On Monday, September 13, United Way of Midland County will kick off their 2021 campaign with a goal of raising $4,700,000.

Many organizations will officially kick off their campaigns in the coming weeks, but some are already reporting early progress.

“We are off to a strong start, already reporting pledges of $394,362,” shared Holly Miller, President and CEO of United Way of Midland County. “This represents an impressive 8% of our $4.7 million goal.”

She went on to share that the last 18 months have been a time of uncertainty, change and challenge, but that it also demonstrated the power of people helping people.

“I am so inspired by the way our community continues to show up for our neighbors in need,” Miller said. “We worked together last year, showing that when we unite we are stronger together. This year, we are asking our community to join us in demonstrating what’s ‘Possible Together’.”

The aftermath of the 2020 dam failure and then continued pandemic hardships have our community facing a steep increase in health and human services. Many people are asking for help–some for the very first time.

“The United Way Board of Directors are committed to ensuring our neighbors have the help they need to reach their full potential,” shared Mike Sharrow, board chair. “We are confident that our community will come together to meet the increasing needs through the 56 programs run through our 25 partner agencies.”

Sharrow added that United Way is positioned to drive impact forward. Leveraging their strength around accountability, outcomes and non-profit capacity building, they have the system to ensure dollars being invested have the biggest impact.

“As our community moves forward into a space of hope and healing, it’s important that we continue to show up,” shared Miller. “Many of our hardworking families are one crisis away from falling into poverty, and that crisis became a shocking reality for so many of our neighbors, friends, families and coworkers over the last 18 months. The number of people needing help is increasing.”

As a community, we have learned that when we join together, real and lasting change happens. This year, United Way has a dynamic duo taking the lead as campaign co-chairs: Mary and Todd Draves.

“We are so honored to have the opportunity to lead this year’s United Way Campaign,” shared Mary Draves, Chief Sustainability Officer at Dow and Todd Draves, owner, Draves Auto Center. “Our community is an incredible representation of what it means to Live United. We’re surrounded by so many caring people who don’t hesitate to lend a hand when our neighbors need help. It’s inspiring to be a part of something much bigger than us as individuals, and our hope as campaign chairs is that we can help inspire others to join in.”

Miller added that Mary and Todd Draves co-chair partnership is a symbol of the strength in numbers.

“We are thrilled to have Mary and Todd leading the way this year,” Miller said. “They are both incredibly passionate and caring people who are committed to helping us create visible and measurable change in our community.”

United Way brings everyone together to improve lives by amplifying individual passion to take on our toughest challenges together. The campaign will continue through Friday, October 29.

For more information about how you can help improve lives in our community or to donate, visit unitedwaymidland.org.