Make Waves: Adopt a highway, help kids, support trees

Spring is in the air and do we ever have fabulous date ideas for you! Ask that cutie you’ve had your eye on to join you in volunteering along the Lakeshore. You’ll show off your compassion and creativity, and not spend a red cent! Most of all, you’ll help others.

If your organization has an upcoming volunteer or fundraising event, please let us know by emailing

Agency: Ottawa Conservation District
Cause: Annual tree seedling sale prep
When: April 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with shorter shifts available
Where: Reenders Blueberry Farm, 9981 West Olive Road

On April 12, the Ottawa Conservation District will be wrapping tree seedlings for its annual tree seedling sale and is asking for community volunteers to help wrap trees between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Reenders Blueberry Farm. This work is mildly physical and dirty, which means it is fun! All current state and CDC safety guidelines will be followed at the time of wrapping. Lunch is provided. Contact the district with any dietary restrictions. Volunteers will be emailed about a week before to touch base with further details and to get a lunch order. Registration is required, so find the full details and sign up at the Ottawa Conservation District website. Contact or 616-842-5852 Ext. 5 with any questions.

Agency: Escape Ministries
Cause: Van Drivers and Receptionists needed
Timeframe:  Ongoing

Receptionists will provide assistance in the office area answering phones, welcoming students and visitors, doing assigned projects, assisting with serving lunches, and doing some computer work.
The office is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.

Van drivers are needed to transport students and their families 7:30-9 a.m. and 12:45-2:15 p.m. Monday – Friday; 1:45-3 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Escape Ministries in Holland always welcomes volunteers to help them as they continue empower area youth. For more info follow the link to the volunteer page: Volunteer – Escape Ministries. Or contact Escape at or (616) 396-4481.

Agency: Total Trek Quest at Arbor Circle
Cause: Helping boys through running
Timeframe: Ongoing
Where: 1115 Ball Avenue NE – Building A, Grand Rapids

Calling all runners! Arbor Circle’s Total Trek Quest (TTQ) program welcomes volunteers on an ongoing basis. This is an after-school program designed exclusively for boys in third through fifth grade. TTQ incorporates the physical activity of training for a 5k run with a curriculum focusing on making healthy choices, building social skills, and resisting peer pressure. You can help make a difference in the lives of young boys in your community while sharing your passion for running, wellness, relationship building, and mentorship. Coaches encourage positive mental and physical wellness including preventing or reducing high-risk behaviors. Volunteer coaches needed in Kent, Allegan, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Newaygo counties. For more information visit, or to become a coach, contact Alli at or 616-265-4884. 

Agency: Adopt-A-Highway with MDOT
Cause: Keeping highways beautiful
When: April 23-May 1

Adopt-A-Highway is a Michigan Department of Transportation program designed to help keep the state’s highway roadsides clean and attractive. Participants adopt both sides of a section of state highway roadside to clean up over a two-year period. A minimum two-mile stretch of roadway is recommended. Join the Adopt-A-Highway Program:
  1. Check with the local AAH Coordinator about location availability prior to sending in an application, and to determine where to send the application.
  2. Complete an Adopt-A-Highway application form.
  3. Keep one copy for yourself.
Questions? See,4616,7-151-9621_11041_14408---,00.html for more info or contact the local Adopt-A-Highway coordinator:
Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent counties:
Antoinette Goodman

Mason, Muskegon, Oceana, Ottawa counties: 
John Crossett

And for businesses, the Michigan Sponsor-A-Highway Program provides civic-minded businesses the opportunity to sponsor professional litter removal services on designated state highways. In return, sponsors are recognized with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-approved full-color signs featuring their company name and logo. Participating in the Michigan Sponsor-A-Highway Program gives companies the opportunity to be recognized for their contributions to the local community and the environment. The program also provides for cleaner highways and allows MDOT to use funds allocated for litter removal to improve Michigan's roads. To speak to someone about sponsoring litter removal on Michigan highways, contact:
Adopt A Highway Maintenance Corporation

Agency: Resilience 
Cause: Spring Cleaning, help line and more at domestic violence shelter
When: Ongoing

In 2019, Center for Women in Transition was rebranded to become Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence. Resilience, 411 Butternut Drive, Holland, creates partnerships and programs to stop domestic and sexual violence once and for all. Resilience proudly serves all survivors – regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, or any other ethos. All services are confidential and free of charge. This organization serves Ottawa and Allegan counties. Some of the volunteers needed are:
  • Shelter Volunteers
  • Help Line Volunteer
  • Receptionist
  • Wardrobe/Donations
  • Support Group Volunteers (Childcare, Reception and Transportation)
  • Facilities work – light carpentry work, installing hardware and blinds, small repairs and fixes, painting and drywall patching
  • Vehicle repair – oil changes, brakes and tires
  • Seasonal grounds assistance – power washing of windows and exterior siding, cleaning gutters
For details, visit or contact 616-392-2829;

Read more articles by Kathleen Schenck.