Posted by: Marcia Davis | March 5, 2015

From Renovation to Completion


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.

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Soon programs will begin and neighbors will have a place to gather, teach, and learn–and most importantly build community together.

Posted by: Marcia Davis | February 14, 2015

Towards Completion: Carpet Is In

NC16West Michigan was in the midst of a winter storm but that didn’t stop a work crew of eight people—friends and family of Women’s Service Day—from coming out to lay carpet tiles on a Friday night.

First the adhesive was applied, then the team laid carpet tiles from the center outward. If you’ve ever done this job before you know that the trickiest and most time consuming part is measuring and cutting the squares to fit into unique shapes that adapt to the space. And, it takes muscle! Spouses, siblings, and friends….together they worked to complete the job in just over three hours.

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The first piece of furniture was ceremoniously brought in—a seating donation from Haworth, Inc.

And, in the kitchen, the refrigerator accessories were unpacked and installed so it’s ready for use.


Thanks to a great team for getting the neighborhood center one step closer to opening!


Posted by: Marcia Davis | February 11, 2015

Thank You, Lowe’s: Appliances Are In

lowe'sToday, appliances were delivered to Nuestra Casa. Now the first floor kitchen and second floor studio apartment are furnished with stoves and refrigerators, plus a dishwasher and washer/dryer unit. Having kitchen appliances means neighbors will be able to conduct cooking classes and use the space to store food for events.

Thanks to Lowe’s for a successful delivery and installation, as well as the discount they offer nonprofits!

Can you believe the kitchen went from this:

To this:

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Posted by: Marcia Davis | February 8, 2015

Light Fixtures!

The first of the light fixtures are in, beginning in the kitchens (one on each floor).


First floor kitchen


Second floor studio kitchen

With each day progress seems to double. Soon Nuestra Casa will be open for Westcore neighbors!

Posted by: Marcia Davis | January 31, 2015

And We Have Sinks!

Thanks to Ben Sikkink’s construction skills today, Nuestra Casa now has three out of four of its sinks, plus countertop and backsplash laminate, in place. Now we’re getting down to the final details….soon, carpet, fixtures, final touches. Stay tuned!

Downstairs bathroom sink

Downstairs bathroom sink

Kitchen sink

Kitchen sink

Kitchen sink and countertop

Kitchen sink and countertop

Upstairs bathroom sink

Upstairs bathroom sink

Posted by: Marcia Davis | January 24, 2015

Ready for Carpet!

NC124-8The dead of winter is prime time for indoor home improvement projects and another day of progress at Nuestra Casa.

Today a group of 11 volunteers–including Women’s Service Day planning team members plus friends and family–pitched in to prep for painting, and tediously swept brushes and rollers over railings, doors, and trim–from baseboards to windows and door frames. A special shout out goes to Larry Helder and John DeHaan for their caulk work the day before so the team could jump in and paint in one day, and for their expertise throughout the work day. Ben Sikkink once again kept the crew on course with sound construction advice.

All painted areas now have a final coat and the neighborhood center is ready for carpet installation. Thank you to everyone who dedicated their time, talent, and elbow grease!

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Posted by: Marcia Davis | January 17, 2015

Honoring Dr. King at Nuestra Casa

NC_1.17.15-7It’s obvious that Westcore Neighbors has a good relationship with Hope College student volunteers. Not only have Hope students helped renovate Nuestra Casa during several Time to Serve volunteer work days in the past, but they also broadened their outreach into the spring semester this year.

Today, Hope students headed out to nonprofit organizations all over Holland, with a crew of 11 working at Nuestra Casa, for the Martin Luther King Time to Serve day. The event is meant to inspire interest in service while helping acquaint newer students with the Holland community and other students. And, of course, to commemorate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Directed by the steadfast construction leaders from Hope Church, the crew helped out by shoveling the driveway for easier access, doing touch-up work (e.g., filling holes, sanding) to prepare for trim painting, and installing flooring on the second floor–all very important tasks so next week’s work crew can jump in and paint!

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Posted by: kalliespidahl | January 10, 2015

Final Steps: Finishing Work

Today a crew of seven from Hope Church came out to Nuestra Casa to focus on finishing work, including trim and baseboards, cabinets, and upstairs flooring. The next few weekends are booked with work crews who are planning on continuing finishing work to make Nuestra Casa ready for the neighborhood. Thanks to all the volunteers who have dedicated their time to this project!

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Posted by: Marcia Davis | December 23, 2014

The Home Stretch–for Real


Getting Nuestra Casa “buttoned up” for winter is a significant task. But when the heat is on, the water is flowing, and flooring is in, it means we are nearing occupancy.

Everyone will be on break for the holidays but crews will be ramping up for the final phase in January. Check out the progress that has been made in the last few months: walls are painted, cabinets are in the kitchen, a bathtub has been installed, and now the floors are going in. Soon appliances will be installed in the kitchen and upstairs apartment.

In addition to our tireless construction leaders, Ben and Dave, as well as committed volunteers, a special recognition should be made to Anne Saliers at the Holland Board of Public Works, who facilitated a donation of light bulbs for the neighborhood center.

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Want to get in on finishing work? We’ll have trim carpentry happening January 10 and 17, followed by trim painting January 24. If you have a passion for carpentry and/or painting, get in touch with Women’s Service Day. They are managing construction and you can reach them by email to sign up for a work day at

And, stay tuned for details: The construction team is driving toward a celebration event this winter in which they’ll recognize donors and volunteers, and turn over the keys to the center’s program managers, Westcore Neighbors. Soon Nuestra Casa will open its doors to provide programs for neighbors!

Posted by: Marcia Davis | September 29, 2014

And from the Outside…

The siding is done! Sometimes, it’s the little things that really add up. Not to say that siding is a minor task when it comes to renovation, but the final touches sure make this neighborhood center feel real.


Add to that a donation of time and plantings from Landscape Design Services, and Nuestra Casa has the special touch of greenery–such as holly bushes, lilies, sedum, and ornamental grasses–that help make the building more attractive on the outside.

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Thank you to our tireless crews for continuing to work on this renovation project. And thank you, Landscape Design, for your contribution!

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