United Way measures success in how lives are changed, and they do not do this work alone. In addition to working with local corporations, businesses, nonprofits, foundations and individuals, they partner with 26 dedicated nonprofits and invest in quality programs that show measurable outcomes every year. Together, they create new solutions to pressing problems and join with people from all walks of life to put those solutions into action.
“Our partner agencies continue to inspire us through the incredible work they do to support our neighbors in need of help,” shared Beth Sorenson Prince, United Way’s Director of Impact. “They are the champions of care in our community, and have the most generous hearts. We are so grateful for them being a network of support for our community, families, friends and neighbors.”
United Way listens, asks questions and analyzes data to ensure that their issue areas are aligned with the most pressing needs. Dollars are invested in programs in the areas of Youth Success, Health and Household Stability because change is bigger than a single organization or program.
“One thing that many don’t realize is that a team of volunteers determine allocations each year,” shared Kim Stuhler, Associate Director of Community Impact. “Each year our volunteer panels devote over 20 hours each to reviewing applications, assessing outcomes and posing questions to our partners. Based on what they learn, they make funding recommendations to the United Way board.”
The allocation process is best-in-class and digs deep into the funded programs to ensure that there is a high level of accountability and that all investments demonstrate measurable impact in the community. United Way’s Community Impact Strategy Team also explores gaps in health and human service needs and makes suggestions for other impact projects and potential gaps areas.
To ensure non-profit sustainability in the face of increased demands, the United Way of Midland County voted to invest an additional $134,746 from their Endowment in support of partner agency programs in 2023.
To see the entire list of partner agencies and programs they support, visit Our Partners page.
United Way of Midland County Partner Agencies:
- 2-1-1 Northeast Michigan
- The Arc of Midland
- American Red Cross East Central Bay
- Arnold Center
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region
- Camp Fire USA – Midland County Council
- Cancer Services
- Disability Network of Mid-Michigan
- Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network
- Family & Children’s Services
- Greater Midland Coleman Family Center
- Greater Midland Community Center
- Greater Midland North Family Center
- Hidden Harvest
- Home to Stay
- Legacy Center for Community Success
- Midland Camping Council/Camp Neyati
- Midland County ESA
- Midland County Habitat for Humanity
- The Rock Center for Youth Development
- Safe and Sound Child Advocacy Center
- The Salvation Army
- Senior Services
- Ten16 Recovery Network
- West Midland Family Center
United Way hosted their Annual Board meeting on Tuesday, March 14th celebrating the many success from last year in additional to providing funding for community programs.
Like many other organizations, United Way was thrilled to bring folks back together again. Hundreds of supporters joined United Way to hear stories of our neighbors at The Chair Project event, pack needed supply kits for local teachers at Gear for the Year, dive deeper into the issues our neighbors are facing at presentations and impact tours and rally around providing the vital support needed.
Young Leaders United came together last year for several lunch and learns and volunteer initiatives. At their lunch events they heard from experts and community leaders about the 2022 Youth Asset Survey, ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained, Employed) and food insecurity. Members of the group also donated new and used books to help nourish kids minds, taught seniors how to make healthy and affordable Crockpot meals and offered career advice to students in the West Midland Family Center College Opportunity Program.
“It was an inspiring year,” shared United Way CEO, Holly Miller. “It brought the return of events, in-person presentations and face-to-face conversations. Humans are inherently social and feeling connected improves our physical, emotional and mental health. It also created opportunity for deeper learning, understanding and drives connection to something bigger than ourselves.”
United Way also shared an update on their advocacy and impact work.
Last year, United Way of Midland County offered their support for the State Earned Income Tax Credit increase. Their support, along with many other United Way’s, Chambers, Foundations and community organizations, helped shape the decisions being made that will significantly help families who fall below the ALICE threshold for years to come. United Way also offered equity challenges engaging over 200 people to help inform and educate about race and disability equity.
In addition to the yearly allocations, United Way offers SPARK funding for innovative programs that fill a gap in the community. These collective impact grants provide both funding and support to incubate collaborative ways to tackle persistent human service needs. United Way served as the backbone and deploys resources and capacity-building opportunities throughout the incubation.
To date, United Way has provided funding for innovative programs including ReGrow, College Confidence at Self Love Beauty, Lead2Read at The Legacy Center, Surplus Food Distribution at West Midland Family Center, Disability Survey for the Disability Coalition, Leveraging Income for Tomorrow (LIFT) in collaboration with 2-1-1 of Northeast Michigan, Friendly Connections, Coleman Community Market at the Greater Midland Coleman Family Center and eMentoring with local schools.
“SPARK is an idea that we’ve been developing for years,” shared Miller. “Beyond the compelling impact created through our partner agencies and volunteers, there are still persistent issues that need an innovative spark. It is a collective impact model that creates a community of stakeholders that can tackle an issue, co-creating systems and solutions that play to each of their strengths. At its very core, it is nimble, allowing for strategy and funding shifts throughout a continuous learning loop to ensure maximum impact. It places people at the center.”
United Way has a long history of incubating bold ideas. Some examples include Success by Six (which is now the Great Start Collaborative) and First Call for Help (now known as 211 of NE Michigan.
“We’ve had incredible success with the eight programs we’ve launched collaboratively and look forward to how these investments can help continue to move the needle collectively,” Miller shared.
United Way celebrated outgoing Board members Mauro Gregorio, President of Performance Materials & Coatings, and Mike Sharrow, Superintendent at Midland Pubic Schools. Mauro served six years on the United Way of Midland County Board and shared his gratitude for the important work United Way does in our community. Sharrow was unable to attend the meeting but was recognized for his sound voice and insight shared during his seven-year service to the Board.
The Board voted in new members Sinchan Banerjee, Global Process Owner – Procure to Pay with Dow, Penny Miller-Nelson, Associate Superintendent with Midland Public Schools and returning member Michael Gavin, Owner of Gavin and Associates.
The proposed slate of officers was approved naming Michael Gavin as Chair, Craig Stevens as Past Chair, Wally Mayton as Vice Chair, Patti Timm as Treasurer, Colin Broom as Secretary and Ann Beck as Community Impact Chair.
“As we celebrate the many success of last year, we also look forward,” shared Miller. “Our team is an incredible group of people with the most caring hearts, creative and innovative spirits and a drive to create change within our community. I’m so proud of the work our team does each and every day to ensure there is help in our community for the folks who need it most.”