We would not be able to help those in conflict and crisis in our community without the wonderful and committed volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to Gryphon Place. There are many ways for volunteers to join us in our mission!

Get Connected!

Welcome to the Volunteer Center of Greater Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, a partnership between Gryphon Place and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. We offer volunteer matching through our Get Connected database. You can access the database here.

Gryphon Place took on the services of Volunteer Kalamazoo in 2016, and now partners with United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region to serve a wider footprint. Our volunteer services build capacity for effective local volunteering, connect people with opportunities to volunteer, and promote volunteerism in our community. Gryphon Place and United Way are honored to work together to connect our communities to volunteer services.

The Volunteer Center of Greater Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, managed in partnership by Gryphon Place and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, connects volunteers with organizations that need them by managing a volunteer matching database called Get Connected. Get Connected allows nonprofit agencies to post volunteer needs, events, and manage volunteers in one centralized location. Volunteers are able to create user profiles, respond to agencies volunteer needs, and manage their hours directly online. Create your profile here.

Students involved in the Michigan Student Service Award program will complete and document 400 hours over four years of non-paid community service that meet a recognized community need, under the auspices of a nonprofit organization, government program, community group or school.

Recognition usually takes place at the high schools graduation honors event. Students receive:

  • An Honor medallion, to be worn at commencement exercises
  • A Certificate of Distinction for Commitment to Service from the Governor

How can you get involved?

If you are a current Kalamazoo area high school student and would like to enroll in the Michigan Student Service Award program, please complete the application form and return it to Jennifer at jcooley@gryphon.org. Once your application is received, we will send you instructions for the essay to be completed and submitted.


If you’d like to discuss Michigan Student Service Award or need more information, please contact us at 269-365-1510 ext. 242 or email Jennifer at jcooley@gryphon.org.

The Presidential Volunteer Service Award program was created as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The Award enables community organizations — as Certifying and Leadership Organizations — to amplify their gratitude by joining with the President of the United States to thank their most dedicated volunteers.

Who sponsors the program?

This program was created by the President’s council on Service and Civic Participation. This council was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and encourage more people to serve. Today, the program continues as an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service, managed in partnership with Points of Light, an international nonprofit with the mission to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action to change the world.

How does the award program work?

The award recognizes United States citizens who have achieved the required number of hours of service between January 1st and December 31st of a given year.

Hours by Award Bronze Silver Gold
Kids (5 to 10) 26 to 49 50 to 74 75 +
Teens (11 to 15) 50 to 74 75 to 99 100 +
Young Adults (16 to 25) 100 to 174 175 to 249 250 +


Youth are not the only ones eligible for this award. Information on other PVSA categories can be found here.

What kinds of service count toward the award?

Most forms of volunteer service count toward the award, with three main exceptions. Gryphon Place does not approve activities that:

  • proselytize (promote and/or try to convert others to a religion)
  • are done for school credit, and the PVSA program does not approve
  • court mandated community service

Award recognition:

Along with the ultimate honor of presidential recognition, recipients will receive:

  • personalized certificate of achievement
  • congratulatory letter from the President of the United States
  • choice of an official pin, medallion, or coin

Need more information?

Please feel free to contact us with questions at 269.381.1510 ext.242, or email jcooley@gryphon.org. You can also visit the PVSA website for more information.

The STAR (Sharing Time and Resources) Awards honor volunteers for their contributions of time, talent and energy in service to others in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. In 2019, Gryphon Place and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region successfully merged the STAR Celebration (Kalamazoo) and Community Volunteer Awards (Battle Creek).

We invite you to consider your fellow citizens and most devoted volunteers, and honor their efforts by nominating them for an award.

United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and Gryphon Place have decided to cancel this year’s STAR awards celebration in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The STAR (Sharing Time and Resources) Celebration and Community Volunteer Awards have long been a time to recognize volunteers for their contributions of time, talent, and energy in the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas. This decision is not one that was made lightly as we truly appreciate all of the volunteers in our community, but our number one priority is to keep our community safe.

Our nominations will remain open, and this year’s nominees will be eligible to receive recognition at the 2022 STAR Awards celebration. At this time, we are still encouraging organizations to nominate volunteers.


Nominate a Volunteer

Please send any questions to getinvolved@uwbckr.org.

Martin Luther King Jr. day, third Monday in January, is observed as “a day on, not a day off.” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Each year Gryphon Place, along with the City of Kalamazoo and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, organizes a community wide day of service. We encourage individuals to use their day off from work to volunteer at local organizations. If your agency is interested in participating in Martin Luther King Jr.’s Annual Day of Service on January 17, 2022, please contact Jennifer Cooley at jcooley@gryphon.org.

Intern opportunities, including practicum, field placement, or anyone seeking college credit are available at Gryphon Place. For more information, please email our Vice President of Impact, Jacquis, at jrobertson@gryphon.org