Our fifteenth anniversary was a huge success, with more volunteers (180) working hard to be the change we all want to see in the world. And we raised more than $3,000 for continuing renovations at Pathways. Go, us! But we’ve never been one to rest on our laurels–and we figure you aren’t, either! So please save Thursday, October 5, for Women’s Service Day. That’s all you need to do for now. Watch this space for details. And watch this video to get inspired!
“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.
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 entryway 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.
As 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.”
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:
- Center for Women in Transition for the Girls on the Run program.
- Eighth Day Farm
- Holland Rescue Mission
- Kids’ Food Basket
- Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity
- My House Ministry
- Camp Sunshine
- Community Action House
- Nestlings Diaper Bank
- Pathways, MI
- Ready for School
- The Salvation Army
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
That’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!
If 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.
- 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!
Are you involved in a book club, knitting group, or on a project team with women who want to make a difference in their community? Why not ask them to sign up for Women’s Service Day this year!
Simply send an e-mail, or share via Facebookand Twitter to let them know you’d like them to register. You can also send their e-mail addresses to the Women’s Service Day Planning Committee and we’ll add them to our mailing list. If you’d like other materials to help spread the word, such as business cards, newsletter announcements, and posters, let us know!
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 silent auction and raffle to help support continuing renovation work at Pathways MI where many of you worked hard last year to make over the lobby and landscaping. And we’ll be collecting donations for My House Ministry, a transitional housing program for women.
Women’s Service Day originated from the spirit of giving among a group of women who recruited their friends and colleagues to help build a home for a single mom. We’d love to engage more women from our community to offer their time and talents, working side-by-side with women who want to make a difference.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 1! And be sure to register now!