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Day of Caring - Muskegon

Join Us For Day of Caring! September 6th, 2019

What is Day of Caring? 

Day of Caring is a United Way of the Lakeshore tradition that brings hundreds of volunteers together for a single day of service. Dozens of companies, clubs, nonprofits, and families all gather together to make a HUGE impact on their community. Our volunteers show the true spirit of LIVING UNITED while they work side-by-side for a day. Day of Caring was started 26 years ago in the Muskegon County community and has been one of the largest volunteer events ever since. From our first project working at the YMCA & Foster Grandparent to clearing giant murals at the Muskegon County Fairgrounds, to working on over 40 veteran family homes, it has been a favorite tradition of our volunteers.


8:00 AM
Meet at United Way of the Lakeshore (31 E Clay Ave) for registration & a free breakfast by the Lion's Club! Here you will check in with your team, get extra supplies, celebrate the day, and receive all final details for the event. 
 8:50 AM
Send Off - stretches, band, and more!
9:00 AM
Leave United Way of the Lakeshore for your site!
12:30 - 12:45 PM
Lunches will be delivered to your site. 
1:00 PM 
First normal shift is over! Second shift and the full shift teams stay until 4:00 PM. 

Thank you to our sponsors for this event: 


This year's projects: 

Veteran Homes:

Help us honor some of our greatest community members, our veterans. An estimate of 5,000 veterans live below the ALICE threshold, and may not be able to afford or be physically able to repair their homes or maintain their landscape. These homes will be all across the county and have been referred to us by Veteran Organizations like HealthWest, the DAV, Disability Network, and the American Red Cross. 

Daycare Providers: 

For our ALICE families, daycare is one of the largest expenses in their budget. As the state regulations and compliances tighten, it is hard for our daycare providers who cater to families below the ALICE threshold (both ALICE & families in poverty) to continue to provide a reasonable rate for families and upgrade their spaces for the kids to grow and learn. On the Lakeshore, we are beginning to see a childcare desert due to inhome daycare providers not being able to make these repairs off of their wages. The daycares that we will be working on all cater to families who fall below the poverty line who need help freshing up their outdoor spaces. These projects will be benefitting numerous children in our community and their development as they get older. Many projects include repairing/constructing playground equipment (swings/slides), painting, and landscaping. 

Johnny O. Harris Park

This park in Muskegon Heights was dedicated as a memorial park for Muskegon Heights Patrolman Johnny O. Harris who was fatally shot in the line of duty in 1975. (Read MLive Article from 1975)  For decades Johnny O.Harris Park was a community hub complete with playground equipment, beautiful trails, picnic areas, murals, basketball courts, a boardwalk with a creek, and a baseball field. In recent years, the park has been buried by overgrown vegetation, discarded trash, fallen branches, and years of wear and tear on playground equipment. These project is great for all ages of volunteers. A safe and easily accessible park improves our community and gives our youth a great place to go and enjoy the outdoors. 
For Day of Caring this year, there will be three large teams to help restore the park. 
The Park Clean Up team will help with some of the following activities: 
  • Clearing sidewalks and paths
  • Weeding, mowing, and edging 
  • Fixing swingsets 
  • Repairing "DO NOT SWIM SIGNS" on the creek
  • Trash pickup
  • Possible painting jobs
  • Planting
  • Replacing some boards on playground equipment
The Basketball team will help with some of the following activities: 
  • Hanging New Hoops
  • Hanging up new nets
  • Painting lines on the courts
Young children will help with our sand pouring. Our hopes are to make turn this abandoned field to something that is "play ready" and to hold a United Way memorial softball tournament there in honor of fallen police like Johnny O. Harris.
The Baseball Field Restoration team will help with some of the following activities: 
  • Clearing the overgrown field
  • Painting Benches
  • Pouring Diamond Sand
  • Chalking Lines
  • Weeding
  • Clearing branches 
This project is great for all ages of volunteers. Young children will help with our sand pouring. Our hopes are to make turn this abandoned field to something that is "play ready" and to hold a United Way memorial softball tournament there in honor of fallen police like Johnny O. Harris. 

Ryerson Creek

Ryerson Creek runs from Egleston Township all the way to Muskegon Lake! We have been working with several groups on reclaiming this creek and restoring it to it's natural state. This project will be right across the street from the United Way building, and will help the wildlife and environment around it. 

School Supply Sorting

Each year, United Way of the Lakeshore runs a school supply drive that is then distributed out to our elementary schools and families in need. Help us sort, pack, and deliver our school supplies collected from Fill the Truck! 

Operation Gratitude

Help us honor those who serve us! Operation Gratitude is one way we honor some of our most important community members. Write or craft letters for our local first responders, new recruits, deployed troops, and our veterans. Whether it is your family, classroom, club, church or even just you, you can make a hero's day! 
Help Us Find Veterans, New Recruits, & First Responders: 
Everything we collect we want to distribute locally to those who are serving from our community. Help us find who we need to send these cards/packages to by signing them up at 

Volunteer Registration: 

This year we are holding all sign ups online on our Get Connected Platform. You can read each individual project and decide what team you would like to volunteer with. We are trying to make sure that our company teams stay together. If you have a company team, make sure to check-in with them, or contact us to find out what project you would like to be on. We will be updating each project as well with their corresponding company teams. If you do not have a team, that is okay! You can still volunteer at anyone of our projects. Everyone is included on Day of Caring festivities. 
Click the volunteer button to get registered!
Having trouble registering, or do not have an email? Contact our community engagement office today at 231-332-4006 or email Dominique Bunker at


If you have been a part of Day of Caring, you probably still have one (or several) of our LIVE UNITED T-Shirts. Each year, these T-Shirts take a huge piece of our budget, money we could be using in our community and for our recipients (Veterans, Daycare Providers, Parks). This year we are asking everyone to use their previous T-Shirts and wear one you may have received in the past. We will have some T-Shirts available with a small donation. These shirts will be a first come, first served basis.
If you are a part of a company (or club) team, we encourage the following options:
  • Wear Your Company Team Shirts - whether you are a business, a club, a union, or a church, chances are you already have a "Team Shirt". Represent your organization and look great while doing it. 
  • Order a LIVE UNITED CoBranded T-Shirt - Want to let everyone know you LIVE UNITED? You can order directly online at and have the shirt available for pick up on the day of the event! 
  • Contact United Way at 231-332-4006 or email our engagement office at today! Have the traditional LIVE UNITED shirt in either blue, light blue, red, yellow, orange, gray, black or white, with your organization's name on the back. 
Thank you for your understanding on this issue. By eliminating the T-Shirts we use for this event, we will be able to fund an entire home of repairs.