An open house and ribbon cutting ceremony were held on Saturday, February 28, to celebrate key donors and volunteers who contributed to Nuestra Casa, and to showcase the neighborhood center to residents who will use it in the future.
More than 50 people came to tour the new center, share stories, and enjoy refreshments on a bright winter’s day. For the ribbon cutting ceremony they assembled outside on the new ramp constructed for wheelchair access, commemorating the transition from renovation to operation.
Women’s Service Day hosted the first half of the event to thank donors and volunteers for their contributions. Several organizations, including the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, Women Who Care Holland, and many individuals contributed to the $75,000 budget; local businesses offered gifts in kind and reduced pricing. Hundreds of people in the community contributed to numerous fundraising events coordinated by Women’s Service Day, which also won the national online Marigold Ideas for Good contest and a financial contribution.
Meanwhile, the construction team recruited volunteers from the neighborhood, all over Holland, and through a variety of organizations, to reinforce structures, install drywall and windows, replace siding, and even raise the roof. Several members of Hope Church have dedicated their time to lead construction crews for the past two years. Women’s Service Day has assigned volunteers to the Nuestra Casa projects during their annual event four years in a row. And Hope College students have contributed their efforts during their Time to Serve event. Finishing touches—from paint to cabinets and appliances to carpet and curtains—were completed in January and February this year.
Soon programs will begin and neighbors will have a place to gather, teach, and learn–and most importantly build community together.