Grand Valley State University Women's Center
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WIVC Agency Spotlight: YWCA Day of Service
Written by WIVC Intern Samantha Mikita
On October 20th, 2012, a group of Grand Valley students from th Women's Center Women’s Issues Volunteer Corps (WIVC) went to the YWCA’s main office in downtown Grand Rapids for a Day of Service. The main goal for the day was to help sort donations given to the YWCA and organize them in Sojourner’s Closet. Sojourner’s Closet is a service available to women and children who need various items to start a new life. The store, organized to resemble a downtown boutique, is mainly stocked with clothes for women and children, but there are some men’s clothing available too. The volunteers looked through bags of donations, keeping items that they thought were fashionable for women between the ages of 18-28, the YWCA’s most common age group of their clientele.
The volunteers stated they had a wonderful experience and would love to help out again at this agency. Jen Timmer, the volunteer coordinator and house manager, helped the volunteers settle in and was very helpful and friendly. It was very obvious how passionate she was about this organization. In a conversation with her after the event, she said the volunteers did a wonderful job in Sojourner’s closet and that GV students are welcome back anytime. In a mini interview with Jen, she told me, “Volunteers help at the YWCA in a variety of ways, everything from working directly with clients to mowing the lawn. We have opportunities for individuals as well as groups and the volunteer experience depends largely on the volunteer’s interest and the agency's needs”.
This day of service is just one great example of what student volunteers of the WIVC do when they are out in the community. In the interview, Jen also wanted to stress how important volunteers were to her and the YWCA. Her kind words were as follows, “The lasting impact volunteers have on our clients is amazing. Without the assistance of volunteers, creating a clean, safe, inviting and empowering environment at either building would not be possible.”Thank you to all who volunteer, not only at the YWCA, but at places all over Grand Rapids and other local areas!