At the end of the second week of the community campaign, United Way continues to gain momentum. Pledges totaled $1,897,557 representing 40% of the overall campaign goal of $4.7 million.
In addition to corporations, local businesses, nonprofits and individuals who lend their support, local family foundations play a vital role in creating real and lasting change throughout the community.
On September 15, 2021 The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation awarded a $1,250,000 grant payable over two years as a 50¢:$1 match, payable as $750,000 in 2022 and $500,000 in 2023. Eligible gifts from individuals who make a first-time donation, increase their donation, or sustain their prior year donation amount will be matched with 50 cents for each dollar donated to United Way of Midland County.
“Our trustees are honored to continue their investment in the vision that United Way created to unite our community,” shared Dr. Ruth Alden Doan, President and Trustee of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. “We are grateful to be able to sustain this vital work by providing matching dollars to support gifts made by donors that share that vision.”
The Foundation was established by Grace A. Dow, in memory of her husband Dr. Herbert H. Dow, “for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes for the public benefaction of the inhabitants of the said City of Midland and of the people of the State of Michigan.”
Volunteers kicked off Neighboring Week a few days early at the Fall Community Clean Up event lending their time and talents to help families still challenged with restoring their homes after the 2020 dam failure. The Salvation Army provided hydration stations and Luke White Landscaping dedicated their time and resources providing training, yard equipment and tools.
United Way partner agencies are finding creative ways to engage their teams in supporting the campaign this year. Home to Stay and The Arnold Center are hosting raffles, giving their staff a chance to win fun prizes. Sheltherhouse is celebrating by participating in a theme week – so far dressing up to support their favorite sports team, as a superhero and they have even rocked their favorite 80s gear.
Midland Public Schools and Bullock Creek School District have kicked off their campaigns and are already seeing a high level of dedication and support from their teams.
Paul Schroll, Assistant Principal at Jefferson Middle School, was featured in a Dear Neighbor video, offering a genuine and empathic response to a young girl who struggled to see a positive future. After being accepted to the Dow College Opportunity Program through West Midland Family Center, she gained the confidence and support she needed to reach her potential. Now, she’s studying to be a teacher and hopes to help other kids find their path towards a brighter future.
“This is just one of the many stories about someone in our community who has been impacted by our donors support,” shared Miller. “Without these vital programs, students like the young girl mentioned above may not have connected with a positive mentor or program that help them discover their path to success.”
United Way reports that 45% of third graders are not reading at grade level. Through nonprofit programs supported by the funds raised during campaign, over 1,700 kids received free monthly books and over 240 were paired with a tutor or mentor.
United Way invests in nonprofits in a visible and measurable way. The dollars raised go directly into community programs to ensure all people can thrive in the areas of Youth Success, Health and Household stability. Support of the campaign provides resources for 56 programs provided by 26 nonprofit agencies.
To learn more about how lives are being changed, check out United Way’s Facebook page. Each week they feature a Dear Neighbor video and a campaign update video featuring co-chairs, Mary and Todd Draves.
The campaign will continue through Friday, Oct. 29.