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On Friday, June 19th, approximately 150 volunteers will spend their day completing a variety of service projects as part of United Way of 1000 Lakes’ third annual Day of Action.

Held each June, United Way’s Day of Action is a massive, coordinated event where people throughout the area complete dozens of community service projects and activities in just one day. Volunteer projects are designed to match a wide variety of skill levels and interests. Projects range from landscaping and outdoor beautification projects to interior painting and general clean-up. 

Leading up to the event, from June 1st- 19th, United Way is hosting Personal Care Drive to help vulnerable children and adults at risk of meeting their basic needs, including hygiene items. The care packages will be distributed to United Way’s nonprofit partners to help meet the needs of our disconnected youth, victims of violence, seniors and the homeless they serve. Bring items to these drop-off sites: United Way and Children’s Discovery Museum in Grand Rapids. Or organize a drive at your church, organization, civic group or business. 

Volunteers come from across the community and include both organizations and individuals. Many volunteers come from the workforce, where organizations have agreed to let their employees spend a work day giving back to their community.  According to The Independent Sector’s National Volunteer Service formula, the established benchmark for volunteer service value, this one day of volunteering represents more than $21,000 in economic value to the Itasca community.

“The Day of Action is a way for all sectors of our community to unite and work towards accomplishing the common vision of helping others. What you see today is a living testimony of our organization’s mission: to improve lives mobilizing the caring power of our communities,” said Kimberly Brink Smith, United Way executive director.

Some of this year’s Day of Action projects include:

  • At this year’s Day of Action site, nearly 50 volunteers will spend the day painting and touching up exhibit spaces, as well as landscaping, fertilizing and planting perennials in the garden at the Judy Garland and Children’s Discovery Museum. All projects, will help create a more positive experience for museum visitors. Volunteers should bring closed toe shoes, protective gloves and sunscreen.
  • At least a dozen volunteers will team-up with the City of Grand Rapids to complete one of the playing fields at the Grand Rapids Sports Complex. Volunteers will work to improve field and dugout surfaces. Volunteers should bring closed toe shoes, protective gloves and sunscreen.
  • A crew of approximately 25-30 will assist Kiesler House in sprucing up the 6-acre building site for the new Kiesler Wellness Center, located behind the Walmart in Grand Rapids. A ground breaking is planned for spring 2016. Day of Action projects range from clearing and removing brush and rocks, as well as garbage cleanup. Volunteers should wear long pants, long sleeves, closed toe shoes /boots, protective gloves and/or sunscreen/bug repellent.

Special thanks to our Day of Action sponsors: Jimmy Johns and Paul Bunyan Communications. 

For more information about volunteering or sponsoring the Day of Action, contact Kimberly Brink Smith, at 218-999-7570 or For a complete list of activities and updates, visit 

About United Way of 1000 Lakes
United Way of 1000 Lakes is the leader in mobilizing resources of individuals, companies, government and local organizations, igniting community collaboration for change in support of the building blocks for a good quality life – success in school; financial stability; access to care; and making healthy lifestyle choices. United way invites everyone to join the movement. Visit


Join hundreds of other active volunteers for a variety of hand-on projects on June 19th, such as cleaning up grounds, landscaping, painting, and planting gardens. Volunteers receive a Day of Action t-shirt (t-shirts guaranteed to first 100 registered volunteers) and lunch provided by Jimmy Johns. Register for a full day (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) or half day (9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. Alternate Day of Action (in case of rain): Tuesday, June 23rd. Registration form available at 

Hold a Collection Drive:
Coordinate a collection drive at your church, organization, civic group or business. All you have to do is collect the items. Sponsor a care package with a monetary gift or donate much needed items including: toothbrushes, FULL SIZE toothpaste, hair care products and deodorant, laundry detergent, first aid supplies, diapers, feminine hygiene products, paper products, and (new) wash cloths and hand and bath towels. To arrange a pick-up of donations on June 19th, call 218-999-7570. Toolkit available at

Get the Word Out: 
Spread the word about Day of Action by posting flyers (available at Wear your Live United shirt! Shirts can be purchased for $10 (includes a $5 donation to United Way) by calling 218-999-7570. Post a selfie of you and your friends and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Use Day of Action hashtags: #DayofAction, #Volunteer and #LiveUnited. 

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