Voluntary RE:action

Welcome to our volunteer column sponsored by Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Discover which volunteer position best describes you. Pick a cause and react voluntarily!

Volunteer Spotlight

Mallory Patterson
Heartside Neighborhood
Association Volunteer

“Time is your most precious asset and how you use your energy matters. I volunteer because it grounds me, it connects me to my community, and it allows me to make change in thoughtful and meaningful ways because I have listened, learned, and walked alongside those trying to point the needle in a better direction.”

The Walker with a Purpose

Get out your purple attire and volunteer your time to help the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. There are three different walks this month (9/8, 9/15, 9/29) that need on-site volunteers. These participants will help with the setup of pop-up tents, hanging banners, registration, wayfinding, water stations, tear down, truck loading and unloading, and other tasks. All volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and the satisfaction of helping many caregivers and families affected by this disease.

Take Action: Register with a volunteer coordinator at act.alz.org.

ArtPrize Junkie

Get in on the annual art event that has taken over Grand Rapids for the last nine years. From Sept. 19-Oct.7, the streets will be flooded with art and — you guessed it — volunteers! From directing people where to go on the streets to assisting at events and exhibitions to leading education activities, you can find your place among the many opportunities. For those looking for more responsibility, there is the option to become a volunteer lead. Group volunteering is also an option.

Take Action: Register online at artprize.org.

The Bridge Runner

This annual run hosted by Lake Michigan Credit Union requires more than 300 volunteers. There are all kinds of tasks that need done, like manning a spirit station, packet pickup, tear down and aid stations. There will be a 10K run and a 5K run/walk, beginning and ending at Rosa Parks Circle after a run across the bridge and around town.

Take Action: Sign up online at thebridgerun.com.

The School Supporter

It’s that time of year when kids are back in school! Help out some of the thousands of students who attend Grand Rapids Public
Schools by signing up to be a one-on-one tutor, a coach, technology assistant, parent group leader and more.

Take Action: Visit grps.org/volunteer to fill out an application.

The Righteous Rider

The Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding provides equine-based therapy to individuals who face physical, mental and emotional challenges and serves 185 people each week. While there are opportunities to work with the horses (horse leader, side walker, tacking, etc.), no equestrian experience is necessary to contribute to this incredible cause. The center needs dedicated volunteers to pitch in with an array of functions, such as barn cleaning and maintenance, event planning, administrative tasks and more.

Take Action: To get involved, email Emily at  emileewujkowski@equestcenter.org

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