Calling all bras, underwear and children’s pajamas! (as long as they are new!)

The mission of Women’s Service Day has always been to serve women and children in Holland. Toward this end, we’re collecting the following for Holland Rescue Mission.

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

The Holland Rescue Mission is a non-profit shelter that seeks to meet the needs of men, women, and children in West Michigan. It 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.

Please consider helping out by taking advantage of any sales you see in the next two weeks and buying those items. Also, let us know about those sales and we’ll spread the word!

Then bring what you buy (and/or collect from colleagues if you’re coordinating a donation drive) 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. Thank you in advance! Our volunteers are the best!

 

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WSD 2018: It’s Time to Sign Up!

This year Women’s Service Day celebrates its 17th year of serving women and children in our community. The event is planned for Thursday, October 4 and it’s time to register now! To be a part of this day of volunteering and networking, please register by September 14.

How to Register

Sign Up NowThis year, Women’s Service Day is 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.

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 2018 Registration Form on Sign Up Genius.
  1. 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 4! 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 4

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 Hope Church by noon, where we’ll gather for a celebration lunch (for which we ask a $5 donation).

We’ll be holding a raffle to help support new programming from  Camp Sunshine, which provides camp experiences for adults with developmental disabilities. And we’ll be collecting donations of new (with tags on) bras, women’s underwear, and children’s pajamas for Holland Rescue Mission, a non-profit shelter that seeks to meet the needs of men, women, and children in West Michigan. Bring your donations and your checkbook!

Watch for additional details about our event in future communications. Thank you for your willingness to help!

Questions?

E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee or visit our 2018 Event page.

 

Invite your friends and colleagues to participate!

Are you in a book club, running group, or part of any other small group or large team with women who want to make a difference in their community? Consider asking them if they want to participate in Women’s Service Day!

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 (here’s a list of places we’ve volunteered in the past), we’ll be holding a raffle to help support new programming from  Camp Sunshine, which provides summer camp experiences for adults with developmental disabilities. And we’ll be collecting donations of new (with tags on) bras, women’s underwear, and children’s pajamas for Holland Rescue Mission, a non-profit shelter that seeks to meet the needs of men, women, and children in West Michigan. So even if the group you have in mind can’t volunteer on the day of the event, think about organizing a group donation of new bras and undies! (No used items, please.)

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 4!

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.

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!