On Friday, May 6, nearly 500 eighth grade students from Lakeshore Middle School volunteered at more than 25 local nonprofit organizations and parks as part of Greater Ottawa County United Way’s fifth annual Junior Day of Caring. Students helped with projects such as spring cleaning and landscaping, park clean up, giving middle school tours to incoming students and setting up and playing games with senior citizens.


Nearly 1,000 middle school students volunteered in the Grand Haven area during the Junior Days of Caring, making it the largest volunteer event in Ottawa County. Director of Volunteerism Shannon LaHaie said, “We are so proud of these students for making a difference in their community. The Junior Day of Caring experience is a way to engage students in the community, develop leadership skills, and teach the importance of giving back, all while helping local nonprofits and parks.”


The opportunity for students to volunteer with United Way continues after middle school. When students enter high school, they are eligible to join United Way’s Students LIVE UNITED program. Students who join the program track their volunteer hours and have the opportunity to earn awards from United Way and the Governor of Michigan. To learn more, visit:


Support for a portion of the Junior Day of Caring student transportation was provided by a donation from the Friends of Ottawa County Parks.


To learn more about volunteering in our community, visit and click on the “Volunteer” button, or call (616) 396-7811.