Every year, United Way’s across the world mobilize communities to create impact on the most pressing needs utilizing the caring power of volunteers. This year, United Way of Midland County is focusing their 2021 Day of Action activities on pulling the community together to continue the large-scale debris clean-up in the Greater Sanford area on July 28th – July 31st.

“Recovery efforts are ongoing from the devastating dam failures in 2020,” shared Holly Miller, President & CEO of United Way of Midland County. “This community has made incredible progress in supporting and helping individuals and families through the recovery process, but there is still work to be done. Volunteers play a vital and valuable role.”

Team Dow and United Way are inviting everyone to join them in one of the largest four-day community-wide volunteer impact events. Activities will include heavy debris removal, yard-clean up and overall rubble clean-up. Participants are encouraged to wear long sleeves, jeans and steel-toed boots. They also highly recommend you bring protective eye wear, gloves and sunscreen.

“Dow and United Way have a long-standing partnership creating change across the region and we invite our fellow corporations, local businesses, community groups and citizens to join us,” shared Megan Clark, Improvement Manager at Dow. “Each and every one of us can make a difference, and together we can and will continue to restore and rebuild the Sanford community.”

Any group or individual can make an impact. Help is anticipated from work groups, families, social groups, associations, service clubs and individuals. The goal is to have over 300 people join efforts over the four-day period. Volunteer shifts will be 8:00 am – noon and 1:00 – 4:00 pm each day and you can sign up for one or multiple shifts.

To sign up to join Day of Action volunteer activities, simply visit: www.volunteerglbr.org or directly at https://www.volunteerglbr.org/opportunity/a0C5w000010P9ofEAC. Members of Team Dow are asked to sign up through the Dow portal: https://www.cybergrants.com/teamdow/login/

While the value of volunteers is immeasurable, we can place a monetary value to their time. According to the Independent Sector, the value of a volunteer hour is $27.20 per hour. For an event of this magnitude, that equates between $75,000-$100,000 of value.

“We recognize that the fiscal value means little to volunteers,” shared Holly Miller. “They lend their time to help their fellow neighbor; they simply want to make a difference.”

The benefits of volunteering are countless including many positive side effects to lending your time and talent. Studies show that raising your hand to volunteer builds community and a sense of belonging, combats loneliness, builds lasting bonds, improves self esteem and actually promotes longevity.

Volunteer opportunities for flood recovery, rebuild efforts and to support valuable nonprofit needs are ongoing throughout the year. To find a way to plug in to your passion, visit www.volunteerglbr.org  regularly to explore meaningful ways to make a difference throughout the region.

If you or someone you know is still recovering from the 2020 dam failures, you are encouraged to connect with a Disaster Case Manager. These trained professionals help survivors navigate available resources as they continue to recover. DCM’s can be reached by calling (989) 374-8000.

For any additional information, please call United Way at (989) 631-3670 or visit www.unitedwaymidland.org.