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United Way of the Lakeshore’s Volunteer Center: Get Involved. Empower Community

BY SARA SHERWOOD, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR, UNITED WAY OF THE LAKESHORE

United Way of the Lakeshore (United Way) volunteers have an enormous impact on the well-being of our community, making a difference in day-to-day life in countless ways.

As community needs change, grow, and emerge, the time and talents of volunteers are more important than ever to help those most in need in our neighborhoods. United Way’s Volunteer Center makes finding your passion and getting involved easier than ever by providing a user-friendly platform to explore a variety of volunteer opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to community service, there’s a place for you to make a difference.

The volunteer center at United Way connects people with the community in a variety of ways.

• Connect volunteers to service opportunities. The Volunteer Center is dedicated to helping individuals find the perfect match for their interests and commitment levels. Whether it’s a one-time event or an ongoing commitment, there’s a volunteer opportunity tailored for everyone.

• Build capacity for effective volunteer engagement. United Way recognizes the importance of strong volunteer management, and the Volunteer Center collaborates with local organizations to enhance their capacity to deliver essential services through effective volunteer engagement.

• Promote volunteering. The Volunteer Center celebrates those who serve effectively in the community, fostering a culture of appreciation. Regular opportunities are organized for volunteers to come together, work side by side, and amplify the spirit of service.

• Participate in strategic initiatives. United Way doesn’t just stop at connecting volunteers with existing opportunities; it actively leads or joins vital initiatives that mobilize volunteers to address specific local needs. The center is a driving force in community-focused efforts that bring positive change.

• AmeriCorps Seniors/RSVP Program. For those aged 55 and over, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) offers a unique platform to channel a lifetime of skills and talents into meaningful service. Established over 40 years ago, this federally supported program connects seasoned individuals with volunteer opportunities tailored to address specific community needs and goals. Whether it’s mentoring, assisting in healthcare facilities, or contributing to local education initiatives, RSVP members play a crucial role in enriching the fabric of our community.

Volunteering with United Way of the Lakeshore and our agency partners is a rewarding and impactful way to contribute to our community. Together, we can build stronger, more resilient communities through the power of volunteerism. Steps to get involved:

• Visit the United Way of the Lakeshore website. Start by visiting the organization’s official website at unitedwaylakeshore.org to learn more about United Way and how they are working to impact health, early childhood success, youth success, and economic mobility. There, you will find information about the Volunteer Center and explore current opportunities.

• Create a volunteer profile and explore opportunities. Create a volunteer account and explore opportunities that align with your skills, interests, and availability. The volunteer center provides a diverse range of opportunities, ranging from one-time events to ongoing commitments. This allows you to find opportunities that resonate with your passion and availability.

• Connect through social media and events. Stay connected with the Volunteer Center through United Way’s social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, X (twitter.com), and LinkedIn. Follow these pages for updates on new opportunities, success stories, and community events where you can connect with your neighbors and build a sense of community.

• Share your volunteer experience. Once you’ve participated in volunteer activities, consider sharing your experiences with others. This not only helps raise awareness about the causes you’re passionate about but also inspires others to get involved.


Muskegon Magazine.com, Muskegon County's online magazine


Celebrate Earth Day this season by giving back to our planet and fostering a sense of environmental stewardship.

Earth Day is a time when many communities face the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation. By volunteering, we can make a tangible difference in protecting our planet and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come. It's an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to environmental conservation and inspire others to take action. Here are some examples of volunteer opportunities you can participate in to celebrate Earth Day along the Lakeshore:

Muskegon Magazine.com, Muskegon County's online magazine

Muskegon Magazine.com, Muskegon County's online magazine


Monday, April 22 – Microforest Tree Planting! The City of Muskegon, Muskegon Rotary Club, and United Way of the Lakeshore are in need of volunteers to help them plant 100 trees in their newly developed microforest for Earth Day! A microforest is a small lot of land in urban areas that plant thousands of native species to help with climate change, noise pollution, and green space. Volunteers will serve from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and all tools will be provided. Learn more by clicking here!

Sunday, April 28 – Muskegon Lake Annual Spring Clean Up. The Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership, West Michigan United Labor, United Way of the Lakeshore and the JCI of Greater Muskegon welcome volunteers for their annual clean up. Volunteers will be divided into teams and clean up 12 different locations from the lower Muskegon River to Lake Michigan. Tools are provided and refreshments will be available. The event will meet at the CIO Hall in Downtown Muskegon between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m., and then wrap up by 12:00 noon. Learn more by clicking here!

Many of the above volunteer opportunities, plus many more, are on United Way of the Lakeshore’s Get Connected volunteer portal and can be searched at United Way of the Lakeshore (unitedwaylakeshore.org).

If your organization would like to learn more about United Way’s volunteer center, please email Sara at sara@unitedwaylakeshore.org or call (231) 332-4010.


United Way of the Lakeshore is uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities. Our Bold Goal – 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025. For more information, contact United Way of the Lakeshore at (231) 722-3134. Learn more about United Way of the Lakeshore at UnitedWayLakeshore.org, like the organization on Facebook and receive up to date information from Twitter at twitter.com/uwlakeshore.

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Jazz: Midnight, with art inspired by jazz album cover design, drops readers into the late night music clubs of 1957. From Gary Scott Beatty. Click here for Jazz: Midnight.

Worlds, the first Gary Scott Beatty retrospective is now on Amazon. This 96 page collection includes early work, unpublished art, in-depth articles, a jazz art gallery and more. Click here for “Worlds.”

Wounds, Gary Scott Beatty’s zombie horror book with a twist, is now on Amazon. Click here for Wounds.

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Contents:

THE ARTS
Gary Scott Beatty's thrilling, free, 66 chapter story begins April 23. Blog subscribers get to read it from the beginning (and a free comic.) Find out more here!

SENIORS
Jodi Clock unravels the knots of senior care with a trusted guide to making the right choices. Discover Senior Care Questions in this helpful article!

COMMUNITY
Local United Way volunteers have an enormous impact on the well-being of our community. Learn how volunteers are making a difference here!

LAKESHORE STAR GAZER
This month enjoy a solar eclipse, the constellations of spring, and warmer nights of observing! MCC Astronomer Jonathan Truax is your guide.

CLASSIC CARTOONS
It's spring, a favorite theme for early animators! We enjoy UB Iwerk's Summertime and a Burt Gillett's Rainbow Parade Cartoon here.

BUSTER KEATON
Buster Keaton and family take to the lake in "The Boat," a film that was once thought lost. Enjoy the 1952 short, complete and online, here!

EVENTS CALENDAR
Track and discover area events here with Muskegon County's best online events calendar, courtesy of Visit Muskegon!

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Inquire about ADVERTISING here.

Muskegon Magazine.com is locally owned and produced. Gary Scott Beatty, editor and publisher. Contents and design © Copyright Gary Scott Beatty, 1509 Princeton Rd., Muskegon, Michigan 49441.

Muskegon Magazine.com is an educational and informational service to help you make informed decisions. The content, tools and services of Muskegon Magazine.com are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Privacy.