United Way of Midland County is excited to announce their upcoming impact event series Maid for this Moment featuring New York Times Bestselling Author, Stephanie Land, presented by Members First Credit Union.

All are invited to join United Way on February 28th at Midland Center for the Arts to hear Land’s story. Her keynote will draw on her life and experiences as chronicled in her memoir and inspiration for the hit Netflix show, Maid.

Tickets for Maid for this Moment can be purchased at unitedwaymidland.org/maid.

“We are honored to have Stephanie joining us to share her story of courage and determination,” shared Holly Miller, President and CEO of United Way of Midland County. “Her memoir is powerful and speaks to health and human service issues that impact our community and neighbors, while illustrating the many challenges faced when seeking help. We invite everyone to join us to hear her story and gain a deepened sense of empathy, understanding and hope.”

In Land’s memoir Maid, she shares stories that weren’t being told: of living on food stamps and WIC coupons and of government programs that barely provided housing for her and her daughter. Above all else, she wrote about pursuing the myth of the American Dream from the poverty line, all while slashing through deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.

Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not hers alone. It’s an inspiring testament to the courage, determination and ultimate strength of the human spirit.

In addition to Stephanie Land’s keynote, United Way is inviting community members to engage in their series of events to learn more about health and human service issues and how each of us can be part of creating lasting change.

MAID FOR THIS MOMENT EVENT SERIES

Book Club

In partnership with Bookmarks, United Way is hosting Book Club to encourage people to read the memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and A Mother’s Will to Survive ahead of Land’s keynote event. Copies of Maid are available for purchase at Bookmarks in Downtown Midland. 15% of book sales will be generously donated back to United Way to support community resources and programs.

United Way and Bookmarks will be hosting a discussion for Book Club members to share what they learned on February 8th from 6:00 – 7:30pm at Live Oak Coffeehouse in Midland.

To register, visit unitedwaymidland.org/bookclub.

The ALICE Experience

Living below the ALICE threshold is a reality for many, but unless you’ve experienced it, it’s difficult to truly understand the decisions people are faced with.

Sponsored by Blasy Electric, United Way is hosting The ALICE Experience, an immersive, interactive simulation that helps to sensitize participants to the realities of living below the ALICE threshold.

During the simulation, participants are assigned a role within a family unit and provided an overview of their family situation. They are then tasked with accomplishing a set of goals – keep their home secure, feed their family regularly, keep utilities on, make all loan payments, report to school and work and meet unexpected situations like a broken-down car, sick kids or a costly medical bill.

“The ALICE Experience is an eye-opening exercise that encourages participants to think differently about situations that our neighbors face every day,” shared Beth Sorenson Prince, Director of Impact at United Way of Midland County. “The simulation provides an opportunity to experience similar emotions, frustrations and difficulties navigating everyday life when living below the ALICE threshold. Paying bills on time, getting kids to childcare and school, having reliable transportation to work and finding the time to seek help through social services are experienced in a high-stress, fast-paced environment making it difficult to make decisions, accomplish family goals or find success.”

The goals of the simulation are to promote awareness, increase understanding, transform perspectives and inspire local change.

The ALICE Experience will take place on January 25th from 9-11:30am and Dow Diamond. To register, visit unitedwaymidland.org/aliceexperience/. Space is limited for this event.

Deep Dive Series

Throughout Land’s memoir, she shares her experience and difficulties securing safe and affordable housing, leaving a domestic violence situation, affording food to feed her and her daughter, obtaining employment and having access to high-quality childcare.

Following Land’s keynote, United Way is hosting a series of Deep Dive luncheons for community members to learn more about how these issues impact our neighbors.

Each event will feature experts from our non-profit and community partners. Participants will have an opportunity to explore and discuss what they’ve learned and how we can come together to create change.

To learn more about the Deep Dive Series, visit unitedwaymidland.org/maid.

United Way is grateful for their Maid for this Moment event sponsors Members First Credit Union, IFF, Corteva, Midland Center for the Arts and Blasy Electric. They would also like to thank their community partners for hosting Book Club, The ALICE Experience and Deep Dives including Bookmarks, Live Oak Coffeehouse, Great Lakes Loons, Shelterhouse, Greater Midland Community Center and The Grace A. Dow Memorial Library.

“Maid for this Moment will be an impactful community event series we are honored to be part of,” shared Carrie Iafrate, President and CEO of Members First Credit Union. “The opportunity to partner with United Way on this initiative aligns perfectly with our mission of Encouraging a Better Tomorrow. Many of our members live in the ALICE Threshold and we are grateful to partner with organizations like United Way to build awareness and provide opportunities for financial security and well-being beyond our credit union walls. I encourage everyone to join us to hear from Stephanie Land, participate in The ALICE Experience or register for a Deep Dive to engage and learn more about the realities many of our neighbors face.”

United Way shared that the impact event series is open to any community member who would like to learn more. To find more information or register for Maid for this Moment events, visit unitedwaymidland.org/maid.