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26 local veterans receive yard and home repair help

Hundreds of volunteers spread across West Michigan to help local veterans as part of Operation United.


With the weather warming up, yardwork and outdoor home repairs are becoming priorities. 

As part of an event called Operation United, United Way did just that to give back to the people who served our country. They had 250 volunteers help local veterans with spring house work. 

One Walker couple had a crew at their home of 42 years. 

"We like to stay in our home as long as we can, but we are limited as to what we can do," said Walker resident Betty Hofstra.

Betty and her husband Karl, a 95-year-old Army veteran, said they’re so grateful.

"All this work this spring, we thought how are we going to get it done?" Karl said. "It's happening today."

Heart of West Michigan United Way did landscaping and outdoor home repair projects for 26 military veterans and current service members. Some of the tasks included stair and ramp building and repair, house painting, mulching, tree planting and lawn mowing.

It’s all part of an effort to serve the people who served our country.

"They’re painting the railing on the front porch, they’re painting the trim on the front porch, they’re painting the deck, and the steps, and cleaning up the flower beds," Betty said. 

United Way helped veterans throughout Kent County including Sparta, Caledonia, Wyoming, Rockford and Grand Rapids. 

This was the first year for Operation United, and United way is hoping to make it an annual event. 

Nominations will be open again in the winter.

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