United Way of Midland County works to ensure everyone reaches their full potential by focusing on three key areas—education, health and self-sufficiency.

“Our community rises and falls together,” shared Ann Fillmore, Executive Director of United Way of Midland County. “We all benefit when a child succeeds in school, when people have all of the resources to provide for their family and when everyone can achieve and maintain good health.”

The community campaign kicked off this week with an impact event geared toward drawing attention to the importance of early grade reading and connecting caring adults with kids.

Volunteers from Dow Chemical, Dow Corning and Chemical Bank launched the Read2Succeed event by spending a half hour reading to every single first grade classroom in Midland County. They shared the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

“I hope this event draws the public’s attention to the importance of books and reading in the lives of our kids, shared John Kessler, Executive Vice President and Senior Trust Officer from Chemical Bank. “The program will be a success if just one more child learns to love to read.”

Volunteers will also be reading to second graders on September 19th and reading to all third grade classrooms on September 26th. All students will be equipped with a brand new book of their own, to encourage reading at home with the adults in their lives.

“We already know reading is a critical skill in a child’s life so it’s fantastic to see many kids energized to go away and read more often,” shared Jim Hayes, Innovation Director at Dow Corning Corporation. “United Way picked a great topic to highlight this year for both kids and volunteers!”

The campaign is off to a strong start reporting pledges of $447,352, an encouraging 10% of the overall campaign goal of $4,500,000.

“The power of United Way in this community is in the people. We come together to make our community a better place, shared Rich Wells, 2016 Campaign Chair. “We’re giving everyone a boost up through giving, advocating and volunteering. Join me in being a part of the change.”

The United Way campaign runs now through October 31st. For more information on how you can create change, call 631-3670, or visit our website at www.liveunitedmidland.org.