Community Member Spotlight: Graham Smith

“Heroes and Hand Raisers” is a new series created by United Way of Midland County in partnership with Midland Daily News. Each week, snapshots of volunteerism and human generosity—via quotes, photos, snippets and stories—will shine a spotlight on those who are impacting our community by raising their hand to help meet the needs of their neighbors.

Name: Graham Smith, Assistant Vice President—Treasury Management, Chemical Bank

Lives in: Midland

In what ways have you and/or your team donated time, talents or resources? After initially spending hours assisting people with the immediate recovery of the flood in cleaning out homes and basements, I have tried shifting my focus on my strengths and my position with Chemical Bank to assist with the long term recovery for impacted individuals. Trying to be a part of the continued outreach and information distribution is so important to me. I believe that there is always an initial surge of help when something like this happens, and we cannot let that slow down until everyone is taken care of. Being involved in calling efforts, handing out relief information packets, etc. is the best way to ensure the impacted communities are still engaged. On top of that, leveraging the Bank and the connections here to direct aid in the best, most efficient ways possible. I am so proud of Chemical and TCF Bank’s response to this, between the $250,000 in donations, especially the $50,000 employee relief fund, and the individual response from our team members representing this organization that employs so many people in our community.

What inspired you to step up in this way? As someone who was not impacted directly by the flood, I felt a sense of responsibility to help those people who were. I don’t think I would know what to do if the tables were turned or would have the mental strength to dig out of that mess alone. To be one of the hands out helping this community come back stronger means a lot to me.

Why is it important for you and/or your organization to raise your hands in our community? One of TCF Bank’s core beliefs is to “Care like a Neighbor.” We are all neighbors in this community, whether we live next door or not. Being there to care for this community is what makes it great and will make us stronger when the dust settles from this.

What is your hope for Midland County? Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the flood, my hope is that we have all been given a reminder that we are stronger together. That despite our differences, we can all come together and rise up for the greater good.