Year 17 was prime!

It was a topnotch year, even by our high standards! It wasn’t just the 175 volunteers who cheerfully spent time organizing, raking, cleaning, cooking, grooming, sewing, and many other acts of service, or the hospitality of the agencies who welcomed those volunteers. It wasn’t just the $5,000 that we raised (with help from Herman Miller Cares) for new programming at Camp Sunshine, or the three large boxes of bras, panties, and p.j.s that you all donated for Holland Rescue Mission’s clients, or the way so many people contributed raffle items when we put out the call. All those things certainly made it a success! But for us this year, it was also the evidence we saw of the event’s ripple effect.

Here’s one example: A Community Action House representative called a donor not long ago, and discovered that the person had first become familiar with Community Action House through Women’s Service Day. She’d had a good experience and wanted to give it additional support. Now that person is a donor and a volunteer throughout the year.

We believe this happens a lot, but hearing about it was really exciting for us!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you for participating! Thank you for flexing when the circumstances required it–and for flexing muscles you may not be used to using. Thank you for your willing hearts and your enthusiasm. Remember: It’s October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so please consider giving just a little more, this time to the Breast Care Fund.

You’ve probably seen the video from that day, but if you want to see more photos, check out the album on our Facebook page over the next week or so.

We’re already looking forward to next year, and we hope you are, too!

Advertisements

Join Us to Support Early Diagnosis for Every Woman in Our Community

If you were at Women’s Service Day on October 4, you heard from Alecia Jones, nurse navigator at Holland Hospital, about the Breast Care Fund. It exists because being uninsured or under-insured is an obstacle for women to getting the early diagnosis of breast cancer that is key to successful recovery (a stage-one diagnosis gives a nearly 100% chance). When women are concerned about the cost of diagnosis–whether the first mammogram or follow-up tests–they’re more likely to postpone.

This affects thousands of women in our own community, which is why Holland Hospital set up the Breast Care Fund. Watch an introduction to the fund here.

What’s the connection to Women’s Service Day? Well, first, we’re women. Second, our event and projects depend on a network of people throughout the community. When we chose to do a bra drive for Holland Rescue Mission, we thought of artwork from Carolyn Stich, who’s been a past supporter of our event. When we talked to her (and she agreed to our use of the artwork), she asked whether we were aware of the fund, and whether we’d consider it as a beneficiary of our efforts. Our plans for the event had already been made and communicated, but because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we’re women, we made a commitment to communicate about the fund throughout October.

What can you do? Donate to the Breast Care Fund here. Spread the word about the need right here in our own community. Organize additional fundraising on whatever scale you choose.

And Alecia would want us to add: Schedule your mammogram–and follow through!

 

Thanks!

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this year’s success (especially whoever order the perfect weather)! The final numbers aren’t in yet, but about 175 volunteers served at 17 agencies across Holland and, with support from Herman Miller Cares, raised more than $5,000 for Camp Sunshine! We also collected bras, underwear, and children’s pjs for Holland Rescue Mission. Your generosity in terms of time and money is overwhelming and inspiring, every single year!

How did the day go for you? If there’s anything you’d like us to think about for next year’s event, please tell us!

We’ll do a wrap-up post next week, but for now, here’s a sweet video from WSD paparazzi member, Kallie Spidahl.

 

What to Expect on October 4

October 4 is next week already! We are so excited to see all of you for another day of making our corner of the world just a little better. Here’s what to expect.

For a morning or all-day session, plan to arrive at your worksite in Holland at 8:30 a.m. For an afternoon session, plan to arrive at Hope Church by noon, where we’ll gather for a celebration lunch (for which we ask a $5 donation).

We’ll be holding a raffle to help support new programming from  Camp Sunshine, which provides camp experiences for adults with developmental disabilities. And we’ll be collecting donations of new (with tags on) bras, women’s underwear, and children’s pajamas for Holland Rescue Mission, a non-profit shelter that seeks to meet the needs of men, women, and children in West Michigan. Bring your donations and your checkbook!

Hope Church has a parking lot, but if it is full, you may also park across the street to the north at First United Methodist (57 W. 10th Street, between Pine and River).

See you next week!

Questions?

E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee or visit our 2018 Event page.

Pressed for Time? Slightly Shy? Join Us for Lunch!

With the change in the weather–suddenly it’s autumn!–perhaps you’ve realized that Women’s Service Day is right around the corner on October 4. We know not everyone can devote a half-day to join us, and some would like to dip a toe in before committing to the whole event; here are some possibilities if you’re still considering your options.

If You’ve Already Registered: Terrific! You’ve likely already gotten a confirmation from Sign Up Genius of your specific crew/s, and you’ve helped us to reach over 90 percent! You can still invite your friends, colleagues, or sisters (literal or metaphorical) to join us; send them a link to this blog post or to Sign Up Genius. We’ll add spaces as they’re available, so it’s possible you can invite a friend or colleague to join the crew you’re planning on.

Sign Up NowIf You Haven’t Yet Registered: You still can! We still have openings for October 4. Again, just go to Sign Up Genius and see what opportunities appeal to you. (Click here if you’d like detailed instructions on Sign Up Genius). Please keep in mind that most agencies require that volunteers be 18 or older.

If You’re Unable to Join a Crew but you’re still interested in supporting Women’s Service Day, join us for lunch! RSVP for lunch only here. Plan to arrive at 11:45 or noon, and bring a donation to the bra, underwear, and pajama drive, $5 to cover your lunch, and means and willingness to buy some raffle tickets. Proceeds from the raffle will support off-season social and recreational opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities, through Camp Sunshine.

Out of Town on October 4? You can still contribute bras, underwear, or pajamas to the donation drive. Contact us at womensserviceday@gmail.com to arrange a drop-off of your contribution.

Questions? Use the contact form on this website, visit our Facebook page, or email the planning team at womensserviceday@gmail.com for more information.

Calling all bras, underwear and children’s pajamas! (as long as they are new!)

The mission of Women’s Service Day has always been to serve women and children in Holland. Toward this end, we’re collecting the following for Holland Rescue Mission.

  • Bras (any size and style, including sports bras)
  • Women’s underwear (teenagers and women)
  • Children’s pajamas

The Holland Rescue Mission is a non-profit shelter that seeks to meet the needs of men, women, and children in West Michigan. It serves about 350 women every year, and each woman who comes to Holland Rescue Mission is provided a bra and underwear in her size. It serves about 200 children, and each child gets a pair of pajamas.

Please consider helping out by taking advantage of any sales you see in the next two weeks and buying those items. Also, let us know about those sales and we’ll spread the word!

Then bring what you buy (and/or collect from colleagues if you’re coordinating a donation drive) to the WSD luncheon at Hope Church on October 4; if you can’t make it to the luncheon, you can still deliver donations there that day. Thank you in advance! Our volunteers are the best!

 

WSD 2018: It’s Time to Sign Up!

This year Women’s Service Day celebrates its 17th year of serving women and children in our community. The event is planned for Thursday, October 4 and it’s time to register now! To be a part of this day of volunteering and networking, please register by September 14.

How to Register

Sign Up NowThis year, Women’s Service Day is again using online registration by Sign Up Genius, which allows you to choose specifically where and when you’d like to volunteer on Women’s Service Day. Volunteer opportunities are limited; they’ll be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please keep two things in mind: Most agencies require that volunteers be 18 or older; look for notes on the few that are available to younger volunteers. And because some of our volunteers have physical limitations, please choose options that align with your capabilities.

If you’re not familiar with Sign Up Genius, just follow these four easy steps:

  1. GO TO THE FORM: Click here to go to the WSD 2018 Registration Form on Sign Up Genius.
  1. CHOOSE YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Click on the green “Sign Up” button next to a volunteer opportunity you’d like to do. To volunteer all day, choose both a morning and an afternoon assignment.
  • If you have a physical limitation and don’t see an appropriate task for your abilities on the list, please contact us at womensserviceday@gmail.com. We definitely have a place for you!
  • Got leadership skills? Consider signing up to be the leader of a volunteer crew. Read more about crew leader expectation and responsibilities.
  • Once you’ve picked your assignment(s), click on the big purple “Submit and Sign Up” button.
  1. SET UP YOUR ACCOUNT: Create a Sign Up Genius account (or log in if you already have one). This will allow you to get email reminders and other important messages about the event.
  • Complete the remaining questions on the form and click the big green “SIGN UP NOW” button.
  1. MARK YOUR CALENDAR: You’re now all set for WSD on October 4! We’re counting on you, so make sure you add your assignment(s) to your calendar.
  • And by all means, please invite your friends to sign up — the more the merrier!

Please note that we may add more volunteer activities in the next few weeks, so feel free to check back and see what’s new.

What to Expect on October 4

For a morning or all-day session, plan to arrive at your worksite in Holland at 8:30 a.m. For an afternoon session, plan to arrive at Hope Church by noon, where we’ll gather for a celebration lunch (for which we ask a $5 donation).

We’ll be holding a raffle to help support new programming from  Camp Sunshine, which provides camp experiences for adults with developmental disabilities. And we’ll be collecting donations of new (with tags on) bras, women’s underwear, and children’s pajamas for Holland Rescue Mission, a non-profit shelter that seeks to meet the needs of men, women, and children in West Michigan. Bring your donations and your checkbook!

Watch for additional details about our event in future communications. Thank you for your willingness to help!

Questions?

E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee or visit our 2018 Event page.