Steelcase was recognized as one of the most community-minded companies in the nation as a part of the Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light. "Even though Steelcase is a global company, we believe it's important to be a good neighbor in the communities where we have a presence," said Deb Bailey, director of global corporate relations at Steelcase and former board president of Heart of West Michigan United Way.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered at Food from the Heart for your hard work and positive energy! It certainly was a Day of Action: We packed the Van Andel Arena with 480 volunteers and packed food for 75,000 meals! The meals have been delivered to Feeding America West Michigan and will be distributed to local food pantries throughout the summer.
What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity is having unreliable access to healthy food on a day-to-day basis. Food insecurity means skipping meals or buying cheaper, less nourishing food because it’s all you can afford. Heart of West Michigan United Way is committed to tackling our community’s most pressing issues like housing, education, violence prevention, workforce development, transportation, and food security.
Taking on the big picture is hard work. While we continue to support basic needs services like food, housing, utility assistance, and transportation, we are also working to identify the root causes of vulnerability, specific to our three critical areas: education, income, and health.
Recognizing that life’s challenges never end, Heart of West Michigan United Way has recently allocated $3.1 million from its Community Investment Fund to 39 local agencies and 65 programs that help provide services for basic needs in the area of education, income, and health. These local programs provide emergency food assistance, after-school care, home-delivered meals to seniors, parenting-skills classes, housing assistance, violence prevention and so much more.
“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”
Denise Nichols retired in 2002, but she has been a volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program far longer. “As long as the VITA program has been in existence, I’ve been a part of it,” she says. “It’s the highlight of my year.”
Help local families in-need by adding a few extra items to your shopping cart.
Heart of West Michigan United Way 211 is here to help!
Our new, completely free app connects users to more than 2,900 distinct services in Kent County, including food, shelter, utility assistance, disaster recovery, childcare, transportation, and much more.
Thank you for making this year's MLK Day of Service a huge success!
Whether it was painting and insulating at Well House or organizing a basketball clinic with KSSN, hundreds of volunteers used our Volunteer Center to honor the day and find where they were needed.
Q&A with Michelle to learn more about her background, the issues closest to her heart, and her plans for her first few months at United Way.
Laurie Atkari, of Farmers Insurance, is a longtime Schools of Hope volunteer reading tutor.“It just means so much to them. You don’t get the hugs or the same kind of positive feedback at work,” says volunteer reading tutor, Laurie Atkari. “No matter what I’m doing -- I could be crazy busy -- but when I go, I’m so glad I do."
Collection drives are a popular way to help families in need. Check out these helpful tips for organizing a successful food or item drive.
At our last Community Impact Tour, we saw and learned about several United Way partner agencies that serve ALICE families, and had the opportunity to visit and hear from three: Baxter Community Center, Jubilee Jobs, and Health Net.
The issues faced by women in the workforce drive Women’s Resource Center’s programming and inspires their mission. Women’s Resource Center advocates for women to achieve economic independence through meaningful employment. Their programming empowers and educates. They also partner with caring individuals and organizations throughout West Michigan to purposefully transform employment outcomes for all women.