United Way of Northwest Michigan (UWNWMI) announces their first Summer of Service, a 10-week volunteerism event featuring a different Traverse City area nonprofit each week throughout the summer. From 4-7pm each Thursday from June 1 – August 3, volunteers of all ages can drop-in at a different agency to help with their current projects. Over the course of the summer, volunteers can experience a sampling of the breadth of volunteer opportunities in the area, and will be able to drop-in for the weeks and times that work best for them.
“One of the main reasons Summer of Service was created is because I like to take my kids with me when I volunteer. It is a great chance to expose them to civic engagement, and sometimes it can be hard to justify the expense of getting a babysitter so I can volunteer,” said Bailey Nuss, Director of Volunteer Engagement at UWNWMI who spearheaded the new program.
Area nonprofit partners that are scheduled for Summer of Service include Traverse Area District Library, TART Trails, Festival Foundation at the National Cherry Festival, Salvation Army, Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, The Watershed Center, and Great Lakes Children’s Museum. “We hope to encourage all ages to volunteer and find value in giving back to the community as well as spending time with their families,” shared Seth Johnson, Executive Director of UWNWMI. “There is such a variety of organizations to volunteer for in our region and Summer of Service provides a flexible schedule for summer residents and locals to join in.”
Summer of Service will kick off on June 1 with the Downtown Experience, helping beautify the J Smith Walkway between Kilwin’s and Pangea’s in downtown Traverse City. Individuals, families, friends, coworkers, and tourists are welcome to stop down and take part as long as they want anytime between 4-7 pm.
“We are thrilled to take part in the first ever Summer of Service. Volunteerism has changed since the start of the pandemic, and we are excited to see a new type of volunteering that is geared towards the whole community,” said Tom Maynard, Impact Manager at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, who will be hosting the 10th and final Summer of Service event on August 3 at their Grielickville location.