Posted by: Marcia Davis | August 31, 2014

Hope Students: Time to Serve at Nuestra Casa

Hope College - Time to Serve event

On Labor Day weekend, while many people are enjoying the last remnants of summer, a crew of Hope College students came to work at Nuestra Casa, where they completed the access ramp and began painting primer on the walls. It wasn’t the first time Hope students have helped out. They also volunteered in 2011 as part of the Time to Serve volunteer program.

An annual Hope College event since 2000, Time to Serve is an opportunity for incoming freshmen, led by upperclassmen, to work in crews of six to ten people at locations around the Holland/Zeeland area. It’s part of their freshmen orientation, which is meant to introduce the new students to Hope’s mission–to educate students for lives of leadership and service–while acquainting them with the Holland community.

We’re glad Hope chose Nuestra Casa as one of the many sites to receive attention around town. Check out the volunteers’ accomplishments in the slideshow.

Thank you, Hope students!

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Posted by: Marcia Davis | August 19, 2014

And We Have a Ramp!

Women's Service Day crew, August 2014

Women’s Service Day crew, August 2014

On Women’s Service Day this year, a large crew came to Nuestra Casa to finish installing drywall, paint trim, and build an access ramp. Thanks to this crew and the morning shift for all their hard work!

We’re grateful to Eric James for continuing his drywall finishing so we can take the next step: painting!

Eric James, drywall finisher

Eric James, drywall finisher

Also, thanks to Dave DeBlock and the Hope Church crew for getting the holes dug in preparation for the ramp building.


Here’s a slideshow of the progress from the day.

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If you’re interested in painting or getting involved in finishing the neighborhood center renovation, contact


Posted by: Marcia Davis | July 28, 2014

Soon, Mudding

IMG_4501_NC1The upstairs drywalling at Nuestra Casa is almost complete! Last weekend’s work crew installed the special mildew-resistant boards in the upstairs bathroom and were focused on the stairwell next.

The first floor is shaping up nicely, too, with most of the boards affixed to the studs and the majority of the ceiling installed. Soon, the walls will be ready for mudding.

Women’s Service Day plans to send a crew on August 14.

Painting is scheduled to start soon–likely in August.

There will be more work days if you’re interested in helping with the last phases of renovation at Nuestra Casa. Just get in touch with Women’s Service Day, which is managing construction. You can reach them by email at

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Posted by: Marcia Davis | July 27, 2014

Thanks Again, JCI!


JCI chose Nuestra Casa as a grant recipient again this year. Pictured are representatives from JCI, Women’s Service Day, and Good Samaritan Ministries.

For the second year in a row, local corporation Johnson Controls (JCI) has made Nuestra Casa the recipient of a $1,000 grant to help with renovation. The money will help volunteers finish the neighborhood center and equip it with necessary items such as appliances in the kitchen so neighbors can hold cooking classes, for example.

Thanks so much to giving organizations like JCI, and its employees, who strive to make a difference in their community.

Watch for JCI volunteers at Nuestra Casa on Women’s Service Day, August 14, as they help with finishing tasks to make this gathering place ready for neighbors to use.

Posted by: kalliespidahl | July 24, 2014

Drywalling is fun!

Drywalling is fun! Okay, so it’s dusty, messy, hard work, and involves some dangerous postures on ladders or under heavy items… but it is satisfying to see it come together and to slap the dust off your jeans at the end of work day. And, for the first time we are starting to see what Nuestra Casa looks like with its walls. From very near the beginning it has been stripped to the studs, and now we are beginning to see the space take its shape. The upstairs apartment is nearly finished, and we have half of the downstairs complete, thanks to hard working volunteers. Stop by to see what it’s becoming! Help us hang some drywall! Next opportunity to volunteer is this Saturday July 26 from 9am-12pm.

Washington School Neighbors
Posted by: Marcia Davis | June 15, 2014

First the Roof, Now the Ceiling


Last fall, a group of Women’s Service Day volunteers raised the roof. This weekend, neighbors helped put up the ceiling on the second floor of Nuestra Casa.

Drywalling is a meticulous task. As noted in the last blog post, it’s a tedious process of measuring, lifting, and fitting. Another task the group accomplished was adding more insulation where needed.

Step by step, it’s starting to become a place where people can soon gather to share, learn, mentor, and connect.

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If you have a passion for drywall work, or just want to help out your community, 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

Posted by: Marcia Davis | June 1, 2014

Measure, Lift, Fit


Drywalling is a meticulous chore, and not an easy one when you’re lifting boards to the ceiling. That was the next step this weekend, in order to keep momentum going and stay on schedule at Nuestra Casa. Thank you to these guys–Dennis, Jay, Rod, and Andrew–for making more progress on Saturday!

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If you have a passion for drywall work, or just want to help out your community, 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

Posted by: Marcia Davis | May 26, 2014

And Drywalling Has Begun!


The first drywall boards are up at Nuestra Casa, thanks to this crew who gave up holiday time on Memorial Day weekend to volunteer for a work day. In addition to the drywall, former roof vent holes were sealed and dirt was added along the foundation where the septic was connected.

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Drywalling will continue through June so if you’re passionate and/or skilled about this kind of work, or just helping your community, 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

Posted by: Marcia Davis | May 18, 2014

Batting and Weeding

Insulation batting and drywall materials were delivered this past week, after the foam insulation was sprayed in.

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Then on Saturday, a Michigan AmeriCorps crew of seven people came to Nuestra Casa and installed the insulation batting to prepare for the final steps before drywalling. They are part of the Russ Mawby Signature Service Project, which brings hundreds of AmeriCorps members to one Michigan community for two days of intensive service. By the end of the second day, several projects are completed, visibly demonstrating the power of Michigan’s AmeriCorps members in action.

This crew had the upstairs insulation batting installed within the first two hours of their work day!

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While some worked indoors, others helped remove weeds from the raised garden beds in the back yard, which we hope one day will be plots for a community garden.

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We rely on crew leaders for every work day, like our indefatigable construction leads, Ben Sikkink and Dave De Block. This weekend, we thank Women’s Service Day planning team member and master gardener, Sue Gadbois, and Ros Russell–a Women’s Service Day participant and home improvement wiz–for helping lead the AmeriCorps crew indoors and outside.

Interested in drywalling? Work days are lined up into June. Please contact Women’s Service Day, which is managing construction, at to get involved.

Posted by: Marcia Davis | May 13, 2014

Insulation: Before and After

It may not seem like much, but getting the foam insulation done is not only a big step–one that preps us for drywalling–but it makes a huge difference visually. Nuestra Casa is really starting to look like a house again inside! After the batting, we’ll be ready to drywall.


Before insulation


After insulation



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