United Way of Midland County’s community campaign is continuing to make great progress. They are encouraged by the outpouring of support thus far and are reporting pledges totaling $3,394,596 raised, which represents 72% of the overall campaign goal of $4.7 million.

“We could not be more thankful for how the community is showing up to offer help and hope,” said Holly Miller, President & CEO of United Way of Midland County. “We are inspired by the results to date and know that many organizations are just kicking off and wrapping up their employee campaigns.”

Team Dow celebrated not only meeting but exceeding their goal of raising $1.2 million to support vital community programs. Throughout their campaign, they hosted a variety of special events to engage their team including hosting Traveling Tom’s Coffee Truck, chili cook-offs, inviting United Way speakers to meetings, and United at the Rooftop, a mixology event with Three Bridges Distillery. They also offered their team an opportunity to learn more about the programs United Way funding supports through Impact Bus Tours. Over 200 Dow employees participated in 10 tours, visiting nearly 20 partner agencies.

“I’m incredibly proud of Team Dow for their dedication to serving the communities we live and work in,” shared Melanie Kalmar, Executive Chair of the Dow GLBR United Way Campaign. “We set a goal to support our neighbors by raising $1.2 million, and not only did we meet that goal, we exceeded it. But our campaign has never been about meeting a goal, it’s about supporting our neighbors when they need our help. I’m humbled by the outpouring of support that comes from the colleagues I work with every day here at Dow and I’m excited to celebrate our campaign success and partnership with United Way.”

In addition to donations directly from employees and special events, they also invested a generous donation from the Dow Company Foundation.

The Dow Company Foundation is a longtime supporter of United Way. Each year, the Foundation awards grant dollars to numerous eligible charitable organizations across the Great Lakes Bay Region to support programs that help our community thrive. With needs at an all-time high, the money donated through Dow’s efforts will help address many critical needs, including programs that focus on youth mentoring, mental health, overcoming loneliness and supporting the ALICE population.

“Dow is one of our most enduring and impactful partners. They play an integral role in supporting the communities we call home – from investing their volunteer time, expertise and financial resources,” shared Miller. “We couldn’t be more grateful for their commitment and partnership. True change is created through the investment of employees and retirees, along with the generous support from their Company foundation.”

Miller added that several long-standing United Way partners recently launched or will be launching their workplace campaigns, including Great Lakes Loons, Family and Children’s Services, Dow Credit Union, Garber, Members First Credit Union and many others.

The team at United Way kicked off their employee campaign this week with a goal of raising $10,000. As a fun way to get engaged, their team is participating in a canvas painting and paper pumpkin decorating contest. Ace Hardware has been a long-time supporter of United Way and shows their dedication through employee contributions and a corporate gift.

Consumers Energy wrapped up their campaign earlier this fall, but their support goes far beyond their campaign contributions. As a way to show their support for the work of United Ways across the state and nation, they sponsor The ALICE Report, giving United Way the ability to better understand and serve this important population. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed. These hard-working neighbors have an income above the Federal Poverty Level but still struggle to afford the basic household necessities – housing, childcare, food, health care, technology, and transportation.

“Consumers Energy sincerely values the unwavering commitment United Way has for our community and the many organizations that partner with them to serve those in need. We celebrate the over 100 years of United Way of Midland’s service to individuals and families in our community and will continue to be a strong supporter of the work they do,” shared Bob Balzer, Community Affairs Manager at Consumers Energy. “Since the inception of United Way’s efforts to understand and support our ALICE population, Consumers Energy has partnered with them to provide resources to help this growing and deserving group of people. Consumers Energy has grown a culture of compassion and generous giving throughout our company over many years and we are honored to partner with an organization that shares our vision and desire to support the many who are in need of help.”

To build awareness of ALICE and the programs that are available in our community, United Way of Midland County is hosting a series of events to dive into the issues that our neighbors face each and every day, called Maid for this Moment.

On February 28, 2023, author Stephanie Land will be coming to Midland Center for the Arts to share her story with our community as a part of United Way’s event series. Her keynote will draw on her life and experiences as chronicled in Maid, New York Times bestselling memoir and inspiration for the hit Netflix series by the same name.

Stephanie shares the true stories that weren’t being told: of living on food stamps and WIC coupons and of government programs that barely provided housing for her and her daughter. Above all else, she wrote about pursuing the myth of the American Dream from the poverty line, all while slashing through deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not hers alone. It is an inspiring testament to the courage, determination and ultimate strength of the human spirit.

The highly anticipated follow-up Class, out in November 2023, picks up where Maid left off as she faces the new challenges of finishing college and pursuing her writing career as a poor single mom.

Tickets for Maid for this Moment are currently on sale and can be purchased by visiting unitedwaymidland.org/maid.

The 2023 United Way campaign will continue through the fall and everyone is invited to be a part of it. To learn more about community needs, how dollars are invested for change, read an impact story, or find help, you can visit unitedwaymidland.org/2023campaign.