Save the Date! Women’s Service Day is October 6!

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Aaaand we’re back! This year marks 21 years of Women’s Service Day, a one-day volunteer event for nonprofit organizations that support women and children in Holland, MI. We have an exciting lineup of agencies to volunteer with in person, but there will also be great opportunities to help with fundraising or donation drives for participating nonprofits that are doing amazing work.

Mark your calendars for October 6, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as we look forward to providing service opportunities for you to support nonprofit organizations in Holland. 

Now is the time to recruit your friends and colleagues! There will be more communication throughout the summer about Women’s Service Day, including a registration email – so feel free to forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested. We will be sharing the date on all of our social media accounts as well (details below). 

Please help us stay in touch with women whose email addresses have changed. Forward this email to friends and colleagues, and opt in to our email communications with your preferred email address to be certain.


Questions? E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee. Or visit our website, FacebookTwitter, or Instagram for more information. Let’s keep making a difference in our community!

20 Years of Hardworking Volunteers

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In spite of our most rainy event in 20 years, more than 100 volunteers had smiles on their faces as they helped 11 nonprofit agencies on Women’s Volunteer Day October 7–all so women and children in our community could benefit from the organizations that support them.

Focused on their assignments, volunteers diligently completed tasks like pulling tomato plants to prep a farm for winter; organizing a food pantry; cleaning up at a farm that provides therapeutic horsemanship; yard work; assembling backpacks for foster kids; wrapping 7,000+ diapers for distribution to social services organizations; building food storage racks for the new Community Action House Food Club; and even painting birdhouses to adorn an outdoor setting at an agency that helps children and families achieve change in their lives and communities.

During our lunch raffle–when we experienced the biggest downpour–spirits weren’t dampened. Volunteers raised over $1,500 to benefit Resilience, which advocates for ending domestic and sexual abuse in Ottawa and Allegan Counties. (In fact, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, even more poignant now with an increase in incidences since the pandemic began in 2020.)

Along with a match and bonus from Herman Miller Cares, the grand fundraising total was $3,540.67! Plus, volunteers donated a pallet full of items to stock the pantry at Resilience in support of kids in need.

We are also grateful to Herman Miller Cares for providing the tent that allowed volunteers to socialize safely outside and stay dry.

We appreciate Community Action House for use of their outdoor space and tours of their new facility (a real asset to our community) and Joe2Go–a woman-owned local business–for going the extra mile to assemble our lunch wraps!

Thank you, everyone, for your energy, open hearts, hard work, and good spirits to make Women’s Service Day 2021 a success! You are the ones who have built the reputation around town over the past 20 years as the hardworking volunteers our agencies rely on. Check out the slideshow to see all the great things we collectively did that day.

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20 Years of WSD: Thank You to Our Volunteers!

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Even in our 20th year, we still see the same level of generosity and hard work Women’s Service Day volunteers have been known for. (To see our historical numbers of hours volunteered, funds raised, and gifts in kind donated, visit our History page that highlights two decades of philanthropy from our community.)

 

This year, despite the challenges of a lingering pandemic and a noontime downpour, 100+ volunteers registered to serve 11 agencies in the morning and afternoon. Many participants and agency representatives joined us for our networking and fundraiser lunch to benefit Resilience, which advocates for ending domestic and sexual abuse in Ottawa and Allegan Counties.

During such a critical time when abuse incidence numbers are up, we are thrilled that our volunteers raised $1,540.67. Along with a match and bonus from Herman Miller Cares, the grand fundraising total was $3,540.67! Plus, volunteers donated a pallet full of items to stock the pantry at Resilience in support of kids in need.

Stay tuned for the full story with event photos to see all we accomplished in just one day!

For now, we just want to say thank you for opening your hearts, pulling on your work clothes (and mud boots), and sharing your love!

A WSD Satellite in SE Michigan!

Building networks among women has been a goal of Women’s Service Day (WSD) since the very first event in West Michigan 20 years ago. That network is now paying off in an unexpected way! 

In late summer, the WSD planning team was contacted by several women who work for Yanfeng in West Michigan and in Novi; they’re a part of the Women’s Resource Network at that company. Several of them had participated in the West Michigan WSD event; others had heard about it from coworkers. 

They didn’t want to miss out, and they saw an opportunity for women to come together on the east side of the state to do the same kind of good our volunteers have accomplished here! They’ve worked with local-to-them agencies to identify volunteer opportunities, and are ready to launch this first satellite WSD event this Thursday, October 14. Agencies supported are:

  • Earthworks, where volunteers will do seasonal garden maintenance
  • Crossroads in Michigan, where they’ll package condiments for the soup kitchen
  • First Step Domestic & Sexual Violence, where they’ll beautify the area outside of the shelter
  • Food Gatherers, where they’ll sort donations and pack food boxes
  • Michigan Council of Women in Technology, where they’ll pack bags for high school students

Like the “mother” event, the SE Michigan event is using SignUpGenius so volunteers can select the opportunity that’s most appealing, and one or two half-day crews. This event has been publicized within Yanfeng by the Women’s Resource Network; they welcome friends, family, and colleagues from other organizations. 

Available opportunities are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that the Women’s Service Day Planning Team has put these protocols in place for in-person participation:

  • Mask wearing is required indoors regardless of vaccination status
  • Mask wearing is required outdoors when social distancing is not possible
  • Follow CDC and State of Michigan DHHS guidelines for recommended protocols 

How can you help launch this SE Michigan event? Spread the word! The initiative to create this event demonstrates that our networks extend across Michigan and beyond.

What to Expect on October 7

We are so excited for your enthusiastic participation on Women’s Service Day this year. 2021 is a big milestone for WSD, commemorating 20 years of our event! (And, it’s not too late to register! Sign up here!)

Here’s what to expect….

Safety is our priority! Please remember that mask wearing is required indoors, and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

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 for lunch by 11:45 at our outdoor venue (with tent), 739 Paw Paw Drive. Bring your own chair and pick up your bag lunch with a sandwich wrap (from Joe2Go), for which we’re asking $10. All lunches will be pre-packaged.

Bring a jacket if the weather’s cool and a mask to tour the facility–you’ll want to check out this exciting new Community Action House Food Club & Opportunity Hub, slated to open later this month. 

We’ll hold a raffle to support Resilience, which advocates for ending domestic and sexual abuse in Ottawa and Allegan Counties. Check out the raffle items ahead of time and remember to bring your wallet!

We’ll also collect items to donate to Resilience. (Check out their wish list here.) In 2020, the agency not only had a record number of shelter requests, but shelter stays were generally longer due to the lack of available housing during the pandemic.

If you bought a WSD t-shirt in the past, please wear it as a way to celebrate 20 years of supporting women and children in our community! 

Questions?

E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee or visit our 2021 Event page.

 

Where We’ll Be Serving on October 7

We’re looking forward to October 7, when WSD volunteers will be at 11 agencies in the Holland area.

Get excited about the organizations we’ll be supporting through volunteer activities, fundraising, and our donation drive!

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Children’s Advocacy Center does abuse prevention and intervention using a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hope Pkgs provides “first night bags” of essential items (e.g., pajamas, socks, underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste) for kids entering foster care.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Renew Therapeutic Riding Center provides equine assisted activities and therapies to children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.
  • Sisters House One cares for women with physical and developmental challenges by assisting them with the activities of daily living in an adult foster care home.

Can’t Volunteer? Here Are Other Ways to Help!

 

Busy on October 7? If your calendar doesn’t allow you to join a morning or afternoon crew but you’d still like to support our community, here are some options:

  • Join us for lunch! RSVP for lunch only here. Plan to arrive at 11:45 or noon at our outdoor venue (with tent), 739 Paw Paw Drive. Bring your own chair and pick up your bag lunch with a sandwich wrap (from Joe2Go), for which we’re asking $10. 
  • Participate in our raffle fundraiser. Proceeds will support Resilience, which works to eliminate domestic and sexual violence in Ottawa and Allegan Counties.
  • Bring a donation for Resilience (non-perishable, healthy, kiddo-friendly snack foods such as individual packets of crackers, pretzels, cereal, popcorn, fruit snacks, nuts; applesauce pouches; fruit cups; granola bars; juice boxes). (If you can’t deliver your donation during lunch, contact us to make other arrangements.)
  • Make a financial contribution to Resilience through their website.

Out of Town on October 7? Contact us arrange transfer of your donation to the to Resilience, either kid-friendly snack foods or a cash or check for the organization. 

We’re looking forward to Women’s Service Day on October 7–and we hope you are, too! Remember, lunch will be held at our outdoor venue (with tent), 739 Paw Paw Drive. Bring your own chair and pick up your bag lunch with a sandwich wrap from Joe2Go, for which we’re asking $10. (Let us know your lunch preferences by filling out this form.)

Questions? Use the contact form on this website, visit our Facebook page, or email the planning team at womensserviceday@gmail.com for more information.

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Sneak Peak: Raffle Items in Support of Resilience

Take a peek at some of the items that will be available at our raffle on Women’s Service Day, October 7. Proceeds will help support Resilience, with some portion covering minor event costs.

Pricing:

  • White tickets: one for $5, three for $12, six for $24
  • Yellow tickets: one for $10, three for $25, six for $50

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

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Donation Drive: Snacks for Resilience 

Did you know domestic violence incidents rose in Ottawa County by 30% during the pandemic? Each year, one in three Michigan families is affected by domestic violence, and over 100 domestic violence-related homicides occur in our state. 

We’re fortunate to have Resilience in our community to address issues like these, working to eliminate domestic and sexual violence. They offer shelter to families in crisis, as well as programs for kids that equip them to form healthy relationships.

And where there are kids–there’s a need for snacks! “Snacks make happy children,” says Sherry Martens, Resilience Volunteer Coordinator. They’re used in the shelters, as well as being on hand for kids in the children’s therapy program or who accompany their parents to support group meetings.

To stock the Resilience pantry, we’re collecting non-perishable, healthy, kiddo-friendly snack foods (individual packets of crackers, pretzels, cereal, popcorn, fruit snacks, nuts; applesauce pouches; fruit cups; granola bars; juice boxes). Bring your donations to our lunch location (739 Paw Paw Drive) on October 7! You might be inspired, as one long-time volunteer has been, to organize a mini-drive between now and then. She’s invited her neighbors to contribute to a collection she’ll deliver on Women’s Service Day.

Looking forward to seeing you, with your kid snacks in hand, on October 7. But if you can’t make it and want to contribute, contact us and we’ll work out a way to connect with you!

Recruit Your Friends!

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 Resilience, which advocates for ending domestic and sexual abuse in Ottawa and Allegan Counties.

We’ll also collect items to donate to Resilience. In 2020, the agency not only had a record number of shelter requests, but shelter stays were generally longer due to the lack of available housing during the pandemic.

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.

We hope to see you–and your friends–at Women’s Service Day on Thursday, October 7!