The fourteenth annual Women’s Service Day was a great success, thanks to the 160 volunteers who came out to help 12 agencies in Holland on October 1.
The “coolest” crew may have been at the Salvation Army, where the temperature was a steady 42 degrees in the cooler they cleaned and organized, although women at Eighth Day Farm endured a strong east wind as they weeded gardens in preparation for fall.
In several locations, such as Holland Rescue Mission’s Stepping Stones Daycare, Ready for School, the Center for Women in Transition, and My Sister’s House 2, lots of cleaning and organizing occurred.
The Center for Women in Transition also benefitted from a large crew assembling kits for Girls on the Run, while down the street another crew assembled snack suppers at Kids’ Food Basket.
Boxes upon boxes of diapers were wrapped at Nestlings Diaper Bank, which will serve babies in need for the next week.
But the theme of the day seemed to be painting:
- Two transitional houses owned by My House Ministry were the recipients of crews who worked hard at scraping and painting–from a garage to a deck and banisters, and fencing, as well as indoor wall paint in the kitchen.
- An entire two-story home built by Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity was primed from floor to ceiling on both levels, and ceiling paint applied–all in one day by Women’s Service Day crews.
- Nuestra Casa Neighborhood Center, run by Westcore Neighbors, received a coat of paint on the decks as well as doors.
- Pathways MI, where we began renovation last year, had both painting crews and carpet layers to create an environment that would be soothing for people who come to Pathways under duress, as well as the staff who work so hard to help them.
Working both morning and afternoon shifts, volunteers came together for a networking lunch where they donated 10 boxes of personal and household supplies for My House Ministry, and helped raise $2,400 for Pathways MI by participating in our raffle.
These accomplishments are amazing–as well as record statistics for Women’s Service Day since it began in 2001.
But what’s more, is seeing the cross-pollinating that goes on throughout the day. For example, volunteers were working at Nestlings Diaper Bank, whose mission is to nurture happy and healthy families by supporting partner agencies with a reliable and adequate supply of diapers in all sizes, at no cost. My House Ministry’s recently had a client with this need, and put a request in to Nestlings, which swiftly came to the client’s need. This is just one of the stories we heard about on Women’s Service Day. Many of our agencies connect and support each other, and volunteers are able to see the strength of our community as they accomplish tasks throughout the day and share their experiences over lunch or with their work crews.
One volunteer summed it up when she said, “What I love about this day is how women empower women.” Rock on….that’s exactly what Women’s Service Day is about!
Watch the slide show below to see more photos from the day, or link to our Flickr site to see them all.