Serving beyond Women’s Service Day

One of the goals of Women’s Service Day is to give volunteers an opportunity to learn about and see firsthand the way agencies are meeting needs in our community. Our hope is that some volunteers will form a meaningful connection with an agency and work with it after WSD, in some way.

We have a great example from last year. At WSD 2107, Janice Driesenga from JCI ended up helping out at ACTS, which offers an after school program for children. While she was there, she chatted with a member of the staff about the work and their needs.

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Janice Driesenga, of JCI, and Jaime Blom, one of the founders of ACTS

When the holidays rolled around, Janice remembered that conversation. As part of JCI’s “Care and Share” outreach, she and her colleagues donated some of the things the staff member mentioned, including 27 pairs of slippers for kids to wear while at ACTS, hats, gloves, games, puzzles, boxes of Kleenex, art supplies, basketballs, a basketball hoop, new tires for the ACTS van, and gas cards.

“It was fun because we knew what they needed,” says Janice. “The thrilling part is actually seeing the generosity of others. That’s what chokes me up. I sent out an email one morning saying that we need a certain amount for a basketball hoop and by noon we had $350.” They ended up buying four basketball hoops.

And it didn’t stop there. “After the maintenance guys put up the basketball hoops, they ended up going back and doing some stuff around the house. And we recently did another donation of gently used clothing and toys.”

While we only organize crews for one day a year, all of the agencies welcome help year around. We hope you’ll consider helping out at other times, as well!

 

Join Us to Support Early Diagnosis for Every Woman in Our Community

If you were at Women’s Service Day on October 4, you heard from Alecia Jones, nurse navigator at Holland Hospital, about the Breast Care Fund. It exists because being uninsured or under-insured is an obstacle for women to getting the early diagnosis of breast cancer that is key to successful recovery (a stage-one diagnosis gives a nearly 100% chance). When women are concerned about the cost of diagnosis–whether the first mammogram or follow-up tests–they’re more likely to postpone.

This affects thousands of women in our own community, which is why Holland Hospital set up the Breast Care Fund. Watch an introduction to the fund here.

What’s the connection to Women’s Service Day? Well, first, we’re women. Second, our event and projects depend on a network of people throughout the community. When we chose to do a bra drive for Holland Rescue Mission, we thought of artwork from Carolyn Stich, who’s been a past supporter of our event. When we talked to her (and she agreed to our use of the artwork), she asked whether we were aware of the fund, and whether we’d consider it as a beneficiary of our efforts. Our plans for the event had already been made and communicated, but because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we’re women, we made a commitment to communicate about the fund throughout October.

What can you do? Donate to the Breast Care Fund here. Spread the word about the need right here in our own community. Organize additional fundraising on whatever scale you choose.

And Alecia would want us to add: Schedule your mammogram–and follow through!

 

Pressed for Time? Slightly Shy? Join Us for Lunch!

With the change in the weather–suddenly it’s autumn!–perhaps you’ve realized that Women’s Service Day is right around the corner on October 4. We know not everyone can devote a half-day to join us, and some would like to dip a toe in before committing to the whole event; here are some possibilities if you’re still considering your options.

If You’ve Already Registered: Terrific! You’ve likely already gotten a confirmation from Sign Up Genius of your specific crew/s, and you’ve helped us to reach over 90 percent! You can still invite your friends, colleagues, or sisters (literal or metaphorical) to join us; send them a link to this blog post or to Sign Up Genius. We’ll add spaces as they’re available, so it’s possible you can invite a friend or colleague to join the crew you’re planning on.

Sign Up NowIf You Haven’t Yet Registered: You still can! We still have openings for October 4. Again, just go to Sign Up Genius and see what opportunities appeal to you. (Click here if you’d like detailed instructions on Sign Up Genius). Please keep in mind that most agencies require that volunteers be 18 or older.

If You’re Unable to Join a Crew but you’re still interested in supporting Women’s Service Day, join us for lunch! RSVP for lunch only here. Plan to arrive at 11:45 or noon, and bring a donation to the bra, underwear, and pajama drive, $5 to cover your lunch, and means and willingness to buy some raffle tickets. Proceeds from the raffle will support off-season social and recreational opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities, through Camp Sunshine.

Out of Town on October 4? You can still contribute bras, underwear, or pajamas to the donation drive. Contact us at womensserviceday@gmail.com to arrange a drop-off of your contribution.

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

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.

 

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!

It’s Never Too Late to Volunteer

Because of a few cancelations and schedule changes, we’re still looking for volunteers for this week Thursday, August 14. In the morning, the crew will clean toys and equipment for the Stepping Stones daycare center; in the afternoon, we have a Lakeshore Habitat home lined up. Do you have a chunk of time and some skills in either cleaning or construction?

If you do, we’d love to see you! We’d also welcome you to lunch, where you can meet many other fabulous volunteers at work around the community. See the full information about the event online in this blog post.

And if we’re lucky enough to have filled both of these crews by the time we hear from you, we’d be happy to add you to the crew that next most needs you. To volunteer, use this online form; if you have questions, use the contact form on this website to be in touch or email us at womensserviceday (at) gmail.com.

Keep the Momentum Going!

Thanks to fabulous volunteers, including our construction leads Ben Sikkink and David DeBlock and the women of Women’s Service Day 2013, we’ve made great strides with Nuestra Casa, the renovation of the abandoned house that will become a neighborhood center. Here’s a visual tour of what we accomplished in just one day:

To keep the momentum going, we need you! We have Saturday work sessions every week now through mid-December. If you can join us for any (or all!) of them, let us know by signing up with this online form.

We’re also looking for folks who are looking for projects for their company work teams, church groups, service organization (Rotary, anyone?), knit clubs, exercise classes, or families could do together. We’re happy to work with you to find a weekday that works with your schedule if that’s your preference; just contact us via this form.

NC3Help us keep the momentum going! All it takes is a few hours with a hammer. Or, you know, a saw.