Our Work

Our Impact: 

United Way is more than just a fundraiser. We collaborate with individuals and organizations to tackle our community's most pressing issues. We connect people who want to help people in need. We assist local organizations in meeting their social responsibility goals and connect people of all ages and abilities to opportunities to give back to their community.

At United Way, we know that our community’s issues are broad and vast; they’re an enormous challenge for one single nonprofit to address. We also know many of these issues are interrelated–issues like health concerns, educational roadblocks, and financial struggles. Our work is to identify, launch and participate in community problem-solving initiatives. We help more than one person, one agency, or one issue by magnifying the investment of many in the community to create positive, measurable change. We recruit and train dedicated volunteers who are passionate and knowledgeable of community needs to make the important decisions on how to best invest donor funds.  Being the “community safety net” will always be a major role of United Way.  We will continue to provide for those in need, whether it is food, shelter, transportation, or physical or mental health-related issues.  No one knows when an unexpected situation might cause individuals or families to need help. Donations to the  Community Campaign helps United Way find innovative solutions to these issues and call everyone in our four-county region to action.

Over 100,000 families served last year in Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana County. Click here to read our Community Impact Report! 


People are struggling to find jobs, or they’re working, but not making enough to provide for their families. Parents are forced to choose between feeding their children and paying the rent. Senior citizens have to go without prescriptions. Children struggle to keep up in school. College students have to go without health care.

This is a problem in every city in our region — and the problem is growing. This affects your neighbors, coworkers and friends. This is everyone’s problem.

Without stable households, children will never be able to thrive. And if children aren’t thriving now, they won’t be prepared to build stable households in the future — or a stable community.

We can break the cycle & build stronger communities together. 

In 2015, we adopted the Bold Goal to help 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025, after holding community conversations to identify key needs.

United Way of the Lakeshore Priorities & Initiatives:


Childhood Success: 

  • Ages 0-3 Before Kindergarten
  • Early Literacy
  • Childcare Support Services

Youth Success:

  • Chronic Absenteeism
  • Family Engagement

Economic Mobility: 

  • Housing
  • Financial Coaching
  • Transportation

Healthy Families: 

  • Access to Care (Physical & Education)
  • Mental Health
  • Domestic Violence
  • Healthy Lifestyles