Women’s Service Day 2017–It’s a Wrap!

Year after year, from agency after agency, we hear the same thing about the WSD volunteers: “They always get so much done!”

It’s this “roll-up-your-sleeves” attitude that the agencies love and value about our volunteers. Check out the slide show to see the work done by you and your fellow volunteers—the painting, cleaning, organizing unusual items (milk jugs, egg cartons, and bottle caps, and so much more), yard work, sorting of donated items, sweeping, washing windows, shopping, making sack suppers (550!), counting and bundling diapers, cooking, sewing, and writing notes of encouragement.

 

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In addition to being hard working, WSD volunteers are also flexible and resourceful. You all know that sometimes needs change at the last minute and you adapt. One example: A crew from Yanfeng showed up at the Center for Women in Transition expecting to do outdoor cleaning, but quickly switched gears when they were asked if they would create some meals from ingredients that had been donated the day before. The result of their efforts using just a microwave and a hotplate (the facility didn’t have a stove or oven) were later used to feed 50 people.

Over 180 people volunteered this year. Working women (representing 20 businesses in Holland), stay-at-home moms, or retirees–whatever your situation, you all showed up eager to improve the lives of women and children in the Holland area by working at one of 12 agencies or in the kitchen at Hope Church to feed your fellow hungry volunteers at lunch. (We donated lunch leftovers of chili, corn bread, and blueberry crisp to the Community Kitchen, a program of Community Action House.)

In addition to elbow grease and enthusiasm, you contributed a mountain of diapers (and some wipes) to the Nestlings diaper drive. Last but not least, by participating in the lunchtime raffle, you helped raise more than $3,000 for the Center for Women in Transition to support costs associated with providing activities and safe spaces for children whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence.

When we say that you do it all, we aren’t exaggerating. We and the agencies you served last week appreciate all of it. You are the best!

Thank you! We hope to see you again next year!

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Thank you for being the change you want to see in the world!

This year was WSD’s “sweet sixteen” birthday, and how sweet it was! More than 180 of you showed up ready to be the change that you want to see in the world. Thank you!

22219783_1752812818093789_5210821138871540714_oHere are the non-profits that benefitted from your hard work:
– Center for Women in Transition
– Benjamin’s Hope
– Eighth Day Farm
– Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity
– Nestlings Diaper Bank
– Pathways of Arbor Circle
– Hope Pkgs
– Holland Area Arts Council
– ACTS
– My House Ministry
– Kids’ Food Basket
– Holland Rescue Mission
– Community Action House

By participating in our lunchtime raffle, you help raise over $3,200 for the Center for Women in Transition to support costs associated with providing activities and safe spaces for children whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence.

You also donated 3,284 diapers and 11 packages of wipes for the parents and children served by Nestlings.

In the next few days, we’ll post a full recap of the day along with photos that show how we got the work done. You can also check out the photos on Facebook and Instagram.

Finally, we’d like to know what the WSD experience was like for you. How can we make it better next year? Please take this quick survey so we know — http://bit.ly/WSD2017Feedback

Thanks and see you next year!

What to expect on Thursday, October 5

We’re looking forward to serving women and children in our community with you on Thursday, October 5! If you have any last minute changes, please make sure you make that change on Sign Up Genius.

img_6377For morning assignments, plan to arrive at your work site at 8:30 a.m.; afternoon assignments will begin after lunch adjourns, between 1:15 and 1:30. Dress for the weather, as we’ll do everything possible rain or shine! (Our weather luck has been mostly good over the years, but you never know!)

Our lunch celebration will be held from 11:45 to 1 p.m. at Hope Church, centrally located at 77 West Eleventh Street in Holland (between River and Pine Avenues, just south of downtown Holland and west of Centennial Park). We request a minimum of $5.00 for lunch, an amount that has remained steady for over 10 years. Any additional dollars you can give will help defray continuing increases in food prices! (Cash will be collected upon arrival at the church.)

We’ll also have a raffle of wonderful handmade items and fabulous donations from local businesses during lunch. Proceeds will go to the Center for Women in Transition, which will use the money to defray costs associated with providing activities and safe spaces for children whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence, with some portion covering minor event costs. Bring your checkbook, credit cards, or cash, and your generosity!

img_6417During lunch, we’ll also be collecting disposable diapers (especially sizes 4, 5, and 6) for Nestlings Diaper Bank, a clearinghouse that provides diapers to low-income families and babies. (Or you can donate directly to Nestlings online.)

You can follow the day through photos and updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and tweet or post your own experiences, too, using the hashtag #WSDHolland.

Questions? Concerns? You can always contact us via e-mail! See you soon!

Center for Women in Transition Will Receive Funds Raised at 2017 Raffle

Our annual raffle is one of our favorite parts of Women’s Service Day because everyone has fun and we raise money for a great cause. So remember to bring your checkbooks! Once again this year we’ll have two raffles featuring fabulous donations from local artisans and businesses, and designated by white and red tickets:

  • Red raffle tickets are $5 each or 3 for $12
  • White raffle tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25

Check out this sneak peek on Facebook of a few of the items you can win. Money raised this year will benefit the Center for Women in Transition (CWIT).

child-forweb

Specifically, the money will be used for costs associated with providing activities and safe spaces for children whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence.

Last year, CWIT served 77 children in its emergency shelter (Ginny’s Place), 38 children in its Supportive Housing program, and 30 children in its Children’s Therapy program. In addition, CWIT provides free childcare service and dinner during support groups. This allows the parent to focus fully on sharing their experience, establishing a support network, and taking steps towards a healthier future. The agency embraces a holistic approach to healing, walking alongside the families it serves and providing assistance to both parent and child as needed.

therapy-forwebFunds from the raffle will support a variety of activities, including day passes for educational/entertainment opportunities for the children living at the shelter; upgrades to spaces at both CWIT’s emergency shelter and its Holland program office to make them more child-friendly and trauma-informed; the purchase of new, age-appropriate and therapeutic toys and games; and needed safety improvements to its playground.

We’re excited to support CWIT in this important work!

Women’s Service Day 2017: It’s Time to Sign Up!

This year Women’s Service Day celebrates its 16th year of serving women and children in our community! The event is planned for Thursday, October 5 and it’s time to register now!

Sign Up Now

Women’s Service Day volunteers continue to make a huge difference in the lives of women and children in our community—approximately 9,000 cumulative volunteer hours since we began in 2001. And we’ve raised and donated more than $100,000 to various nonprofit organizations.

To be a part of this day of volunteering and networking, please register by September 15.

How to Register

This year, Women’s Service Day is using online registration by Sign Up Genius. This new system will allow 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.

Sign Up Now

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 2017 Registration Form on Sign Up Genius.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

  • You’re now all set for WSD on October 5!
  • 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 5

img_6417For 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 have a raffle to help the Center for Women in Transition provide safe activities for children who stay in Ginny’s Place, the Center’s shelter. Bring your checkbook!

We’ll also collect disposable diapers and wipes for Nestlings Diaper Bank, a clearinghouse that provides diapers to low-income families and babies. (Or donate directly to Nestlings online.)

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 2017 Event page.

Save October 5 for WSD!

Our fifteenth anniversary was a huge success, with more volunteers (180) working hard to be the change we all want to see in the world. And we raised more than $3,000 for continuing renovations at Pathways. Go, us! But we’ve never been one to rest on our laurels–and we figure you aren’t, either! So please save Thursday, October 5, for Women’s Service Day. That’s all you need to do for now. Watch this space for details. And watch this video to get inspired!

Women’s Service Day Volunteers Are “A Dream Come True”

“This is a dream come true!” said a Community Action House volunteer supervisor, as she surveyed the pantry that Women’s Service Day volunteers had spent the afternoon sorting through and reorganizing.

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SEE MORE 2016 EVENT PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK

As you can see from the slideshow, the pantry was just one of many projects that 180 Women’s Service Day volunteers took on during the 15th year of the annual event, held on October 6. At Eighth Day Farm, volunteers put the vegetable gardens to bed for the winter, while at Pathways, Michigan, they did landscaping, painted an img_6399entryway and other areas, assembled kitchen cabinets, and laid flooring.

Women volunteering at the Center for Women in Transition put together coaching kits for the Girls on the Run program; those at Camp Sunshine worked on a mailing that will go out to potential counselors.

Other activities included painting at two My House Ministry locations, and cleaning and yard work at a third; sorting donations at The Salvation Army; assembling meals for children at Kids’ Food Basket; cleaning and sorting donated books at Ready for School, and bundling diapers at Nestlings Diaper Bank.

img_6415As in previous years, volunteers enjoyed homemade chili at Hope Church, while they watched anniversary video (generously produced by Rasikas Films) and waited for raffle winners to be announced. The raffle and sale of volunteer-produced pigs in blankets raised just over $3,000 for continuing renovations at Pathways, MI, and “a mountain of donated diapers and wipes” will go to the parents and children served by Nestlings.

For the organizing committee, this was a year of celebration and reflection. As she painted the ceiling in the basement at one of the My House Ministry’s houses and listened to the other volunteers chat, Marcia Davis, one of the original organizers of the day, realized that she was seeing a microcosm of the entire event. “We were having fun, doing some good in the community, learning something new, and meeting new people,” she said. “Those were all the goals we had set out for Women’s Service Day from the very beginning.”