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Focus On Wellness During Our Third Annual Team Volunteer Day

Words by Abbie Dyer on Oct 29, 2020 10:40:07 AM

It’s hard to believe that our third annual team volunteer day has already come and gone. The second Monday in October is a special day for us. Though we’re closed for the federal holiday, we take the entire day to work together as a team to give back to Michigan nonprofits. Due to the pandemic, our volunteer day looked a little different this year. But we recognized that our help in the community was needed now more than ever.

Together, Team Lake Trust made up a volunteer force of 350 participants, who donated nearly 1,000 combined hours back to Michigan communities. In just one day, we made face masks, prepared community gardens for winter, created meal and snack kits for students, and gave back to local shelters. 

Access to Food Resources

The theme of our volunteer day was focused on providing access to food and enhancing wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for families, small businesses, and communities this year. The prevalence of food insecurity in our state is just one issue that has been highlighted recently, as over 613,000 Michigan adults reported not having enough to eat in September 2020.2 Without access to free and reduced lunch programs at school, coupled with the increasing costs of groceries, the need for additional food resources will continue to rise.

“2020 has been a tough year for many due to COVID-19. Lake Trust team members wanted to provide immediate help to begin bridging the gap back to recovery by providing food and PPE to Michigan families and our nonprofit partners,” explains Amanda H., Community Engagement Manager at Lake Trust.

Small But Mighty Teams

In partnership with the Michigan nonprofits Weekend Survival Kits, Blessings in a Backpack, Operation Full Bellies, and Kids’ Food Basket, our team assembled over 3,000 food kits. These organizations focus on eliminating childhood hunger and providing healthy meals to those in need. Meal kits are distributed to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch to eat over the weekend. By providing healthy snacks and meals, students are more prepared to learn and focus when returning to school on Monday.

At Gleaner’s, six hard-working team members prepared 6,318 pounds of food. This food will provide 5,346 meals for families in and around Detroit. Another nine team members processed 11,000 pounds of meat and put together 7 pallets of food at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint, proving that even a small group of determined, passionate individuals can make a big difference.

  • Volunteer Day-2

    Fresh Delivery. We helped package orders at the Gleaners Mobile Grocery that will be delivered to residents. 

  • VolunteerDay-3

    Fall Harvest. At the Greater Lansing Food Bank gardens, we cleaned up and prepped the area for a new season.

  • VolunteerDay-4

    Building Connections. Our team built 10 raised garden beds that will help provide more fresh food to people in need.

  • VolunteerDay-5

    Mask Up. Team members made over 900 face masks in one day. The masks were later donated to LACASA in Howell.

  • VolunteerDay-6

    Full Hearts, Full Stomachs. We prepared over 3,000 weekend food kits for nonprofits across the state to distribute to students in need.

  • VolunteerDay-7

    The Last Harvest. Prepping community gardens for winter includes harvesting any remaining vegetables, churning compost, and filling garden beds with soil.

  • VolunteerDay-8

    Feed The Need. We sorted and organized donations at local food pantries. At one location, our team packaged enough food to provide 5,346 meals.

Preparing For A New Harvest


In addition to donations, food banks can provide fresh food to recipients by partnering with community gardens. To ensure that local gardens are ready for a new season, we mobilized team members to clean garden beds and harvest the last vegetables of the season at Grace Gardens in Grand Haven, Greater Lansing Food Bank in Lansing, Woldumar Nature Center, Barry County Family Promise in Hastings, and Saline Area Social Services in Saline.


We also built 10 raised garden beds at Lansing First Presbyterian Church. In the spring, the beds will be filled with soil and rented out to community members and nonprofits to provide fresh fruits and veggies for those in need.

Health And Safety Resources


The demand for personal protective equipment will be ongoing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. So, we thought it would be beneficial to support the wellbeing of our neighbors in Michigan by making face masks. Over 100 team members volunteered from their homes or a Lake Trust branch and made cloth face masks. The 900 masks that were created were donated to LACASA in Howell.

Part Of Our Culture


Not only were we able to provide much-needed supplies to local nonprofits, but our time was valued at nearly $26,000 in savings for Michigan nonprofits.2 Volunteering and giving back is an important part of our culture, as we recognize the importance of holistically supporting the financial, physical, and environmental wellbeing of our neighbors in Michigan.


For the time, we may have to keep our distance and gather in small groups. But there’s power in togetherness, even when we’re apart. There’s power in numbers. And with that power, we can make a big impact.


SEE ALSO: More Than $172,000 Donated To Small Businesses During The Great Lakes Giveback Over 1,500 Hours Donated During Moved By Good Day 2019

Photo Credit: Diana P., Eric O., Jack S.

1Llobrera, J., Mazzara, A., Nchako, C., Sherman, A., & Zippel, C. (2020, September 23). New Data: Millions Struggling to Eat and Pay Rent. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved from

2Value of Volunteer Time. (2020, Ocotber 28). Independent Sector. Retrieved from

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