Individuals and businesses across the nation are showing support for Midland in the wake of the recent flood devastation.
“It takes real strength to come together and rise above crisis,” said Holly Miller, president and CEO of United Way of Midland County. “There’s no rulebook for how to handle a historic flood on top of a pandemic, but our community and Emergency Operations are showing up to help each other in huge ways. Rebuilding does not happen overnight, nor does it happen alone. We are doing this together. Our unity is inspiring others beyond our backyard to join us in our efforts to move forward.”
In the last 10 days, businesses and individuals have donated over $2.2 million dollars to United Way of Midland County’s Rise Together Fund.
A $500,000 donation from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation—along with their additional $500,000 in matching grant support—helped establish the fund and double the efforts to support fragile families affected by recent events.
“Once again, the generosity of the people of Michigan came through for those who suffered losses in the flood. Thank you to our partners in philanthropy and business, as well as individuals, for extending a lifeline of hope. The road to recovery will be long, but we will ‘Rise Together’,” said Ruth Alden Doan, President of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation also contributed a generous gift to the Rise Together Fund, investing $200,000 to provide hope for so many experiencing loss in our community.
As the water recedes, the needs will rise. Donations to the Rise Together Fund will focus on providing resources to vulnerable and hurting people in Midland County in the wake of the flood and Covid-19. This includes our ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population. These hardworking families are often one crisis away from falling into poverty. The pandemic combined with this historic flood are proving to be that emergency. The fund will also help provide innovative new ways to serve and create stability for this population for years to come.
“One out of three families in our own backyard are ALICE or below—that was before recent events,” Miller added. “The Rise Together Fund is designed to meet the financial and human needs of our most vulnerable citizens—those living in poverty, ALICE and the many whose life circumstances have radically changed.”
Dow and United Way partner all year long to engage their employees for impact. During the flood devastation, Dow is playing a pivotal role in connecting community members with critical relief resources. In addition to their generous $250,000 gift, the company is collaborating with United Way to turn the Dow corporate aviation hangar at MBS International Airport into a collection site for donated supplies.
“In these difficult times, partnerships like those between Dow and the United Way are as important as ever before,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow chairman and CEO. “And together with the help of so many others throughout this community, our state and beyond, we will continue to find ways to provide support – both through distribution centers across the region and in working with our network of global partners, suppliers and customers to source more donations. We appreciate everything that so many have selflessly offered so quickly and encourage those who can give to donate items, contribute financially and help out our neighbors still in need.”
Team Dow has also harnessed their supply chain expertise to sort, inventory and deliver items to eight distribution sites across Midland County manned by dedicated Dow volunteers.
Corteva Agriscience has generously contributed a $100,000 challenge grant to United Way of Midland County’s Rise Together Fund and challenges others to donate as donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000. The grant is a reflection of Corteva’s company values to enrich lives in communities.
Numerous local companies have shown support for their neighbors through generous donations. Businesses from across the nation have also given monetary gifts and items to help fill gaps and meet basic needs.
A small snapshot of corporate generosity directed towards Midland include monetary donations from:
- S. Mott Foundation
- Chemical Bank, A Division of TCF National Bank
- Consumers Energy
- Isabella Bank
- Huntington Bank
- Molina Health
United Way has also received numerous in-kind donations from across the country. Some examples are:
- Dr Pepper Keurig
- Sam’s Club
As Midland moves forward, health and safety remain top priorities for United Way. The organization is partnering with the local health department to ensure proper protocols and resources are in place to protect the community.
Amidst the devastation, Midland is a reflection of what it looks like to Live United, Miller said.
“Our community response highlights the generous hearts and incredible people, businesses and organizations that are the building blocks of Midland,” Miller added. “Despite recent events, we rise, navigating uncharted territories. We are neighbors helping neighbors. We will all press forward together to ensure this community remains a thriving place to live and work.”