United Way gears up for 12th annual Rake a Difference event

Published 10:00 am Friday, September 2, 2022

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — On Thursday, November 10, hundreds of area volunteers, working as teams, will help seniors in Southwest Michigan rake and bag leaves and clean gutters as part of United Way’s 12th annual “Rake A Difference” event.

The service is free of charge and serves seniors, age 60 and older, who can’t physically perform yard work and can’t afford to pay for services. Seniors are helped on a first-come, first-served basis, dependent on the number of volunteers available.

Before winter hits, raking leaves and cleaning out gutters is a vital step to ensuring spring snow melt does not cause water damage to home or lawn. Many area seniors try to accomplish this work on their own, putting them at risk for falls and serious injury. United Way of Southwest Michigan mobilizes the community to give them a helping hand in prepping for winter.

Volunteers can sign up at volunteer.uwsm.org. Seniors can sign up by calling 269.932.3554. The deadline for volunteers to sign up is Oct. 14, and the last day for seniors to call is Sept. 30 (or until registration is full).

“There is great need for this volunteer service in our communities. Raking leaves and cleaning gutters can be difficult, if not impossible, for many seniors, but with your help, seniors can be ready for winter,” said Debbie Ramirez, Volunteer Engagement Director at United Way of Southwest Michigan. “Rake A Difference is fun, team-building experience for many businesses, organizations, and other groups—sign up a team today!”

For more information and to sign up, visit uwsm.org/rake-a-difference.

United Way is grateful for the support of this year’s Rake A Difference sponsors: 

Major Sponsors

American Electric Power Foundation; Whirlpool Corporation

Gold Sponsors

French Paper Company; Kinexus Group; Silver Beach Pizza

Silver Sponsors

Midwest Energy & Communications; Sturgis Bank; United Federal Credit Union