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 8,836 holiday gifts valued at a record $322,400.

“Thank you for helping my family,” shared a local high school student. “ I wish you could have seen the smile on my dad’s face when he received a $100 gas gift card to help drive me back and forth to school.”

Gift requests were as diverse as our population. A local man with a disability requested transportation vouchers to get back and forth to work; a 7-year-old girl asked for books to help with reading; and a local senior citizen needed warm winter boots to keep her safe on the sidewalks.

“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.”

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 Gala event on December 6th also made a big impact, bringing hundreds of people together to impact the Sharing Tree project. During that single evening, they collected hundreds of 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.”

For more information about Sharing Tree or United Way of Midland County, call (989) 631-3670.