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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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.

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!

Save October 5 for WSD!

Our fifteenth anniversary was a huge success, with more volunteers (180) working hard to be the change we all want to see in the world. And we raised more than $3,000 for continuing renovations at Pathways. Go, us! But we’ve never been one to rest on our laurels–and we figure you aren’t, either! So please save Thursday, October 5, for Women’s Service Day. That’s all you need to do for now. Watch this space for details. And watch this video to get inspired!

Order Your Pigs-in-Blankets by October 1!

The pigs are back in town! We’ll be making Dutch pigs-in-the-blankets* on Women’s Service Day again this year. Cost is $12 per dozen, and all proceeds will support our continuing renovation work at Pathways. Volunteers will be preparing your orders in the Hope Church kitchen on October 6.

Using our online form, please enter the required fields and submit the form no later than October 1.

Your purchase of pigs must be picked up on October 6 between 3 and 6 p.m. at Hope Church, 77 West 11th Street, Holland. Payment is accepted by cash, credit card, or checks written to Arbor Circle Corporation, with “Women’s Service Day” in the memo line.

And, if you’re interested in selling to your church or book club, let’s talk! Please e-mail us at womensserviceday@gmail.com.

Bon appétit!

*For dietary concerns, pigs-in-the-blankets contain: all-purpose flour, margarine, salt, eggs, milk, and spiced pork sausage.