Make Waves on the Lakeshore: Let kindness fight the wintertime blues

Your favorite game may be canceled, but there are plenty of ways to fight the good fight this season. The following volunteer or fundraising events take place from mid-January to mid-February. If your organization has an upcoming volunteer or fundraising event, let us know by emailing us at contact@thelakeshorewm.com.

United Way of the Lakeshore Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
When: Feb. 11 starting at 8:30 a.m. for the first shift, 11 a.m. for the second
Where: Burrel Center, 412 E. Sherman Blvd., Muskegon Heights

Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy by following his words: “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.” Join United Way of the Lakeshore & AmeriCorps Seniors in their MLK Day of Service to help get essential care kits to the homeless and homebound seniors. You can volunteer for set-up, packing, and/or clean-up and delivery. Packing will take place at the Burrel Center, 412 E. Sherman Blvd, Muskegon Heights This will be in the gym, so there will be plenty of spacing between volunteers. Masks are required to volunteer, regardless of vaccination status.

Homeless COVID-19 care kits: 
Currently, there are more than 80 families staying in hotels and motels that are COVID-19 positive and homeless. These families, unfortunately, cannot stay at their local shelters or access traditional resources. Volunteers will be packing care kits for these homeless families to make their stay easier and more enjoyable while they battle COVID-19.

AmeriCorps Senior (RSVP) — care kits for homebound seniors:
Retired & Senior Volunteer Program members will be packing care packages for homebound seniors in both Muskegon and Oceana counties. Also, volunteers will be working alongside the COVID-19 Care Kit packers at the Burrel Center.

Three volunteer shifts:

Shift 1 — Set-up: Volunteers, who must have a vehicle to help with transport, will meet at United Way of the Lakeshore, 31 E. Clay Ave., at 8:30 a.m. and help deliver items for the care packages to the Burrel Center. After transporting materials, you will help set up tables and the room for the packing volunteers. Estimated volunteer time: 1.5 hours. 

Shift 2 — Packing: Volunteers will pack the kits for both the homeless population and homebound seniors. Packing starts at 11 a.m. Estimated volunteer time: 1 to 1.5 hours.

Shift 3 — Clean-up and delivery: Help us deliver the care kits to their designated sites. There will be no deliveries to individual homes. All deliveries will be delivered to designated agency sites and then distributed by that agency's leadership. 

To volunteer, visit the United Way of the Lakeshore website.
 
Emergency Shelter
When: Throughout winter
Where: The Gateway Mission's women and family shelter is located at Family Hope Ministry Center, 356 Fairbanks Ave., Holland. Phone: 616-928-3469. The men's shelter is located at the Men’s Ministry Center, 166 S. River Ave., Holland. Phone: 616-928-3413

Emergency shelter is needed for the homeless when the weather makes exposure life-threatening. Help spread the word about the warming centers, and if you know someone who is living unsheltered, encourage them to seek help at the Mission. It’s dangerous for anyone to be living outside in a makeshift shelter or vehicle at this time. If you want to help, please bring them inside.

Holland Rescue Mission is always looking for volunteers, from Emergency Shelter Assistants to barber/beautician to kitchen or thrift store assistants. Visit hollandrescue.org/volunteer/ for more information and to sign up to help. Phone: 616-396-2200.


Muskegon State Park Stewardship Workday
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 22
Where: Muskegon State Park, 3560 Memorial Drive, North Muskegon. Meet in the Snug Harbor parking lot.

Start off the new year by volunteering with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Muskegon State Park. Volunteers will remove invasive vines and shrubs from the Lost Lake Trail. No experience is necessary. Volunteers will be trained to identify target species. Register by emailing Emily Leslie at LeslieE1@Michigan.gov.

Additional information is available via the DNR Volunteer Stewardship webpage. For more information about invasive species, visit michigan.gov/Invasives.
Note: Dates occasionally change and events may be canceled due to inclement weather and other reasons. Call the event contact to confirm dates/times prior to your arrival.

A Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into Michigan state parks. To make a camping reservation, visit midnrreservations.com or call 1-800-447-2757.
 
Saugatuck Dunes State Park Volunteer Stewardship Workday
When: 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 23
Where: Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 6575 138th Ave., Saugatuck. Meet at the trailhead near the Felt Mansion. 

Join the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' continued effort to remove Japanese barberry from the park. Volunteers will learn to identify these unwanted shrubs and will work to remove them. Please be sure to arrive on time; we will be hiking to the work location. Register by emailing Emily Leslie at LeslieE1@michigan.gov.

For more information on the program, visit the Volunteer Stewardship webpage. For more information about invasive species, visit Michigan.gov/Invasives.

A Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into Michigan state parks. To make a camping reservation, visit MIDNRReservations.com or call 1-800-447-2757.
Please Note: Dates occasionally change and events may be canceled due to inclement weather and other reasons. Please call the event contact to confirm dates/times prior to your arrival.

Read more articles by Kathleen Schenck.