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United Way of the Lakeshore's Day of Caring this year extended to a monthlong effort

The event kicked off Friday, Sept. 11 at cemeteries in Muskegon County with small group of volunteers cleaning headstones.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — The United Way of the Lakeshore kicks off its season of giving this week and have decided to extend its Day of Caring for an entire month. 

Organizers extended the Day of Caring because the yearly event would attract a large number of volunteers working close together. This year there are smaller groups that must be spaced out.

The event kicked off Friday, Sept. 11 at cemeteries in Muskegon County with small group of volunteers cleaning headstones. 

A group from Webb Chemical and Trace Analytical concentrated their efforts at Mona View Cemetery. Volunteers noticed many of the headstones were so dirty the names couldn't be read.

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"It has been unique to the people who are doing the cleaning," Brad Hilleary, Owner Webb Chemical, said. "They are actually saying the name out loud -- reading who it was when they were alive and there is a connection for sure."

Credit: 13 OYS

More projects will follow into the next 2 weeks, including ways to improve Muskegon area nonprofits, efforts to confront racism, and the 2020 United Way of the Lakeshore "Respond, Recover, Reimagine, Rebuild" campaign. 

  • On Sept. 17, the African Heritage Network at Howmet will be helping a blind veteran in Fruitland Township by clearing a local trail.
  • On Sept. 18, several teams will be assisting Every Woman’s Place & Step Up with projects at their locations. 
  • Finally, on Sept. 26, United Way of the Lakeshore is partnering with the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership, to help recruit volunteers for its annual watershed clean up. 
  • Day of Caring projects in Newaygo will take place on Sept, 25. Volunteers will be assisting in a number of community cleanups. 
  • Day of Caring in Oceana will take place on Oct. 3 with a Feeding America Food Truck at Shelby State Bank in Shelby as well as working on community cleanup projects. 

The goal of “Respond, Recover, Reimagine, Rebuild” is to raise awareness of how each person can change their community’s condition as well as increasing overall participation in giving for Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties. Volunteers are still needed to help serve as campaign division volunteers to support growth in the campaign. Volunteers will connect with up to 5 individuals or companies to invite them to get connected to United Way. 

If you are interested in helping with the campaign this year, please reach out to Kara@unitedwaylakeshore.org or call her at 231-332-4003. You can find all this information and more at www.unitedwaylakeshore.org/DOC.

RELATED: United Way’s Day of Caring expands to month-long event

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