Save October 5 for WSD!

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!

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!

Where We’ll Be Serving in 2016

Painting the railing at My House Ministry

We have a record number of women signed up this year! We’re thrilled—and so are the area agencies we’ll be serving. Here’s how volunteers will be working with the agencies to help women and children in the community.

  • Center for Women in Transition creates and sustains an environment that enhances the voice, opportunities, and strength of women and girls in Allegan and Ottawa Counties. Volunteers will be sorting and organizing curriculum for the Girls on the Run program.
  • Eighth Day Farm uses urban fields as a classroom to cultivate healthy and sustainable communities locally and globally. Volunteers will be weeding, harvesting, planting garlic, and cleaning.
  • Holland Rescue Mission develops and delivers programs of excellence for the homeless and less fortunate. Volunteers will be cleaning all of the daycare rooms, including equipment and toys, at the Stepping Stones Day Care from top to bottom, as well as deep cleaning and organizing the offices at the Family Hope Ministry Center. They will also help clean and organize the catering closet.
  • Kids’ Food Basket aims to attack childhood hunger to help young people learn and live well. Through its Sack Supper program the organization serves nearly 7,000 kids each weekday in West Michigan. Volunteers will be making sandwiches for Sack Suppers, which will be distributed to local children later that day.
  • 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 be working to complete a new home construction in Holland.
  • My House Ministry provides a safe place for women to eventually transition into independent living. Volunteers will be working at two housing locations in Holland, doing a variety of tasks: washing windows, cleaning, sanding drywall, vacuuming, painting indoors and outside, hanging curtains, yard work, and several other home improvement jobs.
  • My Sister’s House II, sponsored by the Holland Deacons’ Conference, cares for women with physical and developmental challenges by assisting them with the activities of daily living in an adult foster care home. Volunteers will be cleaning, washing floors, walls, door frames, windows etc. They will also help organize cupboards and closets, and may be planting bushes.
  • 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 be wrapping diapers into packs of 12 for distribution through area nonprofit organizations to mothers in need, and possibly stuffing envelopes for a mailing or helping out with light office duties.
  • Pathways, MI is committed to demonstrating excellence in providing responsive and compassionate service to all individuals, families and communities who seek their assistance. Services they provide include: counseling, early childhood programs, Great Start Western Regional Resource Center, parent and family support and education, foster care, adoption and participation in community efforts to improve life for children and families. Volunteers will be continuing last year’s renovation project to make the facility more welcoming by cleaning up baseboards in preparation for laying carpet, installing blinds, and painting. Outdoor work will include landscaping and clean-up of the central courtyard.
  • Ready for School aims to create communities of readiness where all children thrive and reach their full unique potential. Ready for School prepares children for success by equipping parents through integrated support of the Holland/Zeeland/Hamilton communities. Volunteers will disinfect, clean, organize, label, and update inventory of toys and materials in bins that the organization uses to engage families with young children in the community.
  • The Salvation Army is an international movement, motivated by the love of God to meet human needs in Jesus’ name without discrimination. Volunteers will clean and re-sort the pantry, which needs a fresh look. This food pantry is available to people in southern Ottawa County and most of Allegan County who are in need of some supplemental pantry items. It offers a large selection of both perishable and non-perishable items.

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!

 

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+.

Invite Your Friends and Colleagues to Volunteer

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!