United Way mobilizing teams to do home repair projects for veterans and military families

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Heart of West Michigan United Way is mobilizing teams of volunteers to complete home repairs and landscaping and other outdoor home improvement projects for veterans and military families.

Operation United for Veterans aims to serve those who served our country. The United Way will facilitate projects across Kent County including refuse removal, mulching, tree planting and lawn mowing, according to a Wednesday, Feb. 23 press release.

Beginning Friday, May. 13, the volunteers teams will scatter throughout the county to support veterans, active-duty service members, or military spouse and surviving spouses. to veterans and active military families who need help with their homes.

Since 2019, the program from the Heart of West Michigan’s Volunteer Center has been making a different in the lives of families. Applications are being accepted through March 13. Kent County residents may apply themselves or nominate a person. Apply at www.hwmuw.org/operation-united.

To apply, applicants must be a resident of Kent County and available for a brief site visit to the applicant’s home in March, United Way said. A veteran applicant, family member or representative must be present during repairs.

Officials say some past projects of the annual event have included stair and ramp building, power washing and deck repair.

According to Maribeth Green, director of marketing and communications at United Way West Michigan, the program already has eight applicants and expects a total of 15 applicants by the deadline, matched with 15 to 20 volunteers for each site.

By working with Home Depot as a sponsor, United Way will be able to gain teams of volunteers from the business, as well as search for other organizations to form several volunteer teams.

“It has just been kind of a way to give back to veterans and families who have served and done so much for the country,” Groen said. “One of our strengths at United Way is that we can mobilize volunteers so we can provide the connection of companies with the veterans that needed help. We are asking volunteer groups at a minimum to be a home sponsor to cover the expenses for the project.”

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