Employees of Nexstar television stations in Michigan and throughout the country celebrated their annual Founders Day of Caring on June 17 by volunteering in their respective communities.

In Grand Rapids, WOOD/WOTV-TV staffers were hard at work in Grandville, Jenison, Muskegon and Grand Haven, partnering with Meals on Wheels.  The day was full of meal prep to meal delivery for seniors across West Michigan. Meals on Wheels Grandville makes anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 meals daily.

WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids)

For WOOD TV employees, Nexstar Day of Caring means putting in the work and being there for the community, in a different kind of way.  “It’s nice for our employees to get out and experience something different than their day job and to get to be part of the community we serve on TV and serve them in a different way,” said Carly Munoz, WOTV 4 Women brand manager.

In Lansing, volunteer staff at WLNS-TV built beds for Sleep in Heavenly Peace in Lansing, pulled weeds and did other yard work at the VFW Home for Children in Eaton Rapids and Hunter Park Greenhouse and Community Garden in Lansing, and built games (and played with the kids) at Youth Haven.

WLNS-TV (Lansing)

“We cover Mid-Michigan each and every day, but to be able to get out here in the community and do a lot of really great labor as far as beautifying certain areas that are giving back to the community as well, it makes you feel really good.” said WLNS General Manager Scot Chastain.  “Our hope is for these kids to see that the world is not as dark as they’ve experienced and that they see that there is hope and they see that there is a whole community of people out there not a part of Youth Haven that care about them.”

And in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, WJMN-TV (Marquette) staff partnered with the UP Land Conservancy at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve cleaning, weeding, building accessible paths, painting bird blinds and more.

WJMN-TV (Marquette)

WJMN-TV Operations Manager Tony Stagliano said “Nature’s such a big part of the UP and its a big part of our culture and our community.  We’ve done a lot of volunteering for a lot of different organizations throughout the Upper Peninsula and we felt it was time to focus on helping to preserve our natural landscape.”

Founded 22 years ago, Founder’s Day of Caring is an annual event, taking place on the third Friday in June.  Staff members in all 100 Nexstar television markets receive paid time off to volunteer in their communities. The day is intended to shift employee focus from being a television station serving the community to employees volunteering and making a personal commitment by helping those in need within their local communities. The mission is to give back where it is needed most and help inspire viewers to give back as well.