GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - It's the one day of the year, that brings people across West Michigan together. Heart of West Michigan United Way is gearing up for the annual "Day of Caring," but the organization needs your help.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way is recruiting volunteers from area companies, groups and even individual volunteers to take part in this county-wide service event.

There are more than 100 projects people can join in on. They are all focused on meeting local needs, by helping organizations that help others. Meals on Wheels is a perfect example. One of the service projects, this year, is doing meal prep for the non-profit.

The annual "Day of Caring" gets underway Friday, Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. But, organizers are asking people to make a commitment and sign up for a project today.

Other "Day of Caring" Projects include: assembling activity packs for Kent County Girls On The Run, planting for Kent County Parks and Kent Conservation District as well as sorting donations for 'In the Image.'

In many cases, this annual event allows non-profits to complete projects they would, otherwise, not have the time, staff or money to do.

According to the Independent Sector, the value of a volunteer hour is $24.69, meaning that Day of Caring 2018 will invest more than $146,000 worth of manpower into Kent County," said Maribeth Groen, marketing manager. "The projects will take place both in the morning and the afternoon, and volunteers will gather at John Ball Park for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"Last year, Heart of West Michigan United Way had roughly 1,400 volunteers show up. It is hoping to beat that this year, with more than 1,700 volunteers. It's a three hour commitment that will have a much longing-lasting."

Those interested can register online.

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