Thousands of children and adults shared in the joy of this holiday season. Because of the community’s generous support, United Way’s Sharing Tree program collected and distributed 8,731 holiday gifts valued at $320,925.

“Thank you for fulfilling my Christmas wish,” shared a local woman. “I was able to honor my father and his service to our country by publishing his obituary in our local paper. I am so grateful to someone I will never meet.”

Gift requests were as diverse as our population. A young girl whose mother was recently diagnosed with cancer received a journal and art supplies, a senior citizen needed a warm blanket for her bed and a struggling family received a gift certificate to help keep their house heated this winter.

“It is so heartwarming to see the generosity of Midland County in action,” shared United Way Executive Director Ann Fillmore. “This year, we saw thousands of gifts that included much more than individuals asked for.”

The caring folks at 98FM KCQ and their listeners joined in the holiday spirit. They adopted over ten families in the region, including four in Midland County. With the help of deejay Jim Kramer, a van filled with gifts for these families in need was personally delivered the week before Christmas.

“We are grateful for the support of KCQ and their listeners,” shared Holly Miller, Vice President of United Way of Midland County. “From firewood and a baby crib to sleds, toys, clothing and grocery and Consumers gifts certificates—each family was overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers.”

Requests for help were coordinated through 39 local non-profit agencies and schools. Sharing Tree tags were distributed through 50 businesses and churches that hosted nearly 80 tree locations throughout the community.

The Holiday Wishes Gala on December 4th also made a big impact, bringing hundreds of people together to support the Sharing Tree project. During that single evening, they collected toys for local children and raised over $8,500 to purchase Sharing Tree gifts.

“Sharing Tree is a true community success story,” shared Ann Fillmore. “It brings together businesses, agencies, churches, schools and over 300 community volunteers to ensure the holiday wishes of people in need are fulfilled.”