In preparation for this year’s National Volunteer Week, we only had to look across from our headquarters to our partner EY, who provided the inspiration to develop our first ever Detroit United week of service.
Our Campaign Cabinet sought ways to engage more of our corporate partners in our work and unite around a common cause: Helping their community.
Regan Grant, global automotive and transportation marketing leader at EY, says she and others were inspired by the success of EY Connect Day, a day of service to support United Way’s funded partners nationwide.
“The committee wanted to find a way to increase engagement and bolster volunteerism within the metro Detroit area,” Regan said. “With so many local corporations and funded partners involved within United Way, we saw it as an opportunity to mobilize our community.”
That idea grew into our organization’s first-ever Detroit United week of service, set for National Volunteer Week, April 16-21.
Detroit United will bring together nearly 1,000 volunteers from corporate partners, members of our affinity groups and United Way staff. Together, volunteers will work on a variety of volunteer projects throughout Southeastern Michigan.
Volunteers will be connected to different service projects at organizations like Focus: HOPE, packing food boxes for low-income mothers and senior citizens, and Read to a Child, helping staff prepare for literacy night at Southwest Detroit Community School.
Detroit United also coincides with the one-year anniversary of our online volunteer portal, which launched in March 2017.
The portal itself has been wildly successful. It has connected more than 100 of our partners to local volunteer opportunities. In turn, it has led to more than 12,000 hours of service here in Southeastern Michigan. The portal is incredibly accessible — more than 200 people register for volunteer opportunities each month.
“United Way’s value is bringing people together,” says Jessica Brooks, volunteer engagement specialist at United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “The portal is the perfect tool to help volunteers find an opportunity that works for them. A variety of opportunities are available to match any schedule or skillset.”