1920 was the inaugural year of United Way of Midland County, originally deemed the Midland Welfare Association. The first campaign raised $22,187 and was chaired by Ralph J. Hyde. During this decade, our country fell under the Great Depression. Despite the struggles that the country faced, our community increased their giving by 10%, raising $20,948. The board was led by M.E. Putnam.
In 1931, the Midland Welfare Association was incorporated. Together with Kiwanis, the organization purchased Camp Neyati: an oasis north of Clare that provides camping for kids and families. The first campaign chair, C.N. Morrison, was appointed to lead the community campaign. They raised $23,812 to meet those so negatively impacted by the Great Depression.
The Strosacker Building was opened and housed United Way and numerous partner agencies. The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation provided the first matching grant for new and step-up Leadership Circle Donors, earning our community $50,000. In 1996, the first United Way of Midland County website was launched.
United Way’s First Call for Help was created to help connect those in need to available services. The community investment process moved from funding agencies to funding specific programs. In 2008, the LIVE UNITED message was launched, which became a rallying cry for giving, advocating and volunteering. United Way 2-1-1 of Northeast Michigan launched, initially serving five counties.