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.”

Thank you!

We are overwhelmed by your generosity—and so are the agencies we served!

Every year we think it can’t get any better. And every year, all our volunteers prove that it can, and it does. This year more than 180 of you–a record since Women’s Service Day began–showed up with willing hearts and hands and did more than ever before. What a way to celebrate our 15-year anniversary! Here are the nonprofits that benefited from your hard work:

The lunch raffle fundraiser was a huge success, raising over $2305 for Pathways MI. You also donated a mountain of diapers and wipes for the parents and children served by Nestlings.

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Stay tuned for the full story–with photos–to see all you accomplished in just one day! For now, here’s our anniversary video. Thanks to each of you, to the hundreds of women who have participated over the years, and to Rasikas Films for producing a video that captures our “can do” spirit.

Also, for those of you who wish you had ordered a commemorative T-shirts (or two), good news! We’ve decided to re-open the campaign. Order by October 19! Proceeds will still benefit Pathways, which works to improve life for children and families by providing services like counseling, foster care, and education. Visit https://www.booster.com/wsd-2016 for full details and to place your order.

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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.

Thanks and see you next year!

Reminders for Volunteers Serving October 6

Women’s Service Day is Thursday and the planning team is finalizing details. Registered participants should have received their crew information by now. If you haven’t, please e-mail us right away. Here are a few things to remember:

Start times: Morning crews will begin at 8:30 a.m. and afternoon crews will start right after lunch, between 1:15 and 1:30.

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Apple crisp for dessert at lunch

Lunch (and lunch money)! 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.)

Your checkbook for the raffle. (Check out the slide show of sample items!) Red Raffle Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $12; White Raffle Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25. Proceeds will help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI, with some portion covering minor event costs.

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Diapers for Nestlings

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

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. Our plan to do everything possible, rain or shine!

You can follow the day through photos on Instagram and updates on Twitter (@womenserviceday) and tweet your own experiences, too, using the hashtag #WSDHolland.

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.

Looking forward to seeing you on this Thursday!

Recent Raffle Additions

We’ve added more prizes including some beautiful handcrafted items for the raffle on Women’s Service Day, October 6. Proceeds will help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI, with some portion covering minor event costs.

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You can also view additional items for auction.

What to Expect on October 6

We’re looking forward to serving women and children in our community with you on October 6! By now, registered volunteers should have received an e-mail with the details for their assignment. If you did not get an e-mail, please contact us.

susan-vollmer

Thanks to Susan Vollmer and VIA Wealth Management, our diaper donation drive for Nestlings is off to a great start! Help us build a mountain!

For 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 help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI, with some portion covering minor event costs. Bring your checkbook and your generosity!

During lunch, we’ll also be collecting disposable diapers (especially sizes 4, 5, and 6) and wipes 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 on Instagram (@womensserviceday) and updates on Twitter (@womenserviceday) and share your own experiences, too, using the hashtag #WSDHolland.

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.

Where We’ll Be Serving in 2016

Painting the railing at My House Ministry

We have a record number of women signed up this year! We’re thrilled—and so are the area agencies we’ll be serving. Here’s how volunteers will be working with the agencies to help women and children in the community.

  • Center for Women in Transition creates and sustains an environment that enhances the voice, opportunities, and strength of women and girls in Allegan and Ottawa Counties. Volunteers will be sorting and organizing curriculum for the Girls on the Run program.
  • Eighth Day Farm uses urban fields as a classroom to cultivate healthy and sustainable communities locally and globally. Volunteers will be weeding, harvesting, planting garlic, and cleaning.
  • Holland Rescue Mission develops and delivers programs of excellence for the homeless and less fortunate. Volunteers will be cleaning all of the daycare rooms, including equipment and toys, at the Stepping Stones Day Care from top to bottom, as well as deep cleaning and organizing the offices at the Family Hope Ministry Center. They will also help clean and organize the catering closet.
  • Kids’ Food Basket aims to attack childhood hunger to help young people learn and live well. Through its Sack Supper program the organization serves nearly 7,000 kids each weekday in West Michigan. Volunteers will be making sandwiches for Sack Suppers, which will be distributed to local children later that day.
  • 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 be working to complete a new home construction in Holland.
  • My House Ministry provides a safe place for women to eventually transition into independent living. Volunteers will be working at two housing locations in Holland, doing a variety of tasks: washing windows, cleaning, sanding drywall, vacuuming, painting indoors and outside, hanging curtains, yard work, and several other home improvement jobs.
  • My Sister’s House II, sponsored by the Holland Deacons’ Conference, cares for women with physical and developmental challenges by assisting them with the activities of daily living in an adult foster care home. Volunteers will be cleaning, washing floors, walls, door frames, windows etc. They will also help organize cupboards and closets, and may be planting bushes.
  • 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 be wrapping diapers into packs of 12 for distribution through area nonprofit organizations to mothers in need, and possibly stuffing envelopes for a mailing or helping out with light office duties.
  • Pathways, MI is committed to demonstrating excellence in providing responsive and compassionate service to all individuals, families and communities who seek their assistance. Services they provide include: counseling, early childhood programs, Great Start Western Regional Resource Center, parent and family support and education, foster care, adoption and participation in community efforts to improve life for children and families. Volunteers will be continuing last year’s renovation project to make the facility more welcoming by cleaning up baseboards in preparation for laying carpet, installing blinds, and painting. Outdoor work will include landscaping and clean-up of the central courtyard.
  • Ready for School aims to create communities of readiness where all children thrive and reach their full unique potential. Ready for School prepares children for success by equipping parents through integrated support of the Holland/Zeeland/Hamilton communities. Volunteers will disinfect, clean, organize, label, and update inventory of toys and materials in bins that the organization uses to engage families with young children in the community.
  • The Salvation Army is an international movement, motivated by the love of God to meet human needs in Jesus’ name without discrimination. Volunteers will clean and re-sort the pantry, which needs a fresh look. This food pantry is available to people in southern Ottawa County and most of Allegan County who are in need of some supplemental pantry items. It offers a large selection of both perishable and non-perishable items.

Preview This Year’s Raffle Items!

Our annual raffle is one of the highlights of lunch (along with the food, of course). Once again this year it features a variety of items, including some beautiful, handcrafted items. Proceeds will help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI, with some portion covering minor event costs.

We 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

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

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