On May 4th 2019, Serve the City had its second Global Volunteer Day. Fifteen Serve the City locations across the world led projects and volunteered to celebrate this event.
From games of BINGO to free health screenings, from sporting events to window cleaning, this day had it all!
We caught up with a few of the participating cities to hear about their day –
Brussels, Belgium –
We partnered with the organisation Play4Peace by helping them organise a big sporting event for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our role was to help set up, clear up, and supervise in some areas.
Very simply, it was a success as we got to meet great people from a great project and got to offer a super fun day to a bunch of kids. This reflected our core STC aim of making a difference.
Guayaquil, Ecuador –
We brought sandwiches, hot cocoa and little cards with biblical promises to people in the ICU waiting room (mainly family members) in one of the city’s social security hospitals. We also prayed for those who allowed us to and no one said no. We visited the hospital at night, after visiting hours, and got to see how most of the people had brought mattresses and/or quilts, just to make sure their loved ones wouldn’t be completely alone.
The reward of giving will linger longer than the joy of receiving. We sometimes ignore the power that a hug and a smile can have. I’m grateful for having been able to offer that hug to those who needed it so much.
I love the idea of knowing people by their name instead of their condition or situation.
La Paz, Baja California Sur Mexico –
Rancho el Camino: A Community of Faith (www.ranchoelcamino.org) served DIF (Desarrollo Integral Familiar), who are the government social workers, by painting the inside of one of their community centers. This is a community center in an impoverished area of the city which doesn´t receive much support and is also in the area where the Ranch serves on a daily basis. The Ranch´s Kids Club and Youth Club, which draws kids from this same area, helped in this service project and gave back to their community. Additionally, there was an international team from Movement Mortgage in the US which came to assist in this project. In total we had 45 people serving.
We believe that everyone is given the capacity to serve others and is made in the image of God no matter their age or physical limitations. This is why we include everyone in our service projects including adults to little children. All are given the opportunity to serve and give back to their community. We are better together.
Newport News, Virginia, United States of America –
We served the elderly in the Southeast Community of Newport News. We did home repair and yard work for residents in the neighborhood. We painted finger nails and hosted BINGO for the elderly at a government owned apartment complex that has no activities coordinator. It was a great way to build relationships and community with the residents. We also put together materials to be used this summer for practicing English with refugees. By taking the time to spend with the elderly that do not get visitors, we let them know that they really do matter. They experience the love of God through the people who care for them.
Through our project, we followed through with the STC motto of “we know them by their need, what if we knew them by their name?” Now, we know their names.
Ofankor, Accra, Ghana –
We focused on the elderly and members of poor households in line with our theme “Serving the City poor with basic necessities of life“. The activities for the day included;
Donation of food items: In all, 20 selected poor and aged people benefited from the program. Each was given a package comprising of 2 tubers of yam, one 5 kg bag of rice, 1 liter bottle of cooking oil each and a bag of sachet water. The volunteers carried the donation items to the various houses for distribution and shared words of exhortation and prayers with the beneficiaries together with their households. Even though, it rained that morning, the volunteers walked through the wet and muddy condition joyfully to execute their mission.
Free health screening: Members of the community were offered free health screening in the areas of Malaria and Hypertension. This exercise was led by the TABITHA Volunteer Medical team. Two partnering organizations, African Enterprise and Care4Aged Foundation donated the medical supplies to supplement those of TABITHA Ghana. 30 out of the expected 80 people, accessed the health screening and those found sick were given free medication.
The traditional chief and opinion leaders of the community were highly impressed with our activities and services, and asked for God’s blessings for the project and repetition of the program. Beneficiaries were equally grateful and overwhelmed because they least expected any such benevolent services and demonstration of love and compassion.
Overall, we had about 47 volunteers doing little things together under the drizzling condition, sacrificing with compassion for the needy and aged. At various points of the process we crossed the lines together to serve the needy, especially when the ground was muddy due to the morning’s rain. Other partners were Treasure of Life Foundation, Ofankor Community youth and Ofankor Church of Christ youth.
Thank God we were able to do little things together with love and humility for the benefit of mankind. We believe our actions made a big difference!
Riga, Latvia –
We served families who are living in very poor neighbourhoods by organizing a dinner. In Latvia, Global Volunteer Day coincided with our Day of the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia. In this day people gather, make meals and spend time together. We know that the families we served don’t have the means or finances to make a nice meal and therefore we wanted to make them feel loved and welcomed. We invited 10 families to join dinner and spent some great time together.
As we are new project in Riga, people still don’t know us and this was great opportunity to tell people who we are and what we are going to do here in Riga. We made some great new friendships and we hope these friendships will last long and we will be able to impact the lives of these 10 families in future.
This was great event to get to know people by their name. We know that they need financial support and love, but now we know 10 families by their names. Isn’t that great?
Tallinn, Estonia –
We served in a mental health center where we cleaned a club house facility and mainly washed windows. This made it possible for the sunshine to come into the building and brighten up everyone’s day.
You need to have COURAGE to climb to places others wouldn’t, to do the things others can’t.