Join Our Guilds
A special part of the rich history at DABSJ is the support of our two volunteer Guilds. Both accepting new members, the Guilds are a fantastic opportunity to make a difference for children and families while also being part of a close-knit community within the larger DABSJ family. Your unique talents and passions are welcome, from gathering supporters for a show-stopping night to tending with care to much-needed supplies.
“Forty-five years ago, we were invited to a St. John’s Ball. We walked out, got in the car and said ‘This is something we want to support.’ It was instant. And that’s when I joined the Guild.”
-Chris Visner, Guild member from 1979-2010 and continued supporter
D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s Guild
Formed in the 1960s, the D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s Guild coordinates, solicits for, and plans a beloved Grand Rapids event: the annual Guild Ball. What sets the Ball apart from other galas is its historic legacy, carrying DABSJ through times of need and always being there for children in our programs.
The Guild was originally formed as the St. John’s Guild, supporting St. John’s Home (what is now DABSJ’s Residential Treatment program). As the organization has evolved, so has the Guild, supporting a wider range of DABSJ programming, and bringing in the next generations of volunteers.
The Guild meets four times a year and actively assists in fundraising to make the Guild Ball a success, creating incredible impact for children and families in one unforgettable evening.
“I am part of the Guild because I want to help children and families. My favorite thing to do is help with the care bags that the children get when they come into care. No child should have to go without the things that they need.”
-Shelly Friend, Marilyn J. Olson Guild member
Marilyn J. Olson Guild
Many children enter foster care with just a plastic bag holding a few items. Some enter with nothing at all. At DABSJ, we keep care bags on hand filled with things to call their own and to help make them a little more comfortable when entering a new foster home – pajamas, a stuffed animal, toiletries, and more.
The Marilyn J. Olson Guild lovingly tends to our stock of care bags, clothing, and supplies for families. Named in memory of Marilyn Olson, a dedicated volunteer who gave back for over three decades, the Guild is devoted to making sure supplies are organized, labeled, and ready for when they are needed.
Guild members volunteer as their schedules allow, sometimes between one and six hours per week.