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.
This year, we are granting $550,000 from our Community Investment Fund to local programs that are working to ensure that local individuals, children, and seniors have access to nutritious meals.
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.
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!
Thank you for joining us for Celebrate United: Legends and Leaders! Our 100th anniversary is a testament to this community. It's a reflection of you and the people who came before you.
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."
This National Volunteer Week, we want to thank you for choosing to make service a part of your life. That choice improves the lives of others and helps West Michigan thrive.
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.”
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.
In celebration of our 100th year in West Michigan, city and county officials have declared today Live United Day! Let's all find ways to live united in service to one another. To learn more about our past, present, and future, visit www.hwmuw.org/100.
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!
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...
For the first time in almost a year, extremely cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills are in the forecast for today and Friday across Michigan. Children and the elderly are especially at risk of frostbite and hypothermia. It is important to know the difference between the two and to take steps to avoid both conditions.