For the past 27 years, United Way’s Sharing Tree program has helped thousands of children and adults experience the joy of the holiday season. Sharing Tree brings together businesses, agencies, churches, schools and hundreds of community volunteers to ensure the holiday wishes of those in need are fulfilled.

In the spirit of collaboration, United Way of Midland County and The Salvation Army will begin partnering to streamline Midland County’s largest Christmas programs—taking Sharing Tree to the next level. This partnership came to fruition partially out of need, as United Way’s new office building at 115 Jerome Street lacks the physical space to house Sharing Tree operations while the program continues to grow. Through this partnership, Sharing Tree will now have enhanced program capacity by leveraging United Way and Salvation Army’s resources, as well as giving Sharing Tree an even broader reach throughout the community.

“We believe that communities become truly great when they are built on collaboration and have a shared focus on caring for all members. This is why we are thrilled to be partnering in a new way with the United Way of Midland County, and ultimately other agencies, through the Sharing Tree program,” stated Captain Katrina Goodwill of The Salvation Army. “We know that together, we can share the joy and love of the Christmas season.”

United Way staff will still be managing day-to-day operations for the 2018 Sharing Tree program while training Salvation Army staff. The program will look and function in the same way as in past years, and tags will still be found at Sharing Tree locations throughout the community. The online Sharing Tree Impact Store that was introduced last year, designed to provide basic needs items that many are struggling with including help with utilities, transportation, household items and food, will remain unchanged and will continue to be managed by United Way staff. The 2018 Sharing Tree Impact store will go live once again in early November. Likewise, The Salvation Army will continue to collect toys in their “Toys for Kids” boxes around Midland for their toy store for families who are not registered through Sharing tree, but are registered through The Salvation Army. Through these programs, holiday needs will be met and the joy of the season will be shared.

“We recognize The Salvation Army as a leader in providing Christmas programs aimed at helping those in need throughout the county, so they were a natural partner for us with Sharing Tree,” explained Ann Fillmore, Executive Director at United Way of Midland County. “With our combined efforts, expertise and volunteer networks, we’re excited to see Sharing Tree continue to flourish.”