Clare, Gladwin United Way Merges

The United Way of Clare County and United Way of Gladwin County have merged.

The two organizations will partner for administration purposes and some other aspects, said Clare United Way Director Sandina Hages.

Hages will head up the United Way of Clare and Gladwin Counties.

The merger came about after the Gladwin Uniited Way Board of Directors terminated Director Jennifer Elkins.

“They approached our board a few weeks ago,” Hages said. “Then both boards spent some time discussing the merger.

Gladwin’s board voted for the merger first, Hages said. Clare’s board approved the partnership last Tuesday.

In the Record & Clarion, Hages said the merger would strengthen both Clare and Gladwin’s United Ways. “We share many organizations, agencies and businesses,” she is reported saying. “It is an easy fit.”

Hages stressed the fact that fundraising for each county will remain completely separate, “The campaigns will be completely separate and the funds will be allocated completely separately,” she said. Money raised in Clare County will stay there and money raised in Gladwin County will stay there.”

The main office for the merged United Ways will be in Clare by the end of the year, Hages reported, although she said the Gladwin office, which is used by some of the United Way partners there, will remain in use too.

“I’m looking forward to serving the residents of Gladwin County,” Hages said, “and consider this a positive move for both United Way Groups.

Residents in Gladwin County will still be able to use the same phone number as when the headquarters was there – the calls will be forwarded.

People in need of services will also be able to call 2-1-1.