Help Us Make the 15th the Biggest Women’s Service Day Yet

This year Women’s Service Day is celebrating 15 years of making our community a better place to live, and we’d like to make our biggest impact yet. For that, we need more volunteers, and a good way to recruit more volunteers is for us (you!) to share our WSD experiences with others.

wsd-video-challengeSo, in honor of National Volunteer Week (April 10 – 16), we’re inviting you to create a 30-second video. Answer the question: What do you love about WSD? Or: Why do you participate in WSD? Or you can wing it. Or you can do the video with a friend—maybe the person who first told you about WSD. Be creative! Have fun with it!

Then post it to Facebook and tag Women’s Service Day (Women’s Service Day, Holland/Zeeland). And/or you can post it to Twitter (@womenserviceday) or even Google+. We’ll repost your video as part of the build-up to our 15th annual event on October 6, for which we hope you’ve marked your calendar.

Looking for inspiration? We’ve linked to a few examples, below.

What Christine Loves About Women’s Service Day
What Kallie Loves About Women’s Service Day
What Carrie Loves About Women’s Service Day
What Marcia Loves About Women’s Service Day

While we usually ask you to lend a hand, rather than your voice, we appreciate your willingness to give back in a different way. Thank you!

Save the Date! Women’s Service Day Planned for October 6

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Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 6, 2016 to participate in the 15th Annual Women’s Service Day.

We’re looking forward to providing volunteer service opportunities for Women’s Service Day participants at a number of nonprofit organizations in Holland.

Now is the time to recruit your friends and colleagues! We’ll share more information about the day later this summer, but for now, save the date and get added to our e-mail list for notifications if you’re not already on it!

Ladles of Love Luncheon to Benefit My House Ministry

Ladles of Love-color

You’re invited to “Ladles of Love,” a Community Soup Luncheon to benefit My House Ministry on March 15, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the South Side Holland Boys and Girls Club, 435 Van Raalte Ave, Holland, MI.

If you participated in Women’s Service Day last fall, you may have worked at one of the homes for women and children run by My House Ministry. The organization provides a faith-based transitional housing program for women and their children in Ottawa County. Their goal is to help women with personal, spiritual, and emotional growth, to make permanent changes in their lives.

One hundred percent of funds generated from ticket sales and a silent auction will be designated for providing housing, guidance, and hope to women and children in need at My House Ministry homes. The silent auction items include:

  • One-night hot tub room stay at “The Shack” Lakeside Log Lodge in White Cloud, MI
  • Golf package at Pigeon Creek Golf Course
  • Movie ticket package to AMC Holland Star 8
  • “A Day as Holland City Manager”
  • Biggby Coffee package
  • Poppin’ Huis popcorn basket
  • And more!

Ladles of Love is organized by community members, school officials, a job trainer from a local addiction recovery employment program, and neighborhood community leaders. A food service teacher from Holland Public Schools and 50 of her advanced food students have adopted this event, planning and working to make it a success. Soups, breads, and desserts will be provided by area restaurants and caterers. With so much community participation, an estimated 300+ guests are attending.

If you’re interested in attending, and learning more about My House Ministry, order your tickets online now. Or, to avoid processing fees, committee members can drop off any specified number to a business or individual for $10 each. Tickets can also be purchased with cash, MasterCard, or Visa on day of event for $15. To-go orders will also be accommodated if you’d like to treat a coworker, family member, or friend, or can’t be there for the event.

For the past three years, My House Ministry has operated two homes in Holland, serving 55 women and 15 children. This past summer, the organization filed for nonprofit status and hired a Life Skills Coordinator (case management) for residents to have guidance and accountability with their specific life goals. You can learn more about the organization at and on Facebook.

Women Empowering Women


Salvation Army crew cleaned and organized the cooler

The fourteenth annual Women’s Service Day was a great success, thanks to the 160 volunteers who came out to help 12 agencies in Holland on October 1.

The “coolest” crew may have been at the Salvation Army, where the temperature was a steady 42 degrees in the cooler they cleaned and organized, although women at Eighth Day Farm endured a strong east wind as they weeded gardens in preparation for fall.


8th Day Farm crew weeded gardens

In several locations, such as Holland Rescue Mission’s Stepping Stones Daycare, Ready for School, the Center for Women in Transition, and My Sister’s House 2, lots of cleaning and organizing occurred.

The Center for Women in Transition also benefitted from a large crew assembling kits for Girls on the Run, while down the street another crew assembled snack suppers at Kids’ Food Basket.


Girls on the Run kits assembled at CWIT

Boxes upon boxes of diapers were wrapped at Nestlings Diaper Bank, which will serve babies in need for the next week.

But the theme of the day seemed to be painting:

  • Two transitional houses owned by My House Ministry were the recipients of crews who worked hard at scraping and painting–from a garage to a deck and banisters, and fencing, as well as indoor wall paint in the kitchen.
  • An entire two-story home built by Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity was primed from floor to ceiling on both levels, and ceiling paint applied–all in one day by Women’s Service Day crews.
  • Nuestra Casa Neighborhood Center, run by Westcore Neighbors, received a coat of paint on the decks as well as doors.
  • Pathways MI, where we began renovation last year, had both painting crews and carpet layers to create an environment that would be soothing for people who come to Pathways under duress, as well as the staff who work so hard to help them.

Pathways MI crew laying carpet tiles

Working both morning and afternoon shifts, volunteers came together for a networking lunch where they donated 10 boxes of personal and household supplies for My House Ministry, and helped raise $2,400 for Pathways MI by participating in our raffle.

These accomplishments are amazing–as well as record statistics for Women’s Service Day since it began in 2001.

But what’s more, is seeing the cross-pollinating that goes on throughout the day. For example, volunteers were working at Nestlings Diaper Bank, whose mission is to nurture happy and healthy families by supporting partner agencies with a reliable and adequate supply of diapers in all sizes, at no cost. My House Ministry’s recently had a client with this need, and put a request in to Nestlings, which swiftly came to the client’s need. This is just one of the stories we heard about on Women’s Service Day. Many of our agencies connect and support each other, and volunteers are able to see the strength of our community as they accomplish tasks throughout the day and share their experiences over lunch or with their work crews.

One volunteer summed it up when she said, “What I love about this day is how women empower women.” Rock on….that’s exactly what Women’s Service Day is about!

Watch the slide show below to see more photos from the day, or link to our Flickr site to see them all.

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Thanks a million!

wsd5What a wonderful day for the Holland community! Around 160 volunteers–a record since Women’s Service Day began–showed up to accomplish tasks and participate in fundraising activities for the 14th annual Women’s Service Day on October 1. In the morning and afternoon, they helped a number of nonprofits in the area, including:

Center for Women in Transition and Girls on the Run
Eighth Day Farm
Holland Rescue Mission, including Stepping Stones Day Care at the Family Hope Ministry Center
Kids’ Food Basket
Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity
My House Ministry
My Sister’s House II
Nestlings Diaper Bank
Pathways, MI
Ready for School
The Salvation Army
Westcore Neighbors

During lunch, they contributed to a raffle fundraiser, raising $2,400 for Pathways MI. They also donated 10 boxes of personal and household items for women coming from shelter, rehab, or re-entry programs to independent living at one of two homes run by My House Ministry in Holland.

Stay tuned for the full story–with photos–to see all they accomplished in just one day! For now, here’s a peek at some of the crews at work.

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Reminders for Volunteers Serving October 1

Building walls at Habitat for Humanity RestoreWomen’s Service Day is approaching fast and the planning team is finalizing details. Registered participants should have received their crew information by now. Meanwhile, we’d like to remind you of some logistics.

Activities planned for October 1 will range from several crew assignments in support of renovation projects at Pathways MI, to tasks at local nonprofit agencies who have come to depend on our annual event. (Read more about where we’re making a difference.) Morning crews will begin at 8:30 a.m. and afternoon crews will start right after lunch, between 1:15 and 1:30.

Our lunch celebration will be 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 ten years. Any additional dollars you can give will help defray continuing increases in food prices! (Cash will be collected upon arrival at the church.)

During lunch we’ll hold two raffles for items donated by local artisans and businesses, designated by red and white tickets:

  • Red Raffle Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $12
  • White Raffle Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25

Check out the slide show of raffle items, and remember to bring either cash or your checkbook! Proceeds will help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI, with some portion covering minor event costs..

For our donation drive, we’ll be collecting items to fill welcome baskets for women coming from shelter, rehab, or re-entry programs to independent living at one of two homes run by My House Ministry in Holland. Please see the full list of needed supplies in this blog post.

Finally, remember to dress for the weather and the tasks you’re assigned: work gloves, closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and bottled water are suggested items you may want to consider. Although the forecast for Thursday looks fabulous, we know how Michigan weather goes! Our plan to do everything possible, rain or shine!

If you have a last-minute change in plans (sickness, business crisis, etc.) and are unable to participate—or just need directions—please contact us via e-mail as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ and Twitter! You can also follow the day through photos and updates on Twitter (@womenserviceday) and tweet your own experiences, too, using the hashtag #WSDHolland.

Looking forward to serving with you on October 1!

Not Volunteering? You Can Still Help!

The lobby before painting

The lobby before painting

We know: Fall is a busy time! Many women who would like to participate on Women’s Service Day find their calendars are booked and they aren’t able to register as volunteers for our one-day event on October 1.

If you have a passion for helping women and children and building community here in West Michigan, there are other ways you can help out without actually being present on Women’s Service Day. You can give financially to Pathways MI.

  • FINANCIAL: Monetary donations may be made two ways: By writing a check to Pathways, MI and putting “Building Renovation Fund Donation” in the memo line, then sending it to: Pathways, MI 412 Century Lane Holland MI 49423 Or, through the Pathways MI website. All gifts are tax-deductible. To support Women’s Service Day projects there, choose the Building Renovation Fund option when you click “donate.” 
  • IN-KIND GOODS: To complete the project at the Pathways MI facility, we’re on the lookout for specific furniture, equipment, and supplies, as well as skilled trades. Pleasecontact us to discuss our needs.

Every little bit helps!