Did you know that United Way of Clare and Gladwin Counties is a 100% local organization led by a board of directors from Clare and Gladwin counties and that the MONEY RAISED HERE, STAYS HERE? The money raised through the annual campaign is carefully distributed to OUR community partners by volunteers that live and work here! Because of the generosity of our citizens, this past year United Way was able to fund 38 programs at 25 agencies in Clare and Gladwin counties. Thousands of dollars in donor choice designations were also paid out to various health and human service agencies. United Way funding also makes available to Clare and Gladwin counties a dial 2-1-1 information and referral call center through 211 Northeast Michigan and a 24 hour crisis line through Listening Ear Crisis Center at 386-2774.
In addition to the annual campaign, our United Way office also collaborates with other agencies to bring services to our residents. From October through December, United Way manages the Adopt-A-Family Christmas program with Clare County DHHS. So far this season, the United Way office has matched 82 families in the program. That’s hundreds of children whose lives will be touched this holiday season! From February through April, our United Way office in Clare serves as a host site for the VITA tax program directed by Mid Michigan Community Action Agency. Not only does United Way host a VITA site, Mona Keeley, United Way Community Impact Coordinator, is trained each year and serves alongside other volunteers to provide free, in-person tax preparation for seniors, low-income individuals and families, and anyone else who needs assistance with their taxes. VITA tax services are also available in Gladwin County through Mid Michigan Community Action Agency, and United Way will also be providing a trained staff person to help people with their taxes in Gladwin County this season!
This year, United Way of Clare and Gladwin Counties also worked with the Gladwin Ministerial Association and the Community Nutrition Network to sponsor a monthly food truck financially in both counties. United Way also provided volunteers for both trucks, including Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other Clare and Gladwin county elementary, middle, and high school students! Teri Ehle-McGuire, United Way’s Gladwin County Assistant, also teaches a sewing life skill class in conjunction with Michigan Works and Gladwin County DHHS. This class donates their hand crafted tote bags to residents of New Dawn Shelter and also makes items for the Gladwin County Baby Pantry. United Way has also been involved with back to school supply distributions and community connection events in both Clare and Gladwin counties. The staff has also been known to help walk-in clients with paperwork, faxing, scanning, phone calls and emailing to help them access assistance to get utilities turned back on and other emergency assistance.
Last year $252,820 was raised in Clare and Gladwin counties. Less than 1% of that money was contributed to United Way Worldwide membership. The membership provides tools and training to allow our United Way to better execute programs which are implemented locally. The remaining 99% of money raised is put to work in Clare and Gladwin County. Our local United Way has full autonomy to determine which programs and services are most important to our friends and neighbors in our community and our money…your money…is used to help fund those local programs and services. Raised here, stays here! Another benefit received from the United Way Worldwide membership are FamilyWize prescription discount cards. These cards are for anyone in Clare and Gladwin counties without insurance or those who are underinsured. This program saves our residents thousands of dollars in prescription costs each year. Also through the United Way Worldwide membership, any Clare or Gladwin county resident whose gross income will be $62,000 or less can file their federal AND state taxes for free through myfreetaxes.com! Included will be access to a toll-free helpline.
As you can see, United Way of Clare and Gladwin Counties works hard to maximize our dollars and impact our counties as efficiently as possible. They take seriously the job of being good stewards over our community dollars raised. United Way of Clare and Gladwin Counties belongs to the community and is extremely grateful to those who have invested in the past, those who continue to invest, and those who are new United Way donors. None of this could be accomplished without the generosity of OUR community. Please consider donating to the campaign this year. Give online at www.unitedwaycgc.org/donate or mail checks to PO Box 116, Clare, MI 48617. Please indicate whether you are giving to the Clare or Gladwin County campaign. Remember, RAISED HERE, STAYS HERE!