Thank you for being the change you want to see in the world!

This year was WSD’s “sweet sixteen” birthday, and how sweet it was! More than 180 of you showed up ready to be the change that you want to see in the world. Thank you!

22219783_1752812818093789_5210821138871540714_oHere are the non-profits that benefitted from your hard work:
– Center for Women in Transition
– Benjamin’s Hope
– Eighth Day Farm
– Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity
– Nestlings Diaper Bank
– Pathways of Arbor Circle
– Hope Pkgs
– Holland Area Arts Council
– ACTS
– My House Ministry
– Kids’ Food Basket
– Holland Rescue Mission
– Community Action House

By participating in our lunchtime raffle, you help raise over $3,200 for the Center for Women in Transition to support costs associated with providing activities and safe spaces for children whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence.

You also donated 3,284 diapers and 11 packages of wipes for the parents and children served by Nestlings.

In the next few days, we’ll post a full recap of the day along with photos that show how we got the work done. You can also check out the photos on Facebook and Instagram.

Finally, we’d like to know what the WSD experience was like for you. How can we make it better next year? Please take this quick survey so we know — http://bit.ly/WSD2017Feedback

Thanks and see you next year!

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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!

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.”

Thank you!

We are overwhelmed by your generosity—and so are the agencies we served!

Every year we think it can’t get any better. And every year, all our volunteers prove that it can, and it does. This year more than 180 of you–a record since Women’s Service Day began–showed up with willing hearts and hands and did more than ever before. What a way to celebrate our 15-year anniversary! Here are the nonprofits that benefited from your hard work:

The lunch raffle fundraiser was a huge success, raising over $2305 for Pathways MI. You also donated a mountain of diapers and wipes for the parents and children served by Nestlings.

diaper-mountain

Stay tuned for the full story–with photos–to see all you accomplished in just one day! For now, here’s our anniversary video. Thanks to each of you, to the hundreds of women who have participated over the years, and to Rasikas Films for producing a video that captures our “can do” spirit.

Also, for those of you who wish you had ordered a commemorative T-shirts (or two), good news! We’ve decided to re-open the campaign. Order by October 19! Proceeds will still benefit Pathways, which works to improve life for children and families by providing services like counseling, foster care, and education. Visit https://www.booster.com/wsd-2016 for full details and to place your order.

t-shirts

Finally, we’d like to know what the WSD experience was like for you. How can we make it better next year? Please take this quick survey so we know.

Thanks and see you next year!

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.

susan-vollmer

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.

Knitting a Community at Women’s Service Day

“I enjoy the gathering, the networking and community.
I also enjoy spending the time chatting with the ladies who volunteer and to share information and experiences back and forth.”

DSC00237That was among the comments you’ve sent us about your experiences at Women’s Service Day 2013 (it’s not too late; use this link). One of the things that strikes us–beyond how much we get done–is how lovely it is that all of our objectives are met, in ways we can’t always predict!

In case they’re not top of mind, here’s what we as a planning crew hope to accomplish:

  • Making a difference in our community—and having a great time doing so
  • Increase awareness of issues for women and children in the West Michigan community
  • Promoting networking among women in our community

We’re hearing a lot of stories about that third objective, the networking that really knits us together as a community. “I met Rosalund, who [works at the same company I do but] I’d never met before.” “My work group included an old friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years! It was great fun catching up with her!” “I ended up on the same team as someone I’d interviewed with from another company… Small world!”

And this from another volunteer: What I enjoyed most was “all the great women and connections possible. Loved helping someone who really needed it. And loved that my two friends could sign up and participate and make connections for themselves. They had a wonderful time!”

If you have friends you’d like to invite for next year’s event (or special opportunities between now and then), they can sign up for our mailing list here. Of course, you never know: Maybe Women’s Service Day 2014 is where you’ll meet your next good friend.

What to Expect on October 3

We’re looking forward to serving women and children in our community with you on October 3! 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.

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 for 11 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 cash lunch donation of $5.00, to be collected upon arrival at the church.

We’ll also have a silent auction and raffle of wonderful handmade items and fabulous donations from local businesses during lunch. All proceeds benefit the renovation of the neighborhood center, Nuestra Casa, in the Westcore Neighborhood, which has received special support from Women’s Service Day last year and this. Bring your checkbook and your generosity!

This year, our donation drive is taking a unique twist. To help equip Nuestra Casa with necessities for its educational, social, and community programs—and make shopping easier for participants—we’ve set up three gift registries.
Teerman’s in Holland
Bed, Bath & Beyond
My Registry

You can purchase items any time and either bring them to Hope Church on the day of the event or have them delivered to the local address provided by each registry. Just click on the links above, or go to the store’s website and enter:

First name: Nuestra

Last name: Casa

You may see Kallie Spidahl’s name connected to the registry when you go online. She’s our Women’s Service Day team member who coordinated and set up the accounts.

You can also bring gently used items in lieu of new ones for those requested on the registries. Please make sure you indicate these items are “purchased” on the appropriate registry.

If you have friends or colleagues who can’t make a half-day available but would still like to be part of the fun, spread the word that they can be part of the luncheon! They can register online.

You can follow the day through photos 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.