Volunteer and Make a DifferenceLooking for a way to give back this holiday season? Capital Area United Way has many opportunities for you to get involved in helping the community. Along with their annual campaigns to raise money for the community, Capital Area United Way hosts monthly service projects. Last month they held a day of caring where more than 150 volunteers served over a period of two days. Fourteen projects were completed through 14 different nonprofits. These projects included painting, landscaping and gardening in an effort to clean up the community. It’s projects like these that help serve the Capital Area United Way’s mission of uniting people and resources to solve problems and improve the quality of life for individuals and families in the community. Volunteers are a large part of making that happen. “Volunteering isn’t something new, but lately people have had a strong desire to volunteer together. The holiday season is the time for giving — why not get your friends, family or work colleagues together and make a special gift to the community: your time” said Pat Hemingway, vice president of community investment at Capital Area United Way. This Thanksgiving day and Christmas day Hemingway suggests participating as a holiday volunteer at an assisted living center or nursing home through the Capital Area United Way. Extend season’s greetings and holiday cheer to residents by reading poems to them, dining, decorating and playing games. Hemingway added that when you volunteer you are really making a big difference in people’s lives. Even after one day of helping, she said, you will have a sense of gratification knowing what you are doing is appreciated. “Volunteers help strengthen our community and make life better for others,” said Hemingway. “Whether it is working to beautify the city corridors and passageways, spending time with seniors, mentoring youth, delivering or serving meals — volunteers lift the hearts they serve … there are numerous volunteer activities in the tri-county area.” To find a volunteering opportunity that works for you, contact Pat Hemingway at 517-203-5022 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. She also encourages you to visit www.volunteermidmichigan.org. Registering is quick, simple and free. Everything you do this season makes a difference.