VOLUNTEER PROFILE: Ricky Markiewicz

Ricky Markiewicz is driven by his passions. As the owner of a small DJ business and a graduate student at Grand Valley State University, he sought out opportunities to use the skills that he had learned through his career and school give back to the causes that are close to his heart.

"I want to know that some of my time, even if it's just a few hours during the week, is going to benefit someone who needs a hand," he says. "There is something satisfying about leaving a volunteer site or event knowing you tried to help others in your own unique way."

Company Profile: Challenge Manufacturing

In 1981, Challenge Manufacturing started with one machine in a garage in Walker, Michigan. Today, still headquartered in Walker, Challenge is a Tier 1 automotive manufacturer that employs 3,000 people supported by 1,000 industrial robots across ten locations in North America and Asia. “We see our team members like family at Challenge. When one team member is going through a tough time, other members of the family step in to help,” says Taylor Rose, marketing and communications manager. “United Way mirrors that particular feature in our culture.”

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE: Tom & Laura Madison

Since their first donation 40 years ago, Tom and Laura Madison have become more and more moved to give back through United Way. “We believe in the mission of the United Way and have throughout our lives,” says Tom, a client executive at Hylant Group. “It’s a joint effort on our part. We feel thankful for the blessings we've been given and feel positive about sharing whatever we can, giving hope and a path forward to others.”

It's easier than ever to find where you're needed

The Volunteer Center at Heart of West Michigan United Way launched a new website today! This upgrade will make it even easier for individuals and groups who want to volunteer to connect to local organizations that need help. You can search our database of current volunteer opportunities to find an opportunity that fits your passion, skills, and time constraints. Once you find an opportunity, you can sign-up, and track your service hours!

That someone is you.

Dear Friend of United Way,

"My name is Lena and I am 16 years old. I go to Innovation Central High School. Before I came to this program I was diagnosed with depression and spent most of my time by myself by choice. I thought that no one would understand me. But I started coming to this program and it helped me realize that I am not alone. I can spend time with the people...

Office Space for Rent

Is your nonprofit organization looking for an office space to rent? Join us in the beautiful, historic Heystek Building on Commerce Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. The office space features a large entry, conference room, two small offices, one large office, men's and women's restrooms, a kitchen, and a large open office area. 

#GRGives on #GivingTuesday

#GRGives on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable gifting season when many people make holiday and year-end donations. 

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE: Mary & Brian Hannon

When Mary and Brian Hannon settled their family in Grand Rapids, they searched for a way to  reconnect with their community. Mary joined Heart of West Michigan United Way’s young professionals group, where she helped to plan volunteer opportunities and mobilize her peers. “Through our volunteer activities, Brian and I were able to see firsthand the good work that United Way and their partner agencies are doing in the community," says Mary. She went on to join United Way's Campaign Cabinet, Marketing Advisory Council, and Board of Directors! We sat down to talk to Mary about volunteering, community needs, and what it means to give back.

20 Years of Caring

20 Years of Caring

Thank you to everyone who celebrated our 20th anniversary Day of Caring and helped us kick off our 99th annual fundraising campaign! Throughout the day, nearly 1400 individuals from 25 local companies completed more than 90 projects all around Kent County! Included in the day were opportunities for volunteers to mentor elementary students, renovate low-income homes, prepare healthy meals, beautify landscapes, and improve parks. In the last 20 years, United Way has mobilized more than 30,000 local volunteers through Day of Caring!

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE: Michael Bohnsack

Early in his career, Michael became involved in United Way's annual fundraising campaign. As an advocate and volunteer, he found his passion in helping people who were living in poverty and making sure that all children had equal opportunities to thrive in school and in life. We sat down to talk about his family, philanthropy in West Michigan, and why he chooses to dedicate so much to United Way.