the volunteer center
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Create an account that allows you to search and sign up for projects and programs at agencies across our community. You can also track your hours and the value of your volunteer time, earn rewards, and follow your favorite agencies to receive updates on new opportunities as they are needed.
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VOLUNTEER EVENTS & DAYS OF SERVICE
january: Dr. martin luther king, jr. day of service
Each year, on the third Monday of January, Americans from all walks of life answer Dr. Martin Luther King’s call by coming together to serve their neighbors and communities. Our Volunteer Center helps to match volunteers to opportunities to serve on MLK Day of Service. Many area agencies host projects specific to this service day and utilize groups and individual volunteers to complete a wide variety of tasks.
JUNE: Day of action
Each year on June 21, communities around the world come together to harness the volunteer spirit and improve the conditions in which they live. On Day of Action, we host Food from the Heart, a large-scale service event that invites volunteers to Van Andel Arena to pack meals that are distributed through Feeding America West Michigan. Last year, 1,000 volunteers helped us pack nearly 200,000 meals. Sign-ups start May 1.
september: day of caring
United Way’s Day of Caring is our community’s largest corporate volunteer event. Every September, hundreds of employees from companies across Kent County “report to work” at local nonprofit agencies. This annual event helps organizations get things done – things that they may not have the day-to-day capacity to do throughout the year. Projects range from marketing and design advice to landscaping, donation sorting, tree-planting, and more.
We also hosts a large project that is open to the public.
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Morning Volunteer Projects
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon (open-house)
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Afternoon Volunteer Projects
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 Day of Caring. 1,400 volunteers from 22 companies supported over 50 agencies in 88 projects across Kent County on Friday, September 15.
DAY OF CARING 2018: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
march: fill the cart
Throughout the month of March, we coordinate “Fill the Cart” collection drives throughout Kent County to bring together donations for children, families, seniors, and veterans who are struggling to meet their basic needs. Many of these families are working hard each month to pay for housing and food but cannot always afford other basic needs items like toiletries, undergarments, and cleaning supplies.
In the past, collection themes have included:
Bare Necessities: Shampoo, soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, toothpaste and brushes, socks, underwear, etc.
Baby Shower: Lotion, teething gel, diaper, wipes, rattles, pacifiers, bibs, blankets, etc.
Give a Kid a Smile: Stuffed animals, crayons, coloring books, dolls, activities books, etc.
Spring Cleaning: Buckets, disinfectant, dish soap, sponges, household cleaners, laundry soap, etc.
Welcome Home Kits: Kitchen utensils, silverware, dish clothes, pots and pans, blankets, etc.
August: stuff the bus
Every August, we team up with companies and community groups to STUFF THE BUS with school supply donations for local students and educators.
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER: Spread the warmth
Help us “Spread the Warmth” this winter by collecting for or donating to our winter gear drive.
Through the months of October and November, we coordinate drives across Kent County and collect hats, gloves, coats, boots, and other cold weather gear.
New or gently used
Snow pants and suits
november/december: adopt a family
For financially strapped families, finding the means to give their children a festive and happy holiday can be very difficult -- if not impossible. By participating in our Adopt a Family program, your company or group can help ease the burden of a local family with a child in Head Start by providing food, gifts, and clothing. Groups can select the size family they would like to sponsor. This is an excellent opportunity for a company, book club, youth group, scouts, or family looking to start a new gift-giving tradition.
Sign-ups for Adopt a Family begin each November. Gift drop-offs are coordinated between donors and adopted families in mid-to-late December.