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!

 

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.

 

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!