Event Specific Volunteer Opportunities

The following list of opportunities are not directly coordinated by the CSLC, so please be sure to sign up with the listed contact person.

April 2016

Literacy Center of West Michigan - Family Activity Night

4/28 5:45-8pm

4/29 4:30-7pm

The Family Literacy Program provides FREE English language classes to parents whose children attend participating Grand Rapids and Godwin Heights Public Schools. Parents attend classes at their child’s school twice a week. In addition parents and their children are invited to monthly Family Activity Nights. These events target specific literacy skills that support parents in raising strong successful readers. Family Activity Night is all about literacy, but it's also about community--we eat together, learn together, and have fun doing it! Volunteers will be involved in all aspects of Family Activity Night; set up, tear down, distribution of materials, interacting with families, and the food and fun! For more information, please contact Claira Freeman at cfreeman@literacycenterwm.org or 616-459-5151 ext 14. Posted 3/22/2016.

Christian Reformed Headquarters Spring Planting

Saturday, April 30th 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Congratulations Plaster Creek Stewards on being awarded a spring 2016 Urban Forest Project mini-grant!  Good luck on your oak savanna restoration tree planting at the CRC Headquarters campus off 28th Street!  Project lead is Mike Ryskamp and to volunteer for this event please contact Mike at Plaster Creek Stewards!  Mike can be reached by email at mpr2@calvin.edu.

Spectrum Health - Jump Jam

April 30th, 7:00AM- 2:30PM

Spectrum Health Jump Jam is a jump rope competition for 3rd-5th graders in the Greater Grand Rapids area. Hundreds of students from Grand Rapids, Wyoming, and Kentwood public schools will come representing their school to compete in 6 jump rope categories. Jump Jam's goal is to promote health and wellness to these students by teaching children a fun way to keep active and tips for making healthy choices. We would love to have you join this fun-filled and high energy event!
Jump Jam is in need of counters for this event from 7:00am to 2:30pm on April 30th. When a jumper competes, counters use handheld counters to count the amount of jumps taken. Counters will also check to see if jumpers are prepared to compete in each round and provide a friendly, safe space for these students. Morning refreshments and lunch will be provided. Volunteers will also receive a free Jump Jam t-shirt and water bottle. If you would like to see more, here is a link to the promo video: http://jumpjam.org/resources/. Please contact Lauren Ziemba at info@jumpjam.org or 616-329-5541 if interested in volunteering. Posted 4/8/2016.

May 2016

Arbor Circle - ACCESS Hunger Walk

Sunday, May 1, 1pm - 5pm

Arbor Circle is inviting students to help volunteer with the ACCESS Hunger Walk! Participating in the Hunger Walk means that you will be joining community members and local organizations that are united in the fight against hunger. Together, we are looking to create sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty in Kent County! Not only Kent County has a Hunger Walk though; tens of thousands of walkers have raised more than $5.5 million dollars in 38 years of Hunger Walks in response to local and worldwide need! Arbor Circle is one of the recipient agencies this year and is taking a lead in the volunteer coordination component. Please help us make this possible! Sign up to volunteer for the event here! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Janelle Hill at jhill@arborcircle.org or 616-456-6571! Posted 3/15/2016.

Arthritis Foundation- 2016 Walk to Cure Arthritis

Saturday, May 7th 7am - 11:30am

The Walk To Cure Arthritis benefiting the Arthritis Foundation is a nationwide, non-competitive, team-walking event that raises funds to fight arthritis. The 2016 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis supports the foundation in its mission to provide leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases. Volunteers are needed to be face painters, photographers, kids area attendants, course marshals, parking assistants, and assist with set up, take down, registration/check-in, and t-shirt distribution. Most shifts are three hours. If interested, please contact Sue at 616-949-9938 or email sarend@arthritis.orgPosted 1/14/2016. 

Location - On bus route.

Nana's Run

Saturday, May 7th 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM

The ALS Association Michigan Chapter and Mercy Health, in partnership with the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, present the third year of Nana's Run, a special 5k race held in Grand Rapids, MI on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Nana's Run is the creation of the event chairpersons, Cassandra DeVos Thorndill and Sydney DeVos. The race is a tribute to their beloved maternal grandmother Char VanderLaan, affectionately called Nana, who passed away on March 7, 2014 after battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Since Nana VanderLaan was diagnosed with ALS in October 2013, the DeVos granddaughters have made a commitment to raise awareness about the disease and to raise funds that will support patient and physician education, ALS patients and their families, and ongoing research within Michigan. We need volunteers for Pre-Race and During Event Duties, which are described on this website. Questions? Contact Melanie Lorts at melanie@alsa-michigan.org or call 616-459-1900. Check us out on Facebook!

Tulip Time Festival

Saturday, May 7 - May 14, 7am - 8pm

There are so many ways for volunteers to help out with this event! Klomp the Record 2.0 - world record attempt most people dancing simultaneously in wooden shoes. Volunteers are needed to help organize lines, count and verify dancers participation. Kinderplaats - kids carnival - need volunteers to tamp passports and guide children on their journey around the "Netherlands". Art & Craft Fair - volunteers needed to check-in vendors, provide info and give breaks to vendors. Plus more! For more information go here! Also, contact Michelle Boerger at michelle@tuliptime.com or 616-396-4221. Posted 4/5/2016

WMEAC - Love your Mother Earth Grand River Clean Up

Saturday, May 7th 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

There will be a small breakfast provided beforehand and a light lunch after the cleanup. With the event taking place after Earth Day and right before Mother’s Day we will be hosting a “Love Your Mother Earth” Day celebration afterwards with live music provided by Greenhouse Gang! An after party will also take place at Grand Armory Brewing – get $1 off all beers when you wear your Ottawa County Cleanup t-shirt! The Ottawa County Grand River Cleanup is being organized locally by Ottawa County Parks and Friends of Ottawa County Parks with help from the West Michigan Environmental Action Council and sponsored by the City of Grand Haven and the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. Please save the date, put it on your calendar of events, and tell your friends to join us!

Timber Trot 5k & Tree Planting

Saturday, May 7th, 10AM - 12PM

We are very excited to invite you to join us for our first annual 5K and our third annual Tree Planting! The race starts at 9am and tree planting begins at 10:30am. We will also have festivities that include a DJ, free food, food trucks, ice cream, a magic show, and face painting! Don't forget to register online beforehand, can't wait to see you there! The race starts at Detroit Waldorf Academy, weaving through the Hantz Woodlands, and ends at Detroit Enterprise Academy at the lot where our tree planting will begin. Runners/ Walkers receive a t-shirt and medal. Volunteers are asked to bring clothes they don't mind getting dirty because we will be planting trees as well. If you have any more questions, please contact Erin Abel at abeleri@gvsu.edu or 616-331-9094. Posted 4/14/2016.

Read for School Tulip Time Event

Thursday, May 12th 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Ready for School will be providing kid's activities on the day of the Kinderparade in our courtyard parking area off of 8th Street. Volunteers will be needed for set up, running the activities and clean up. This is a great opportunity for a group of 10-15 students. If interested, contact Jayne Schutter at 616-834-0515, or email jschutter@readyforschool.org. Check us out on Facebook and InstagramPosted 2/25/2016.

Riverbank Run - Mary Free Bed Sports

Saturday, May 14

We are still in need of volunteers to fill slots for crowd control at the Riverbank Run this year!  Once again, it will be held in downtown Grand Rapids. Volunteers will receive free parking, a t-shirt, orientation for their job assignment, snacks, water, and a post-race reception lunch at the B.O.B. downtown! As always, we greatly appreciate our volunteers who help our events run smoothly! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions (616-840-8207). Sign up herePosted 4/27/2016

Ken-O-Sha Park Clean Up

Saturday, May 14th 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, in coordination with Ken-O-Sha Park Community, invites Grand Rapids neighbors to join us in a morning clean up at Ken-O-Sha Park on Saturday May 14th! Area neighbors have been working tirelessly to improve their park for three years and each spring park supporters work together to prepare Ken-O-Sha Park for a busy summer season. This is a family friendly, all hands on deck clean up and we would love to see you there! If you have questions, please email Rachel at rachel@friendsofgrparks.org or call 810-358-9324. 

Kent County Parks - Garlic Mustard Challenge Pull

Saturday, May 14, 10am - 12am 

Join the Kent County Parks for the annual Garlic Mustard Challenge Pull at Seidman Park in Ada! Join a team of “pullers” to help protect the natural habitats of this beautiful park! Registration is requested to plan for supplies and to arrange for multiple “pull” sites throughout the park. If you can’t make it out on May 14th, contact park.volunteers@kentcountymi.gov to plan your own “Pull” on a day that works for you! Great for individuals and groups of all ages! For information or to register, please contact Ginny Sines at park.volunteers@kentcountymi.gov or 616-632-7842! Posted 2/18/2016.

CRUSH Grand Rapids

Wednesday, May 18, 11am - 2pm

Come help at our signature fundraising event for Children's Leukemia Foundation of MI helps to raise money to support West Michigan families in their fight against blood based cancers! Local chefs from around West Michigan prepare signature foods paired with wines at The Reserve in Grand Rapids to raise awareness and support CLF. We need volunteers to help set up the restaurant for the event from 11a-2p and also help tear down the event from 9:45p-11p. Volunteers will be provided with downtown parking vouchers to cover cost of parking. If you have any other questions, please contact Jennifer Bareno at jbareno@leukemiamichigan.org or 616-885-1830! Posted 4/21/2016

Heritage Hill Association - Heritage Hill Weekend Tour of Homes

May 21 and 22, 2016; 11am - 5pm

Heritage Hill is hosting a tour of one of the country's largest urban historic districts in its spring bloom on May 21 and 22, 2016. The 47th annual Heritage Hill Tour opens doors to 8 private houses and 2 historic buildings. An array of architecture, colors, decorating styles, and great urban gardens await you. Tour hours are 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday; noon to 6 pm on Sunday. Volunteers will be providing scripted information for a specific room and general guiding of tourists through an assigned house. 3.5 hour shifts are available Saturday and Sunday. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Jan Earl at 616-459-8950 or at heritage@heritagehillweb.org. Posted 11/18/2015.

Location - On Bus route.

"Barley, BBQ, & Beats" to Benefit Hospice of Michigan

Saturday, May 21 4:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Join Hospice of Michigan for Barley, BBQ, and Beats - a delicious and exciting night featuring an array of West Michigan's best BBQ, spirits, and live music. Volunteer Opportunities include the following: Set Up, BBQ Runners, Non-Alcoholic Beverage Tables, BBQ Helpers, Cocktail Helpers, Memorial Wall, Clean Up, Add on Ticket Sellers, Ticket Collectors, Marketing Table, Tear Down, and Extra Hands. Volunteers must be 21 and up as well as be comfortable in an environment with alcohol. Guests should wear comfortable shoes and clothes and be able to walk larger distances around the Van Andel Arena. If interested, contact Claire Fisher at cfisher@hom.org or call 616-356-5233 with any questions. 

Arbor Circle - Hope Network Lace Up for Mental Health One in Five Marathon Relay

Saturday, May 28, 6:30am - 2:30pm

The Arbor Circle is a partner agency of Hope Network and will be receiving a portion of the proceeds to direct toward our mental health counseling services for children (ages 5-17). They would like to invite you to volunteer at their Marathon relay! The event has a variety of opportunities and time slots, which includes roles like Aid Stations and Course Marshals. Interested individuals must complete the on-line volunteer registration, found here! In order to track who is volunteering with GVSU on behalf of Arbor Circle, once you sign up to volunteer, please send the confirmation to Janelle Hill at jhill@arborcircle.org! Posted 3/15/2016.

Camp Barefoot at The Fowler Center for Outdoor Learning

Since 1992, The Fowler Center (TFC) has offered a week-long camp session for adults living with Traumatic Brain Injuries and Closed Head Injuries. Named for Carolyn Barefoot and her son, the family who originally approached TFC about offering such a camp, Camp Barefoot offers a week for adults with TBIs and CHIs to come together with friends and have a great time at camp. The shared TBI and CHI experiences of campers along with the relaxed schedule allows campers to build a support network within camp that many access throughout the year. Camp Barefoot is scheduled over Memorial Day Weekend every year from Saturday through Thursday. In addition, we now offer a weekend each September for campers who do not want to wait a whole year to see each other again. May 28-June 2, 2016. Volunteers are needed to help set up/clean up daily activities, welcome and assist with luggage on first day, socialize and engage with campers, help lead activities (if interested), and assist camper groups traverse around camp. If interested, contact Lynn Seeloff at camp@thefowlercenter.org or call 989-673-2050. Check us out on Facebook!

June 2016

Girls on the Run Celebration 5K

Friday, June 3rd 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM

The end of season 5K is an essential component of the Girls on the Run program. It provides an opportunity for girls to showcase the Girls on the Run core values and life skills they have learned during the season as they support one another and work towards achieving their goal of completing a 5K. The focus of the 5K is on effort and personal improvement not competition or performance. Girls can walk, run, skip, or jump as long as they are moving forward! This is a completely non-competitive event and we will not have clock. There are a variety of volunteer roles available! Please visit our website for more information and to register! Questions? Email Shyla Nash at shylan@cwitmi.org or call 616-494-1719. Check us out on Facebook!

Spartan Stores YMCA-Dance Recital Assistant

Friday, June 3rd 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM; Saturday, June 4th 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

We are looking for some help with our 2016 dance recital at the Spartan Stores YMCA! Specifically, we need 10-12 volunteers to help out with rehearsals on Friday, June 3rd from 5-8pm and with the recital on Saturday, June 4th from 1-3:30pm. Some of the duties are: student check-in/check-pit, dressing room help, runners to bring groups to and from back stage, ticket sales, flower sales,  greeter/program passers and setup/teardown of decorations. If you are interested in this opportunity you may contact Spartan Stores YMCA Volunteer Coordinator, Molly Scott at mscott@grymca.org or 616-885-5525. Posted 3/16/2016

West Michigan Whitecaps - 50/50 Raffle Volunteers

June 10, 2016 1:00PM - 4:00 PM; Also on July 4, July 9, August 5, August 20 2016.

Help the West Michigan Whitecaps Community Foundation sell 50/50 raffle tickets at one of their home baseball games. There are 5 dates needed for volunteering (6/10, 7/4, 7/9, 8/5, 8/20). The event could last up to 4 hours, and you will be contacted by email on the time to arrive as each game may be different. Please contact Lauren Brenda at laurenb@whitecapsbaseball.com or by calling 616-426-3672 to volunteer. Posted 3/14/2016. 

Eastown Bizarre Bazaar

Saturday, June 25th 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

The area along Wealthy Street between Atlas Avenue and Lake Drive will be filled with artists, potters, and craftspeople. There will be local music performances, food, and live art happening in the Hub Lot. Volunteers can assist with set up and clean up: helping vendors with their canopies, tables, carrying items, cleaning trash. Throughout the event: we'll need about 5 people per hour who can help distribute fliers, sell raffle tickets, check in with vendors and bring them water bottles, welcome visitors at entrances, etc. Volunteers may sign up in two hour shifts. If interested, contact Nicole Winter at info@eastown.org or call 616-451-3025. Check us out on Facebook!

Family Fiesta 2016 - Community Health Advocate - YMCA

June 25, 2016; 12:30pm - 4pm 

This event, hosted by the YMCA, is a summer family fiesta event at the Roosevelt Park. It's a community event full of fun activities for the whole family. We have a few different things we may will need volunteers for. It is up to them on what they choose to do. We need volunteers to help with a couple of games for school aged students. We also need help with set up and tear down of event. We will also be conducting a health awareness survey on iPads throughout the event to adults. If you are interested in this opportunity feel free to contact Belisa Melton at 616-855-9692 or at bmelton@grymca.org. Posted 1/19/2016

Location - On Bus route.

July 2016


August 2016

Helping Hands (Freshmen Move-In)

Monday, August 22 - Friday, August 26

WE NEED YOUR HELP! If you lived on campus as a freshman, you may remember how painless the move-in process was with friendly volunteers eager to quickly move all of your boxes, clothing, and school supplies up to your room. You may remember being greeted with a smile from a crowd of faculty, staff, and students. Or you may only remember getting free ice cream! Hopefully this warm welcome helped to put your anxiety to rest as you entered this new realm of college life. 

Now is your time to give back to our newest Lakers by participating in this tradition! Sign up below for one (or more) shifts during Move-In Week. The signup deadline is Friday, August 12th.  Hours worked can also count towards community service hours requirements that you may have for your groups and organizations! Also, you will be reminded before Move-In Week, but please wear LAKER BLUE and bring your student ID to check-in! Sign Up HERE. Please e-mail reslife@gvsu.edu with any questions. Posted 4/27/2016


September 2016

Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon

September 10, 2016; 6:30 AM - 1:00 PM

The Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon is a race designed specifically to give runners a shot at qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2017. The race will be limited to 330 runners, and volunteers will be needed to aid and assist runners by staffing aid stations and race HQ. If interested please contact Ethan Ray at rayethan@gmail.com or by calling 616-799-2039. Posted 3/4/2016. 

October 2016

Metro Health - Grand Rapids Marathon

October 23rd, 2016; 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The Grand Rapids Marathon will consist of a marathon, a half marathon, and a marathon relay event. Volunteers are needed to assist and aid the runners during the events. For more information about the event, please visit the Grand Rapids Marathon's webpage located here. To volunteer, please contact Ethan Ray at rayethan@gmail.com or call 616-799-2039. Posted 3/4/2016.

The Community Service Learning Center encourages students to consider participating in the following community service and volunteer opportunities. Please note that the CSLC does not assume responsibility for the opportunities listed by non-GVSU organizations nor provide transportation to those opportunities. To RSVP as a volunteer, please contact the organization directly.

You can check for additional Volunteer Opportunities at these sites:

"HandsOn Connect" is a volunteer opportunity database containing on-going and event (date) specific opportunities in the Greater Grand Rapids area.