Last month, 58 community members and five local leaders came together to share their experience, knowledge, and expertise on critical issues facing our community. This event was our first Community Conversation, and it gave community members a platform to tell us about their concerns and aspirations for Kent County. Read the results here.
With a particularly dangerous flu season in full swing, state and local healthcare experts and the "I Vaccinate" campaign are encouraging everyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot as soon as possible.
In celebration of Heart of West Michigan United Way’s 101st anniversary, the 2nd annual LIVE UNITED Day will take place on Friday, January 19, 2018, throughout Kent County. Everyone is encouraged to get involved.
You have many options when it comes to your end-of-year giving, and we want you to give to the issues you care about. Our Community Investment Fund has a powerful impact on housing, food security, youth education, mental health, family crisis, and workforce development in West Michigan -- including Latrice.
Thank you to the 1,400 volunteers who showed our community that they care through on Friday. You made a big difference! From painting to meal prep and tree planting to shed building, you were part of a huge range of work that was completed this year on Day of Caring.
We have appointed our 2017-2018 board of directors. The board consists of 20 members who serve three-year terms. To sit on the board, we seek out community leaders who are committed to creating lasting, sustainable changes for Kent County and are passionate about building a thriving community.
This year, we are granting $1,270,000 from our Community Investment Fund to local programs that are working to ensure that families have homes and can afford to live in the neighborhoods they call home.
If you were at Food From the Heart, thank you for your hard work and positive energy! It certainly was a Day of Action: We packed the Van Andel Arena with 1,000 volunteers and packed food for 200,000 meals! The meals have been delivered to Feeding America West Michigan and will be distributed to local food pantries throughout the summer.
We are granting more than $4.7 million dollars from our Community Investment Fund to 46 local programs that are reducing poverty and social inequities in Kent County. These grants are made possible by the generosity of more than 15,000 people who donated to our Community Investment Fund last year.
Timothy Merkle participated in a poverty simulation run by Access of West Michigan along with 40-45 other Steelcase employees. During the simulation, they were 'cast' into poverty for an intense hour of role-playing as families of varying sizes, compositions, personal health, legal, and financial circumstances.
Today, we had the honor of presenting the Grand Rapids Urban League with our Agency Partner of the Year Award. We are privileged to have the Grand Rapids Urban League as our partner and a part of our community!
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."
It's the first day of Spring Break, and we still have some family-friendly volunteer opportunities that are perfect for rainy afternoons. Volunteering as a family is a special experience and can help teach kids about giving back.
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.”
This month, we're coordinating "Fill the Cart" collection drives all across Kent County, and we need your help! Throughout the month, simply add a few things to your shopping cart whenever you go to the store or shop on our Amazon wish list.
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.”
Things had finally turned around for Jesse. He had found a job at a production warehouse and was grateful for it. But, he still wasn’t able to afford an apartment. When Jesse had his taxes prepared at United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, he found out that he would be getting the Earned Income Tax Credit.