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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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Last Chance to Order T-shirts!

Show some heart! Thursday, September 15, is the deadline for ordering commemorative T-shirts. We’re offering long-sleeved, short-sleeved, v-neck, and crew-neck shirts and even a hoodie! Proceeds benefit our renovation project at Pathways, which works to improve life for children and families by providing services like counseling, foster care, and education. Don’t delay just a few more days! Visit https://www.booster.com/wsd-2016 for full details and to place your order.

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Not Able to Volunteer? You Can Still Help!

21705198118_32d67c9426_bIf you have a passion for helping women and children and building community here in West Michigan, but can’t join us on October 6, there are other ways you can be involved. We’d love your financial support for our networking lunch or to support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI where many of you worked hard last year. Donations fund the paint, carpet, and furniture that makes the facility welcoming and healing for the children and families who receive services there.

  • FINANCIAL: Monetary donations may be made two ways: By writing a check to Pathways, MI and putting “Building Renovation Fund Donation” in the memo line, then sending it to: Pathways, MI 412 Century Lane Holland MI 49423 Or, through the Pathways MI website. All gifts are tax-deductible. To support Women’s Service Day projects there, choose the Building Renovation Fund option when you click “donate.”Proceeds from our commemorative shirts also benefit Pathways. Go to https://www.booster.com/wsd-2016 for full details and to place your order.

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  • IN-KIND GOODS: To complete the project at the Pathways MI facility, we’re on the lookout for specific furniture, equipment, and supplies, as well as skilled trades. Please contact us to discuss our needs.

Or, 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.

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+.