20 Years of WSD: Thank You to Our Volunteers!

Featured

Even in our 20th year, we still see the same level of generosity and hard work Women’s Service Day volunteers have been known for. (To see our historical numbers of hours volunteered, funds raised, and gifts in kind donated, visit our History page that highlights two decades of philanthropy from our community.)

 

This year, despite the challenges of a lingering pandemic and a noontime downpour, 100+ volunteers registered to serve 11 agencies in the morning and afternoon. Many participants and agency representatives joined us for our networking and fundraiser lunch to benefit Resilience, which advocates for ending domestic and sexual abuse in Ottawa and Allegan Counties.

During such a critical time when abuse incidence numbers are up, we are thrilled that our volunteers raised $1,540.67. Along with a match and bonus from Herman Miller Cares, the grand fundraising total was $3,540.67! Plus, volunteers donated a pallet full of items to stock the pantry at Resilience in support of kids in need.

Stay tuned for the full story with event photos to see all we accomplished in just one day!

For now, we just want to say thank you for opening your hearts, pulling on your work clothes (and mud boots), and sharing your love!

A WSD Satellite in SE Michigan!

Building networks among women has been a goal of Women’s Service Day (WSD) since the very first event in West Michigan 20 years ago. That network is now paying off in an unexpected way! 

In late summer, the WSD planning team was contacted by several women who work for Yanfeng in West Michigan and in Novi; they’re a part of the Women’s Resource Network at that company. Several of them had participated in the West Michigan WSD event; others had heard about it from coworkers. 

They didn’t want to miss out, and they saw an opportunity for women to come together on the east side of the state to do the same kind of good our volunteers have accomplished here! They’ve worked with local-to-them agencies to identify volunteer opportunities, and are ready to launch this first satellite WSD event this Thursday, October 14. Agencies supported are:

  • Earthworks, where volunteers will do seasonal garden maintenance
  • Crossroads in Michigan, where they’ll package condiments for the soup kitchen
  • First Step Domestic & Sexual Violence, where they’ll beautify the area outside of the shelter
  • Food Gatherers, where they’ll sort donations and pack food boxes
  • Michigan Council of Women in Technology, where they’ll pack bags for high school students

Like the “mother” event, the SE Michigan event is using SignUpGenius so volunteers can select the opportunity that’s most appealing, and one or two half-day crews. This event has been publicized within Yanfeng by the Women’s Resource Network; they welcome friends, family, and colleagues from other organizations. 

Available opportunities are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that the Women’s Service Day Planning Team has put these protocols in place for in-person participation:

  • Mask wearing is required indoors regardless of vaccination status
  • Mask wearing is required outdoors when social distancing is not possible
  • Follow CDC and State of Michigan DHHS guidelines for recommended protocols 

How can you help launch this SE Michigan event? Spread the word! The initiative to create this event demonstrates that our networks extend across Michigan and beyond.

What to Expect on October 7

We are so excited for your enthusiastic participation on Women’s Service Day this year. 2021 is a big milestone for WSD, commemorating 20 years of our event! (And, it’s not too late to register! Sign up here!)

Here’s what to expect….

Safety is our priority! Please remember that mask wearing is required indoors, and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

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 for lunch by 11:45 at our outdoor venue (with tent), 739 Paw Paw Drive. Bring your own chair and pick up your bag lunch with a sandwich wrap (from Joe2Go), for which we’re asking $10. All lunches will be pre-packaged.

Bring a jacket if the weather’s cool and a mask to tour the facility–you’ll want to check out this exciting new Community Action House Food Club & Opportunity Hub, slated to open later this month. 

We’ll hold a raffle to support Resilience, which advocates for ending domestic and sexual abuse in Ottawa and Allegan Counties. Check out the raffle items ahead of time and remember to bring your wallet!

We’ll also collect items to donate to Resilience. (Check out their wish list here.) In 2020, the agency not only had a record number of shelter requests, but shelter stays were generally longer due to the lack of available housing during the pandemic.

If you bought a WSD t-shirt in the past, please wear it as a way to celebrate 20 years of supporting women and children in our community! 

Questions?

E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee or visit our 2021 Event page.

 

Where We’ll Be Serving on October 7

We’re looking forward to October 7, when WSD volunteers will be at 11 agencies in the Holland area.

Get excited about the organizations we’ll be supporting through volunteer activities, fundraising, and our donation drive!

  • Arbor Circle provides responsive and compassionate services to individuals, families, and communities, including counseling, early childhood programs, Great Start Western Regional Resource Center, parent and family support and education, foster care, and adoption.
  • Benjamin’s Hope is a “live, work, play, worship” organization addressing the multifaceted needs of adult individuals and families affected by autism and other intellectual and developmental differences.
  • Children’s Advocacy Center does abuse prevention and intervention using a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach.
  • Community Action House provides area families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter, and opportunities to build necessary skills to achieve a stable and prosperous life.
  • Eighth Day Farm is a not-for-profit farm that provides education regarding healthy food and improving access to fresh food for low-income families.
  • Hope Pkgs provides “first night bags” of essential items (e.g., pajamas, socks, underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste) for kids entering foster care.
  • Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity builds housing with partner-owners based on the principle that everyone deserves a decent place to live and that our community is a better place when that occurs.
  • Nestlings Diaper Bank serves as a central location to collect, store, and distribute diapers that have been donated by the local community or purchased through fundraising efforts.
  • Resilience (formerly Center for Women in Transition) is dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence. It provides programs to engage and educate community members to help end the cycle of abuse before it begins.
  • Renew Therapeutic Riding Center provides equine assisted activities and therapies to children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.
  • Sisters House One cares for women with physical and developmental challenges by assisting them with the activities of daily living in an adult foster care home.

Can’t Volunteer? Here Are Other Ways to Help!

 

Busy on October 7? If your calendar doesn’t allow you to join a morning or afternoon crew but you’d still like to support our community, here are some options:

  • Join us for lunch! RSVP for lunch only here. Plan to arrive at 11:45 or noon at our outdoor venue (with tent), 739 Paw Paw Drive. Bring your own chair and pick up your bag lunch with a sandwich wrap (from Joe2Go), for which we’re asking $10. 
  • Participate in our raffle fundraiser. Proceeds will support Resilience, which works to eliminate domestic and sexual violence in Ottawa and Allegan Counties.
  • Bring a donation for Resilience (non-perishable, healthy, kiddo-friendly snack foods such as individual packets of crackers, pretzels, cereal, popcorn, fruit snacks, nuts; applesauce pouches; fruit cups; granola bars; juice boxes). (If you can’t deliver your donation during lunch, contact us to make other arrangements.)
  • Make a financial contribution to Resilience through their website.

Out of Town on October 7? Contact us arrange transfer of your donation to the to Resilience, either kid-friendly snack foods or a cash or check for the organization. 

We’re looking forward to Women’s Service Day on October 7–and we hope you are, too! Remember, lunch will be held at our outdoor venue (with tent), 739 Paw Paw Drive. Bring your own chair and pick up your bag lunch with a sandwich wrap from Joe2Go, for which we’re asking $10. (Let us know your lunch preferences by filling out this form.)

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

Quote Graphic 16 _ Women_s Service Day IG

Sneak Peak: Raffle Items in Support of Resilience

Take a peek at some of the items that will be available at our raffle on Women’s Service Day, October 7. Proceeds will help support Resilience, with some portion covering minor event costs.

Pricing:

  • White tickets: one for $5, three for $12, six for $24
  • Yellow tickets: one for $10, three for $25, six for $50

The slideshow below gives you a sneak peek of a few of the items you can win. Bring your wallet or checkbook and your generosity!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Donation Drive: Snacks for Resilience 

Did you know domestic violence incidents rose in Ottawa County by 30% during the pandemic? Each year, one in three Michigan families is affected by domestic violence, and over 100 domestic violence-related homicides occur in our state. 

We’re fortunate to have Resilience in our community to address issues like these, working to eliminate domestic and sexual violence. They offer shelter to families in crisis, as well as programs for kids that equip them to form healthy relationships.

And where there are kids–there’s a need for snacks! “Snacks make happy children,” says Sherry Martens, Resilience Volunteer Coordinator. They’re used in the shelters, as well as being on hand for kids in the children’s therapy program or who accompany their parents to support group meetings.

To stock the Resilience pantry, we’re collecting non-perishable, healthy, kiddo-friendly snack foods (individual packets of crackers, pretzels, cereal, popcorn, fruit snacks, nuts; applesauce pouches; fruit cups; granola bars; juice boxes). Bring your donations to our lunch location (739 Paw Paw Drive) on October 7! You might be inspired, as one long-time volunteer has been, to organize a mini-drive between now and then. She’s invited her neighbors to contribute to a collection she’ll deliver on Women’s Service Day.

Looking forward to seeing you, with your kid snacks in hand, on October 7. But if you can’t make it and want to contribute, contact us and we’ll work out a way to connect with you!

Recruit Your Friends!

If you want to make a difference in your community, we’re guessing you probably hang out with like-minded women. Why not ask your friends, work team, sister, mother, or daughter to participate in Women’s Service Day? Perhaps your book club or walking partner?

Ask them at your next meeting, send them an email, or share information about the event via Facebook and Twitter. You can also send their email addresses to the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee and we’ll add them to our mailing list. If you’d like other information to help spread the word, such as newsletter announcements, and posters, let us know!

In addition to volunteering at a number of nonprofit agencies in Holland during our event (here’s a list of places we’ve volunteered in the past), we’ll be holding a raffle to help support Resilience, which advocates for ending domestic and sexual abuse in Ottawa and Allegan Counties.

We’ll also collect items to donate to Resilience. In 2020, the agency not only had a record number of shelter requests, but shelter stays were generally longer due to the lack of available housing during the pandemic.

Women’s Service Day originated from the spirit of giving among a group of women who recruited their friends and colleagues to help build a home for a single mom. We’d love to engage more women from our community to offer their time and talents, working side-by-side with women who want to make a difference.

We hope to see you–and your friends–at Women’s Service Day on Thursday, October 7!

WSD 2021: It’s Time to Sign Up!

Join us as we celebrate our 20th year! Women’s Service Day 2021 is planned for Thursday, October 7, and it’s time to sign up! To be a part of this day of volunteering and networking, please register by September 26.

How to Register

Sign Up Now

We’re 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.

Safety is our priority! Please note that the WSD Planning Team has put these protocols in place for volunteer participation:

  • Mask wearing is required indoors regardless of vaccination status
  • Mask wearing is required outdoors when social distancing is not possible
  • We follow CDC and State of Michigan DHHS guidelines for recommended protocols

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 2021 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.
  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 7! 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 7

We are so excited for your enthusiastic participation on Women’s Service Day this year. 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 our lunch location by noon for an outdoor celebration lunch. A $10 donation will cover your sandwich from Joe2Go, a local woman-owned business, and sides. BYOC (chair!) to sit under the tent sponsored by Herman Miller Cares; bring a jacket if the weather’s cool. All lunches will be pre-packaged.

We’ll hold a raffle to support Resilience, which advocates for ending domestic and sexual abuse in Ottawa and Allegan Counties. Bring your wallet!

We’ll also collect items to donate to Resilience. In 2020, the agency not only had a record number of shelter requests, but shelter stays were generally longer due to the lack of available housing during the pandemic.

Watch for additional details about our event in future blog posts!

Questions?

E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee or visit our 2021 Event page.

Women’s Service Day Is Back – October 7

While we are marking our 20th anniversary with the return of our one-day event, it’s never been about just one day. This year our community needs you more than ever. We’ve already heard from our agency partners that they have plenty of opportunities to volunteer safely in person or off-site, help with fundraising or donation drives, and promote events.

Join us October 7 as we look forward to providing service opportunities for you to support nonprofit organizations in Holland. Some things about the event will be the same, some different. And of course safety precautions will be in place.

Now is the time to recruit your friends and colleagues! We’ll share more information about Women’s Service Day and send a registration email later this summer, but for now, save the date! 

And, with so many changes happening in people’s lives during the pandemic, please help us stay in touch with women whose email addresses have changed. Forward this email to friends and colleagues, and opt in to our email communications with your preferred email address to be sure.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a way to help your community now, consider the Power of Ten: Feed Your Neighbor, Fill Your Heart campaign sponsored by Community Action House and Herman Miller Cares. Begun by a group of 10 Herman Miller retirees, it asks you to reach out to 10 of your own friends and colleagues to multiply their contributions toward ending food insecurity right here—through food donations, donation drives, financial gifts, and more. Learn more at Community Action House.

Questions? E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee. Or visit our website, FacebookTwitter, or Instagram for more information. Let’s keep making a difference in our community!