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April 2017

Serve the City Launched in Newport News Virginia 

A report from the organizers:

“The Serve the City Newport News Kickoff Event on March 25th was a great success!! We had over 160 volunteers and leaders serving around the East End of Newport News, Virginia.  Teams were out in the community picking up litter, doing landscaping projects, painting and cleaning. We had people crossing city lines, racial lines, and economic lines!!

Some stats from Saturday:  Nearly 1 ton of trash picked up (including, believe it or not, several TV sets) and over 15 cubic yards of mulch moved (that is like1 1/2 dump truck loads)!  Just a couple examples of how many people doing small things together can make a big difference!!!

We also made a difference in lives in the community.  This note from a single mom who saw our “green” teams out picking up trash is just one example: “I live in the east end of Newport News. Today I saw your volunteers out in my neighborhood working.  I was excited to see people trying to make a difference here.  I would love to get involved.  I am hoping that you can give me more information on how to do so.  I would also like to know if my kids would be able to volunteer with me as I’m a single mom.  I think that it would be good for them as well.”

We want to thank the Newport News City Manager’s Office, the Newport News Police Department, the many communities of faith that partnered with us, the staff of Newport Harbour Apartments, and all our volunteers for making this a great day of crossing lines!”

New Art Space for Refugees in Luxembourg 

STC Luxembourg Leaders, Pascale Soares and her friend Lidia Rahal, have created an art space for refugees and asylum seekers living in Luxembourg called The Art Factory, and are hoping to duplicate the workshops in other shelters.  An interview with them can be found on the STC Luxembourg website here.

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March 2017

Meet Pratya: STC Brussels Intern

Pratya was born in India and has lived in Singapore, then Denmark, where she earned her International Baccalaureate degree last year.  During her gap year she worked for a time at a law firm dealing with refugees in Copenhagen until she went to teach English as a volunteer with STC Madrid as part of their voluntourism program.  While in Madrid she met an STC Madrid intern and decided this was what she wanted to pursue next in her global adventures. After inquiring with several STC cities, Pratya is currently volunteering as a full time intern for 4 weeks at Serve the City Brussels!

Survey In Lisbon

At the request of the city of Lisbon, about 100 STC volunteers invested over 1,200 hours of work in collecting data on the needs of the population of the Freguesia da Misericórdia in Lisbon. For 3 weeks, they went through the streets of this historic area of ​​the capital with a questionnaire, talking to people, getting emotional with many human situations, and learning new realities of their own City.

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February 2017

Serve the City Cork Launched! 

A launch event for Serve The City Cork was held on 28 January.  The entire board of directors of Serve the City Ireland traveled to the city of Cork to engage, inform and to learn from some great people who have a purpose and heart to launch STC in Ireland’s second largest city.

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January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

STCi Partners with Team Hope for Christmas Deliveries 

Serve the City International partnered with Team Hope of Ireland in December to deliver Christmas packages to children in need in several of our European cities.  Team Hope provided the boxes of gifts for our teams of volunteers to distribute amongst the groups we serve year round.  Thank you Team Hope!

STC Diemen Celebrates 5 Years

Serve the City Diemen is currently celebrating 5 years of serving their city in a variety of ways.  Congratulations STC Diemen!

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December 2016

Six Years of Serving in Geneva

Serve the City International Board member and STC Ireland leader Alan McElwee recently visited with STC Geneva and returned with the following report:

“Six years on and STC Geneva is still serving the needs of people in their city. My recent visit there (second last weekend in Oct) allowed me to reconnect with Gary Vannatter again since the Berlin International Forum (2014) and to share with him more current developments of our movement and our Amsterdam Resolution (last weekend in Oct). This being my first time in Geneva, I also got to see what serving in French speaking Swiss culture looked like. 

Carlton and Shannon Deal lived and worked in Geneva prior to Brussels so with these strong relational bonds in place, STC Geneva started pretty soon after Carlton visited and shared about STC Brussels. Gary and 11 others then formed a strong launch team as they figured out how best to understand the needs of their city and engaging volunteers. In a city of wealth, these needs are not always obvious but over time their Committee developed relationships with those helping the poor and those seeking refuge. Soup runs and food collections remain a feature of STC Geneva, serving people in their city. A current opportunity with Yale University graduates living in Switzerland means their volunteer project pipeline remains strong over the coming six months. 

Gary also shared some of the challenges the team face within Geneva and Swiss culture: ‘volunteering is not seen as necessary when the city ‘takes care’ of all the (social) needs’. Therefore benefits and impacts of volunteer mobilising organisations like ours, are not readily appreciated. Good Volunteer Management practice is therefore unappreciated and it may take non-Swiss HUB cities to help elevate Training and Development of Project Leaders, for example, within this cultural context. As I ended my visit with Gary, I shared one thing mentioned at our AMS IF – that healthy things grow”

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