Changing Diapers, Changing Lives

The Holland Junior Welfare League Does It Again!

After nine decades, Holland Junior Welfare League just keeps giving

 

Cassandra Lybrink
The Holland Sentinel

Published 6:01 a.m. ET April 15, 2022

HOLLAND — When Nestlings Diaper Bank began its fundraiser for a truck of diapers in January, the organization didn’t expect the price tag to jump $18,000 higher.

Hopes for the truck — which would’ve covered between two-thirds and three-quarters of the community’s diaper need for 2022 — were dashed.

More: Nestlings Diaper Bank hopes to raise 40K in January for truck of diapers

More: Cassandra Lybrink: It shouldn’t be this hard to start a family

But Holland Junior Welfare League was just getting started.

For nine decades, HJWL has raised money and performed service projects for children in the greater Holland area. The local nonprofit is managed by women, all of whom volunteer their time. The organization hosts two fundraisers per year — and last year, it broke records.

“We have so much to give this year,” said HJWL Vice President Lindsey Rautiola. “Our fundraisers are entirely underwritten, which means our businesses and some of our members and alumni members donate funds and prizes for raffles. That means everything we make goes straight back into the community. It’s such a beautiful, wonderful thing.”

In 2021, HJWL raised $90,000.

“It was the largest amount we’ve ever raised,” Rautiola said. “We raised $60,000 in December alone. We really wanted to do something big to honor the ladies who’ve come before us and the goal of HJWL. So, we carved out an extra $10,000 and had our members nominate organizations to receive it.”

At the same time, HJWL was sifting through applications from nonprofits seeking grant money to fund programs for children. In total, the nonprofit received 37 applications and — after investigating each proposal — fully or partially funded 32 of them.

For the first time in the organization’s history, HJWL organized a series of check presentations for each grant. The presentations splattered the social media pages of organizations like Outdoor Discovery Center and Holland Aquatic Center, which received $4,500 and $3,000, respectively.

“It was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done,” Rautiola said. “It was super rewarding and so well received.”

A check presentation was also organized for Nestlings, which received $4,000. But during HJWL’s bi­annual fundraiser Thursday, April 14, the diaper bank was surprised with the additional $10,000.

“The first-ever grant Nestlings received was from HJWL,” Rautiola said. “It was for a printer they still have today. We’ve given to them for the past decade. The need for diapers, it shouldn’t exist. It blows my mind.”

The additional $10,000 will purchase 15 skids of diapers for Nestlings, Rautiola said. To learn more or donate to HJWL, visit hjwl.org.

— Contact reporter Cassandra Lybrink at cassandra.lybrink@hollandsentinel.com. Follow her on Instagram @BizHolland.

See the full article at: https://www.hollandsentinel.com/story/news/nonprofits/2022/04/15/after-nine-decades-holland-junior-welfare-league-just-keeps-giving/7288969001/

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