Thousands of children and adults shared in the joy of the holiday season. Because of the community’s generous support, United Way’s Sharing Tree program collected and distributed 9,076 holiday gifts valued at $344,120.
Gift requests were as diverse as our population. A 94 year old man received a new veteran’s hat, a young girl from a single parent family needed new clothes and a struggling family received a gift certificate to help keep their house heated this winter.
“Thank you for fulfilling our need for emergency clothing,” shared a local school administrator. “Through Sharing Tree, we are able to provide our students with sweatpants when they don’t have clean clothes.”
United Way meets unexpected and year-round community needs through Sharing Tree as well. A grandmother suddenly found herself with custody of her two grandchildren right before Christmas. Unable to provide gifts for the kids, she turned to a local agency for help. The agency had requested toys through Sharing Tree for situations just like this and was able to provide the family with a special first Christmas together.
“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 so much more than individuals had requested.”
The caring folks at 98FM KCQ and their listeners joined in the holiday spirit. They adopted five local families. With the help of deejay Jim Kramer, gift cards and thoughtful presents for the whole family were 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. “They took a very personal interest in learning about the families’ circumstances and inspiring listeners to brighten the holidays for these families in a big way.”
Requests for help were coordinated through 55 local non-profit agencies and schools. Sharing Tree tags were distributed through 63 businesses and churches that hosted more than 80 tree locations throughout the community.
“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.”
For more information about Sharing Tree or United Way of Midland County, call (989) 631-3670 or visit: www.unitedwaymidland.org