Community Member Spotlight: Jennifer Grace

“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: Jennifer Grace, Executive Director, Arnold Center

Lives in: Midland

In what ways have you and/or your team donated time, talents or resources? Arnold Center Team Members made and donated: over 2,000 hand sewn masks, over 300 pounds of leafy produce to local food banks, planted and germinated 2,000 vegetable seedlings for the community gardens, served as a transition center for flood relief items (water, clothing, household items), use of our trucks and drivers for transportation of relief items from the DOW Hanger to distribution centers along with the many hours of donated time and additional resources of our dedicated staff.

What inspired you to step up in this way? What drives us every day is our mission to serve. We felt motivated to have an elevated level of service. Our team wanted to make a difference, they wanted to help, and they were proud for the opportunity to do so.

Why is it important for you and/or your organization to raise your hands in our community? It is important for our organization to raise our hands in our community because we are part of the community. It is important to us to support the community that so kindly supports us.

How have you been impacted by United Way of Midland County? The United Way impacts our organization two ways. The United Way provides much needed funding to continue with the important work we do with increase self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities. The United Way also offers our organization support through providing opportunities for us to become involved on a larger scale in the community through building enhanced community partnerships and collaborations, training, networking, and overall support of our mission.

What is your hope for Midland County? Our hope for Midland County is that the all of our organizations stay as connected as we are now. I believe our organizations were able to set aside the barriers that were previously there, prior to the pandemic and flood, to our organizations truly partnering together. I treasure the opportunities that have been offered to have meaningful conversations around serving the community at large and how to support each other.