For nearly 90-years now, the Women’s Service League of Berrien County has been doing big things for the community on multiple fronts. They have no plans to change that as they enter their 89th year of service in the region, except that the big work will be accomplished by “small group projects” along the way, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the League begins its 89th year of service to the community, they do so with a new Executive Board, which includes President Deb Akins, Vice-President Amy Wells, Secretary Carrie Kutchie and Treasurer Jenn Mitchell.
President Deb Akins tells us, “This year’s focus will be on service in our community. In light of COVID-19 we will be selecting to complete small group projects in support of needs in our community. It is our hope for the new year to stress inclusivity and lift up our fellow members as well as others in the community that we serve.”
Benefactors of these service projects in 2020-2021 will include Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan, The Avenue – Cora Lamping Center and additional community outreach partners.
Akins shared a few highlights from last year include:
- Another very successful Operation Coats, collecting and distributing hundreds of coats to those in need in Berrien County.
- A WSL member bowling team was formed and participated in The Logan Center’s annual fundraiser.
- The 2020 Charity Ball with a Roaring 20’s theme raised $11,556 for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Michigan.
- WSL members collected items and distributed goody bags for the seniors served by Meals on Wheels for both Easter and Halloween.
- A Service project cleaned up the playground and planted flowers at the Salvation Army.
- The Scholarship Committee awarded to Emma Springer a $1,000 Athena Scholarship, an annual community-service based scholarship for high school seniors.
- A total of 33 volunteers from WSL (including members and families) volunteered to check in more than 2000 athletes at the 2019 Whirlpool Ironman 70.3 Steelhead Triathlon
WSL continued through this Spring with several COVID Relief activities.
- Over $3,000 was raised and meals were delivered to local hospital and EMS staff.
- Meals on Wheels received hundreds of dollars of shelf stable items and care packages were assembled for homebound seniors that member, Carrie Kutchie, delivered as a home health nurse.
- Several members went to the hospital and chalked encouraging pictures and words on the sidewalks to show appreciation.
The League, which has more than 50 members, consists of multiple committees that work on projects and service. Included are the Executive, Social Media, Hospitality, Community Connection, Operation Coats, Scholarship, and the Charity Ball Committees.
Service doesn’t end after members complete their commitment to 10 years of service. The League has over 100 members who continue to support the group and stay involved.
Women interested in joining Women’s Service League can find a membership application online at: http://www.womensserviceleague.org/get-involved/join Members will serve on a committee, attend meetings, and participate in service projects and fundraisers. Membership applications for the upcoming year are due no later than November 15th.
Non-Profit organizations who would like to be a beneficiary of a Women’s Service League fundraiser, have a need for volunteers, or would like to partner on a service project, are asked to contact Allison Arend at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shown in the photo accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is the 2020-2021 Women’s Service League Executive Board (from left to right): President Deb Akins, Secretary Carrie Kutchie, Treasurer Jenn Mitchell, and Vice-President Amy Wells.