversity. Each business day, participants will receive an email including multiple ways to learn more about the challenges faced and how we can better support them. On the last day of the challenge, participants are invited to a summit to share what they’ve learned and how they can advocate for change.