On Thursday, September 19, Greater Ottawa County United Way hosted its annual Day of Caring event. More than 650 volunteers teamed up to help local nonprofit organizations with 45 projects around the county throughout the day. Vice President of Volunteer Engagement Shannon LaHaie Behm said, “Our volunteer teams and nonprofit organizations look forward to Day of Caring each year. This event is an opportunity to give back, build teamwork and have fun. This year, local nonprofit agencies received $91,846 in labor support from 65 groups of volunteers throughout the day. We are thankful for the support of our generous community on this day and all year round.”

Each year, Camp Geneva generously donates space at their pavillion for a volunteer appreciation lunch, with food (and grilling skills!) donated by A.D. Bos Vending Services and Tyson Foods. During lunch, Greater Ottawa County United Way kicked off its 2019-20 annual community campaign. United Way Campaign Chair Michael MacPherson of Huntington Bank announced, “Our 2019-20 impact goal is to serve 65,000 people in our community as well as mobilize 10,000 volunteers, with a campaign goal of $2.2 million. I am confident that by engaging new and current donors in the community impact work of United Way, we can reach our goal and help our neighbors achieve their full potential.”

Greater Ottawa County United Way President Patrick Moran said, “Last year, we were able to make a positive impact in the lives of more than 62,000 people in Ottawa County. This year, we are aiming higher, with a goal of impacting the lives of more than 65,000 people in the areas of education, financial stability, health and basic needs. I know we can accomplish this goal with the support of our nonprofit community partners, business partners, donors and volunteers. When we all come together to Live United, we can transform lives and transform our local communities.”

As an incentive to attract new donors to the campaign, campaign sponsors are offering the popular “Two Tickets to Paradise” campaign drawing. Anyone who pledges $1 per week for the first time or increases their pledge by $1 a week will be entered into a drawing to win a trip for two to a resort in Key West, Florida. Details can be found at www.ottawaunitedway.org/prize-drawing.

Leadership donors who give $500 or more during the campaign year have an opportunity to double their gift, thanks to the Ottawa County Leadership Challenge, a $90,000 (and growing) match grant from generous local donors. This match is available for new gifts of $500 or more from anyone living or working in Ottawa County. Any increase from previous leadership givers will also be matched. Donors 40 years of age and under are able to join the Lighthouse Leadership Circle and double their impact with a first-time donation of $250 or an increase in last year’s gift. Lighthouse Leadership Circle members enjoy access to exclusive volunteer, advocacy, and networking opportunities.

The United Way Board of Directors and staff would like to thank the generous corporate partners and volunteers who make the annual Day of Caring possible. The Day of Caring lunch was provided by donations from Camp Geneva, A.D. Bos Vending Services and Tyson Foods of Zeeland. Day of Caring and community campaign expenses are underwritten by our generous LIVE UNITED sponsors. Pinnacle sponsors are Fifth Third Bank and Shape Corp. Platinum sponsors are: Consumers Energy, The Grand Haven Tribune, Haworth, Johnny Advertising, WGHN radio, WHTC/The Van Radio, and Worksighted. Gold sponsors are: A.D. Bos Vending Services, Inc., Barber Ford, DeNooyer Chevrolet, The Holland Sentinel, Huntington Bank, Itex/West Michigan Barter Co., Inc, Joy99/The Pledge radio, Manpower, Varnum and West Michigan Community Bank. Silver sponsors are: City Flats Hotel, Fox 17 and PADNOS.