MIDLAND, MI—United Way is celebrating 95 years of impact in our community. In honor of that milestone, they reached out to people who have been a part of that historical journey. One question that was asked: “In 95 years, what has changed and what has remained the same.”

The responses to what had changed ranged from how roadways and bridges transformed, where the schools now reside being farmland and how the downtown area has grown. They went on to talk about the needs in our community changing over time, along with the faces and names.

When asked what has remained the same, however, the answer was unanimous—we continue to have a community that cares and supports one another.

“People’s loyalty to each other and the community has remained the same,” shared long-time resident Mary Neeley. “I think we still have that marvelous desire to have a special and caring community.”

That care for neighbor and those in need is a part of our culture. It has been modeled from generation to generation and is the heart of what it means to come together, to Live United.

That Live United message is being brought to life throughout Midland County. It shows how each and every one of us can be a part of creating a stronger community. After the sixth week of the campaign, our community has raised $3,437,845, representing 70% of our overall $4,900,000 goal.

“We are trending behind right now,” shared Campaign Chair Jim Nigro. “So many in our community are counting on us to ensure the vital programs and services continue to be there for them. It’s going to take all of us working together to ensure those supports remain in place.”

Many organizations made significant progress this week.

“Our small businesses are huge community advocates. They live here, work here and are integral to our community’s success,” shared Ann Fillmore, Executive Director of United Way of Midland County. “Their commitment to our community is inspiring. From sponsoring local little league teams to running Change for Change campaigns, they demonstrate their commitment each and every day.”

The creative folks at Bolger + Battle kicked off with a staff breakfast and a week of special event. Employees were treated to a Coffee Barista day, a rolling “Beer Me” card and valet parking. They also hosted a Penny War where the winners were treated to lunch.

The team at Target hosted special events for United Way, raising nearly $600. The employees of Saginaw Bay Underwriters celebrated 100% employee participation with a pizza and ice cream party.

Many local businesses increased their support this year. Adventure Management doubled their support. Opperman Consulting increased by an impressive 400% and Park Place Homes nearly doubled their impact. Shell Oil Foundation provided a generous new gift and the folks at Ieuter Insurance increased both their corporate and employee support.

“Thank you to everyone who is working so tirelessly to support our community through United Way,” shared Ann Fillmore. “Real lives are changed each and every day because of your generous support.”

On Wednesday, November 18th, United Way invites the community to their 95th Birthday Party. Join them from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn of Midland to share memories and results of the 2015 community campaign.

Every single one of us has something to offer to make our community a better place. Many give generously of their finances to make a difference in the lives of others; thousands turn their passion into action by serving as a volunteer; and others speak in support of those who many not have a voice.

That’s what it means to be a part of this community what Living United is all about.