Where We’ll Serve in 2018

Sign-up is still a few weeks away (look for the email shortly after Labor Day), but here is the list of agencies to-date who are looking forward to our help this year.

  • 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.
  • Center for Women in Transition strengthens West Michigan families by responding to, reducing, and preventing domestic and sexual violence against women, men, and children. Volunteers will prepare materials for the Girls on the Run program.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • My House Ministry provides a safe place for women to transition into independent living. Volunteers will do a variety of tasks: yard work, crafting supplies for a fundraiser, organizing the basement, installing insulation, and deep cleaning in the houses.
  • 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.

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.

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Announcing the 2018 WSD Donation Drive: Bras! Underwear! Pajamas!

As part of Women’s Service Day for the past few years, we have collected diapers for Nestlings Diaper Bank. While Nestlings represents an ongoing need (and we encourage ongoing support), this year we are changing things up and collecting items for Holland Rescue Mission, a non-profit shelter that seeks to meet the needs of men, women, and children in West Michigan.

In keeping with our mission to serve women and children in Holland, we’ll be collecting new:

  • Bras (any size and style, including sports bras)
  • Women’s underwear (teenagers and women)
  • Children’s pajamas

We wanted to tell you ahead of Women’s Service Day on October 4 so that you can take advantage of any sales you see at area stores or online. And if you’d like to gather donations from friends or coworkers, you can start now!

Just bring what you collect to the WSD luncheon at Hope Church on October 4; if you can’t make it to the luncheon, you can still deliver donations there that day.

The Holland Rescue Mission serves about 350 women every year, and each woman who comes to Holland Rescue Mission is provided a bra and underwear in her size. It serves about 200 children, and each child gets a pair of pajamas. As you can see, they have a big need—but our volunteers have big hearts. Thanks for considering making this kind of donation!

17 Reasons to Save the Date: October 4

Landscaping as part of the 2016 event.

This year will be the seventeenth year of Women’s Service Day, which will be held Thursday, October 4, 2018. In honor of those years, we’ve put together a list of 17 reasons why you should save the date:

  1. To help women and children in our community
  2. To see old friends
  3. To make new friends
  4. For the blueberry crisp served at lunch
  5. To learn a new skill
  6. To get a good night of sleep after a day of manual labor
  7. Because you have to use those volunteer hours somewhere
  8. For the chance to win cool stuff in the raffle
  9. To soak up the energy of 200 other women volunteers (and maybe a few good men volunteers, too)
  10. To set a good example
  11. It could boost your happiness, according to research
  12. For the opportunity to learn about what agencies are doing in our area
  13. To use gifts and talents that you don’t get to use while sitting at a computer
  14. It’s a great chance to network
  15. It’s a good excuse to get out of work for a day, or half a day
  16. It’s another chance to wear your cool WSD 15-year anniversary T-shirt or hoodie
  17. To be the change you want to see in the world

For now, all you need to do is mark October 4 on your calendars, and maybe tell a few friends. We’ll send more details as the date approaches.

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!

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!