Women’s Service Day Volunteers Are “A Dream Come True”

“This is a dream come true!” said a Community Action House volunteer supervisor, as she surveyed the pantry that Women’s Service Day volunteers had spent the afternoon sorting through and reorganizing.

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SEE MORE 2016 EVENT PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK

As you can see from the slideshow, the pantry was just one of many projects that 180 Women’s Service Day volunteers took on during the 15th year of the annual event, held on October 6. At Eighth Day Farm, volunteers put the vegetable gardens to bed for the winter, while at Pathways, Michigan, they did landscaping, painted an img_6399entryway and other areas, assembled kitchen cabinets, and laid flooring.

Women volunteering at the Center for Women in Transition put together coaching kits for the Girls on the Run program; those at Camp Sunshine worked on a mailing that will go out to potential counselors.

Other activities included painting at two My House Ministry locations, and cleaning and yard work at a third; sorting donations at The Salvation Army; assembling meals for children at Kids’ Food Basket; cleaning and sorting donated books at Ready for School, and bundling diapers at Nestlings Diaper Bank.

img_6415As in previous years, volunteers enjoyed homemade chili at Hope Church, while they watched anniversary video (generously produced by Rasikas Films) and waited for raffle winners to be announced. The raffle and sale of volunteer-produced pigs in blankets raised just over $3,000 for continuing renovations at Pathways, MI, and “a mountain of donated diapers and wipes” will go to the parents and children served by Nestlings.

For the organizing committee, this was a year of celebration and reflection. As she painted the ceiling in the basement at one of the My House Ministry’s houses and listened to the other volunteers chat, Marcia Davis, one of the original organizers of the day, realized that she was seeing a microcosm of the entire event. “We were having fun, doing some good in the community, learning something new, and meeting new people,” she said. “Those were all the goals we had set out for Women’s Service Day from the very beginning.”

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Reminders for Volunteers Serving October 6

Women’s Service Day is Thursday and the planning team is finalizing details. Registered participants should have received their crew information by now. If you haven’t, please e-mail us right away. Here are a few things to remember:

Start times: Morning crews will begin at 8:30 a.m. and afternoon crews will start right after lunch, between 1:15 and 1:30.

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Apple crisp for dessert at lunch

Lunch (and lunch money)! Our lunch celebration will be 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 ten years. Any additional dollars you can give will help defray continuing increases in food prices! (Cash will be collected upon arrival at the church.)

Your checkbook for the raffle. (Check out the slide show of sample items!) Red Raffle Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $12; White Raffle Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25. Proceeds will help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI, with some portion covering minor event costs.

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Diapers for Nestlings

Your diaper donation. During lunch, we’ll also be collecting disposable diapers (especially sizes 4, 5, and 6) and wipes for Nestlings Diaper Bank, a clearinghouse that provides diapers to low-income families and babies. (Or you can donate directly to Nestlings online.)

Dress for the weather and the tasks you’re assigned: work gloves, closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and bottled water are suggested items you may want to consider. Our plan to do everything possible, rain or shine!

You can follow the day through photos on Instagram and updates on Twitter (@womenserviceday) and tweet your own experiences, too, using the hashtag #WSDHolland.

If you have a last-minute change in plans (sickness, business crisis, etc.) and are unable to participate—or just need directions—please contact us via e-mail as soon as possible.

Looking forward to seeing you on this Thursday!

What to Expect on October 6

We’re looking forward to serving women and children in our community with you on October 6! By now, registered volunteers should have received an e-mail with the details for their assignment. If you did not get an e-mail, please contact us.

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Thanks to Susan Vollmer and VIA Wealth Management, our diaper donation drive for Nestlings is off to a great start! Help us build a mountain!

For 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 help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI, with some portion covering minor event costs. Bring your checkbook and your generosity!

During lunch, we’ll also be collecting disposable diapers (especially sizes 4, 5, and 6) and wipes 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 on Instagram (@womensserviceday) and updates on Twitter (@womenserviceday) and share your own experiences, too, using the hashtag #WSDHolland.

If you have a last-minute change in plans (sickness, business crisis, etc.) and are unable to participate—or just need directions—please contact us via e-mail as soon as possible.

What? You’re volunteering but want to do even more?

21892903535_4d1b068c99_bThat’s awesome! Consider holding a donation drive within your network for the Nestlings Diaper Bank, a clearinghouse that provides low-income families and babies in need with diapers and wipes, for the following items: Disposable diapers (especially sizes 4, 5, and 6) and wipes. They also accept open packages of diapers. We’d be happy to add your contribution to ours on October 6! Or—easiest of all!—you can donate directly to Nestlings online.

We’d also love your financial support for our continuing renovation work at Pathways MI, where many of you worked hard over the last two years. Donations fund the paint, carpet, and furniture that makes the facility welcoming and healing for the children and families who receive services there.

  • We’ll also be hand-crafting delicious pigs-in-blankets during our Women’s Service Day event on the 6th, with, again, proceeds going to the renovation fund for Pathways. Pigs are $12 for a dozen, and orders must be received by October 1. Order yours via this online form.
  • Monetary donations may be made directly to Pathways through their website. All gifts are tax-deductible. To support Women’s Service Day projects there, choose the Building Renovation Fund option when you click “donate.” (Note that Pathways becomes a program of Arbor Circle Corporation on October 1, so you may receive a receipt from that organization.)
  • To complete the project at the Pathways MI facility, we’re on the lookout for furniture, equipment, and supplies, as well as skilled trades and crews willing to volunteer throughout the year. Please contact us to discuss our needs.

Thank you! Every little bit helps!

 

Women’s Service Day 2016: It’s Time to Sign Up!

Are you ready to register for Women’s Service Day 2016?

You and your fellow volunteers are making a huge difference in the lives of women and children in our community. Since WSD began in 2001, we’ve put in nearly 10,000 cumulative volunteer hours—the equivalent of four full-time people volunteering for a year! And we’ve raised and donated more than $100,000 to various nonprofit organizations.

WSDTeeFinalArt_badge-webThis year, in honor of our 15th anniversary, we hope to make a bigger impact than usual. In order to do that, we need not just you, but also your colleagues, friends, and family—any woman who wants to make the world a better place. When you register, please invite them to register, too! The date of the event is Thursday, October 6.

In addition to volunteering at a number of nonprofit agencies in Holland (here’s a list of places we’ve volunteered in the past), we’ll be holding a raffle to help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI where we’ll be working on the break room, kitchen, and hallways. And we’ll be collecting disposable diapers for Nestlings Diaper Bank, which is a clearinghouse for many service agencies in our area. If you’re interested in being a part of this day of volunteering and networking, it’s time to sign up!

WSD-t-shirtIn special celebration of our 15-year anniversary, we’re offering special commemorative clothing items through Booster.com. Prices vary by item, but proceeds will go to the renovation fund for the Pathways MI facility, to continue to buy the paint, carpet, and furniture that makes the facility welcoming and healing for the children and families who receive services there. Go to Booster.com/wsd-2016 for full details and to place your order.

How to Register

Capacity is limited and you must register (first-registered, first-served) before the event to participate. Complete this online form by September 6 to sign up for a morning session, afternoon session, or both shifts. You’ll receive confirmation that we’ve received your information, and you’ll be on an email distribution list for future event communications. Remember, we’re counting on you! We plan our agency projects based on the number of registrants, so please be sure it’s on your calendar.

What to Expect on October 6

For a morning or all-day session, plan to arrive at a worksite in Holland (we’ll let you know where) 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 hold a raffle for this year’s recipient, Pathways MI, so bring your checkbook!

Bring your contribution of unused disposable diapers and pull-ups (open packages are okay, and larger sizes are often in shorter supply) and new, unopened baby wipes for Nestlings Diaper Bank.

Watch for additional details about our event in future communications and here on our website. Thank you for your willingness to help!

Questions? E-mail the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+.

Thank You, Women’s Service Day Volunteers!

Landscaping renovation at Pathways MIWhat a wonderful day for the Holland community! Around 120 volunteers showed up to accomplish tasks and participate in fundraising activities for the 13th annual Women’s Service Day on August 14. In the morning and afternoon, they helped a number of nonprofits in the area, including:

Center for Women in Transition and Girls on the Run
Holland Rescue Mission, including Stepping Stones Day Care at the Family Hope Ministry Center
Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity
My Sister’s House II
Nestlings Diaper Bank
Nuestra Casa neighborhood center
Pathways, MI
Ready for School
8th Day Farm

During lunch, they contributed to a raffle fundraiser for the Kelly Markatos Memorial Build through Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity; together, we contributed $1,248. They also filled a van with school supplies for Sylvia’s Place.

Stay tuned for the full story–with photos–to see all they accomplished in just one day! For now, here’s a peek at some of the crews at work. And check out the Holland Sentinel article that was published about Women’s Service Day today.

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Buy an Ornament, Diaper a Baby in Need

Nestlings Diaper Bank ornament by Carolyn StitchOur Women’s Service Day team has been helping to build awareness about Nestlings Diaper Bank since it was first established a couple years ago, and the organization is one of many local organizations served by volunteers during our event.

As the holidays are approaching, we’d like to help Nestlings once again by promoting a special fundraiser that was initiated by a local massage therapist, Tammy Hillen, owner of Harbor Health & Massage. She collaborated with local artist Carolyn Stich, who donated her time, talent, and artwork to create a unique ornament to sell during the holiday season for Nestlings. The design depicts the nativity scene with Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus, which also communicates Nestlings’ focus on children and families (a theme that ties well with Women’s Service Day goals, too). Each ornament costs $25, of which approximately $19 will go to Nestlings.

Tammy was inspired by Nestlings because the organization is run wholly by volunteers. She was interested in helping the organization financially because she knew the majority of the funds (about 75%) would support Nestlings’ mission to help diaper the children and babies in need—not go toward salaries or administration. Together, Carolyn and Tammy donated all the administrative costs of putting the project together, procuring the ornaments, funding the cost of materials up front, and engaging other businesses and organizations to participate as points of sale.

Carolyn decorated 200 ornaments, each signed and numbered. If all the ornaments are sold, about $3,800 will go toward diapers. What a great way to celebrate the season of giving!

Ornaments are available for purchase in downtown Holland at:

They’re also for sale on Holland’s northside at:

If you’re a business owner who’s interested in selling these unique holiday gifts–and supporting a good cause–please contact Tammy Hillen at Harbor Health & Massage.

If you’re a shopper, start your holiday shopping early this year! Get your ornament before they’re gone, while helping babies in need through Nestlings Diaper Bank.