2019 Women’s Service Day T-Shirts: On Sale Now!

A few years ago we celebrated our 15th anniversary with a t-shirt fundraiser sale. This year we’re bringing it back!

Gear up for WSD 2019 with a shirt to wear on October 3 while you volunteer. Celebrate your participation in Women’s Service Day–an investment of thousands of hours by hundreds of women in the Holland/Zeeland community!

Choose from five styles. Prices vary by item, but all funds raised will support Hope Pkgs, which provides first night necessities to children entering the foster care system.

Go to Custom Ink to order your shirt by Friday, September 13,  then pick up your shirt during lunch at Hope Church on October 3. If you miss this deadline, you can still order a shirt, but you’ll pay direct shipping and receive the shirt two weeks later.

Show your WSD spirit while helping a good cause, too!

Where We’ll Serve on October 3

Sign-up is targeted for early September (look for our registration email shortly after Labor Day), but we wanted to drum up some excitement as we look forward to Women’s Service Day on October 3.

Here are 17 agencies where volunteers will be serving so you can start thinking about your choices when you register. The list isn’t final, but gives you an idea of what we’ll be doing. Don’t forget to recruit your friends, family, and coworkers!

  • ACTS builds meaningful relationships with young people in the city of Holland to embrace, equip, and empower them. This ministry strives to make a lasting impact on their lives.
  • 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. Volunteers will prepare for a fundraising event, making nametags, organizing silent auction items, and more.
  • 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. Volunteers will do outdoor maintenance (or deep cleaning houses if weather is inclement).
  • Camp Sunshine provides summer camp experiences for adults with developmental disabilities, which also supplies respite for their caretakers. Volunteers will do a variety of office tasks.
  • Children’s Advocacy Center does abuse prevention and intervention using a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach. Volunteers will wash windows!
  • 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. Volunteers will sort clothes and donations.
  • Day Center of Evergreen is a state-of-the-art adult day health center offering nursing care, social services, nutritious meals, and therapeutic activities for adults requiring assistance. Volunteers may help with crafts, visit one-on-one, and/or lead Bingo.
  • 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.
  • Holland Area Arts Council educates, engages, and challenges the community through the arts. Volunteers will organize the basement and/or kitchen.
  • Holland Rescue Mission develops and delivers programs for the homeless and less fortunate. Volunteers will clean, paint, do yard work, sort donation items, and organize displays.
  • Hope Pkgs provides “first night bags” of essential items (e.g., pajamas, socks, underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste) for kids entering foster care. Volunteers will help shop for items for the backpacks for the children. (There is no cost to the volunteers.)
  • Kids Food Basket provides kids in need with well-balanced nutritious meals, filling the gap schools and parents often can’t afford.
  • 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. Volunteers will do construction.
  • 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. Volunteers will wrap diapers for distribution through area nonprofit organizations to mothers in need, organize, and stuff envelopes.
  • 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. Volunteers will prepare materials for the Girls on the Run program.
  • Renew Therapeutic Riding Center provides equine assisted activities and therapies to children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.

Do you work with or volunteer for another agency that serves women or children in Holland and Zeeland? It’s possible that we’ll be able to add to our list, since our volunteers are many and enthusiastic. If you’re aware of an agency or nonprofit project you think may be a good candidate, use our contact form to let us know, providing contact information for our follow-up. Agencies must provide supervision, supplies, and equipment (beyond readily available items women are likely to have on hand), and because Women’s Service Day is a one-day event with volunteer organizers, a requirement for background checks is difficult to accommodate.

Donation Drive Shopping List

This year on Women’s Service Day we’ll be collecting items to donate to Community Action House, which provides area families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter, and skill-building opportunities to achieve stable and prosperous lives.

As you’re catching summer sales, we thought a heads-up on their needs would help you find the best prices. Here’s a specific list of what we’re collecting:

  • Toilet paper
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Body soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Feminine hygiene products

Looking forward to seeing you on October 3. But if you can’t make it and want to contribute to our donation drive, contact us and we’ll work out a way to connect with you!

Invite Your Friends, Coworkers, and Family Members!

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 Hope Pkgs, which provides “first night bags” of essential items like pajamas and a toothbrush for kids entering foster care. Many of our volunteers have assembled those bags during Women’s Service Day in the past.

In addition, we’ll collect items to donate to Community Action House, which provides area families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter, and skill-building opportunities to achieve stable and prosperous lives. We’ll gather donations of toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, body soap, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products–so keep your eye out for sales to shop ahead!

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.

Look for sign-up information shortly after Labor Day. We hope to see you–and your friends–at Women’s Service Day on Thursday, October 3!

Save the Date! Women’s Service Day is October 3

Think about the number 18. If you’re a parent, it’s the age your children become adults. If you’re a Women’s Service Day planning team member or volunteer, it’s 18 years of serving women and children in West Michigan.

Where did the time go?

Join us as we celebrate our eighteenth year and mark your calendars for October 3. That’s the day we’ll be helping agencies in the Holland/Zeeland area. We’ll also hold an auction and raffle for Hope Packages, which provides “first night bags” of essential items like pajamas and a toothbrush for kids entering foster care. A number of you have assembled those bags during Women’s Service Day.

And, as in past years, we’ll lead a donation drive. This year we’ll support Community Action House, which provides area families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter, and skill-building opportunities to achieve stable and prosperous lives. We’ll gather donations of toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, body soap, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products. While you’re out and about this summer, it’s the perfect time to look for bargains on items for the donation drive and shop ahead!

Registration will open right after Labor Day. You can share information about the event via Facebook and Twitter. You can also send their email addresses to the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee; 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. And if it turns out that the group you have in mind can’t volunteer on the day of the event, think about organizing a group donation of the things listed above. Every little bit helps!

We hope to see you—and your friends—at Women’s Service Day on Thursday, October 3!

Serving beyond Women’s Service Day

One of the goals of Women’s Service Day is to give volunteers an opportunity to learn about and see firsthand the way agencies are meeting needs in our community. Our hope is that some volunteers will form a meaningful connection with an agency and work with it after WSD, in some way.

We have a great example from last year. At WSD 2107, Janice Driesenga from JCI ended up helping out at ACTS, which offers an after school program for children. While she was there, she chatted with a member of the staff about the work and their needs.

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Janice Driesenga, of JCI, and Jaime Blom, one of the founders of ACTS

When the holidays rolled around, Janice remembered that conversation. As part of JCI’s “Care and Share” outreach, she and her colleagues donated some of the things the staff member mentioned, including 27 pairs of slippers for kids to wear while at ACTS, hats, gloves, games, puzzles, boxes of Kleenex, art supplies, basketballs, a basketball hoop, new tires for the ACTS van, and gas cards.

“It was fun because we knew what they needed,” says Janice. “The thrilling part is actually seeing the generosity of others. That’s what chokes me up. I sent out an email one morning saying that we need a certain amount for a basketball hoop and by noon we had $350.” They ended up buying four basketball hoops.

And it didn’t stop there. “After the maintenance guys put up the basketball hoops, they ended up going back and doing some stuff around the house. And we recently did another donation of gently used clothing and toys.”

While we only organize crews for one day a year, all of the agencies welcome help year around. We hope you’ll consider helping out at other times, as well!

 

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!

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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!