Serve The City Geneva

About Serve the City:

( May 12, 2020 )

Serve The City Geneva is an organization that aims to mobilize volunteers by partnering with existing organizations that are already serving the poor and the marginalized. By doing this, we believe we can impact individual lives and the communities we serve. We partner with homeless shelters, refugee centers, orphanages, and other associations, listen to their needs and then generate resources to show kindness through practical help and support. The vision of Serve the City is a city in which individuals and communities experience personal, social, environmental, and economic well-being by means of the commitment of volunteers who want to serve their community. Our strategy is therefore to: a) facilitate volunteer recruitment, b) serve the population through empowerment, c) support our affiliates with volunteers and financial aid,  d) foster mutual transformation: our own and those we serve.

Our relationship with Salvation Army:

Salvation Army, is one of the organizations in Geneva with which we have been partnering for many years. Serve the City most commonly provides volunteers to help serve breakfast at the Salvation Army’s night shelter. Our volunteers help set up and clear away the breakfast buffet and trays. The shelter has a small kitchen and some basic provisions so any additional supplies that Serve the City volunteers provide are welcome. Given the minimal preparation required for breakfasts, this is an ideal opportunity to meet and connect with some of the people using the services. We also provide volunteers to help prepare the evening meals or lunches during the winter.

About “Re-inventing the Kitchen” during Covid19 Project:

After Covid19 spread started in Geneva, the kitchens of Salvation Army in all 5 of their locations closed down and the hot meals served, had to be replaced by cold sandwiches distributed for take-away. Upon connecting with our partners at the organization, we learned that they would welcome nutritious meals which can be served in the form of lunch-boxes to be later reheated by the people benefitting from their organization. Serve the City took this challenge on and organized the making of 200 lunch-boxes per day for a period of 2 weeks. We first found chefs who would volunteer to cook for 200 people per day for free. We contributed by paying for all the food ingredients and we made sure only products from local producers would be bought. During the shutdown period of restaurants, many chefs has to stay home and many local producers who were providing food for the restaurants, had no place to sell their products. By organizing this activity, we enabled some practice for several young chefs who kindly came forth to cook voluntarily at one of the kitchens of Salvation Army. We supported several of the local food producers. And, first and foremost, we provided quality food for the people in need of Geneva. Some of our volunteers helped the chefs in the kitchen as lot of vegetables needed to be cleaned, cut, cooked and lots of dishes needed to be washed afterwards. Some other volunteers came by their cars and transported the lunch-boxes prepared in one kitchen to other 4 locations of Salvation Army in town. Overall, we provided over 1000 lunch-boxes for the Salvation Army. The activity started last week and will continue this week upon receipt of very good feedback from the organization. 

May Newsletter

( May 3, 2020 )

Greetings Serve the City volunteers!

We hope you all are well and ready for a little change of pace as the restrictions of the lockdown are slowly eased. We know we still have to be careful with our actions, but it sounds likes some progress is being made on the treatment/medicine front, though several weeks of tests and evaluations are needed. Last week, we participated in an STC International Zoom meeting, with over 25-30 cities participating. The founding father, who created Serve the City in Brussels 20 years ago, has been asked by several people whether STC should be put on hold during the pandemic, and his response is absolutely NOT. We may have to change what we do and how we do it, but kindness, to the marginalized and to our neighbors, is the backbone of our organization. STC supports physical distancing, but social interaction is very important at this time. We want to continue our work and we want to stay safe. To this end, we are planning an International Day of Service on 8 May. Of course, everyone can also help their family, friends, neighbors and community in a variety of ways. However, we don’t just want to talk what we can do, we want action – so, if you participate, we would like you to use social media to share what you have done and how it went, in order to inspire others. Use our Facebook page to share your project:

Moving on, another question asked of all STC participants during the meeting was “What is the KQ in your city?” What does KQ mean? We all know that IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient, and, likewise, KQ is the Kindness Quotient of your city. The news media is a source of dire, sad and frightening news, but meanwhile people in the streets are clapping for caregivers! So, to find out Geneva’s KQ on a scale of 1 to 9, we would like you to go to our website, sign in (then click for the “Sign up for events” button), and vote for the KQ of Geneva, in your opinion, by entering a number in the comment section. We will tally up the votes in one week and let you know the result.

Now for the really big news! One of our sponsors has given us a very large financial gift to be used in service of the needy of Geneva. We are now providing several hundred sandwiches a week for the hungry at the Montbrillant soup kitchen, and we are trying to do the same for the Salvation Army. We have several dozen gift baskets going to the caregivers at the Clair Bois centre for kids with serious disabilities. We are also looking into several projects of sorting, gardening etc. as restrictions are gradually lifted.

More exciting news: chef Walter, founder of the Fifth Day restaurant, has found a kitchen at one of the Salvation Army homes that we can use to prepare takeaway meals from Tuesday to Saturday. He also has access to chefs and food deliveries, meaning that we may be able to provide more than 200 meals a day. We hope to provide helpers for the month of May after one week of practice runs.

Address: Hôtel Bel’Espérance, Rue de la Vallée 1, 1204 Genève.

Moreover, we would love to do something VERY special for the staff and caregivers at the HUG hospital. Perhaps we could encourage our 2000 volunteers to prepare some art projects, cards, posters, kids art, and so on to be placed in the lobby of hospital so that staff see them as they enter each day. This would need to be organized by a Swiss team, as those of us in France cannot currently cross the border into Switzerland to help. Alternatively, we could buy 1000 roses, but that doesn’t seem so personal.

Most importantly, we want to hear your ideas! If you have a suggestion for how to help the needy of the city, do send us a message and let us know your thoughts. Also get in touch if you are willing to be part of a team to set up the HUG project. We can then create sign-ups for volunteers. Or perhaps you could contact your local social services office to ask if STC might be of help to them. There may be many more families in trouble as a result of the economic catastrophe, so perhaps we can be of help in this area. Send us your thoughts and needs and let us really SERVE THE CITY.

April Newsletter

( April 9, 2020 )

What’s going on with Serve the City these days?

Lots of things.. both Hot & Cold.

Most of the Service bureau’s are keeping tight.. minimal activities, stay in your room, don’t use volunteers, so basically business is slow..

We do have a weekly Zoom meeting with the other STC organisations around the planet! We talk about what is going on in our regions.. How they are helping and what they are allowed/not allowed to do. Check out Serve the City International

One activity that we do have going, is with the Mt.Brillant Soup kitchen (sponsored by Carrefour Rue).

Their soup kitchen had to close, but they started making box lunches to take away at their facility , feeding about 200 lunches 5 days a week. For the past 3 weeks, we (STC) have had a team, making over 200 sandwiches a day each Tuesday and Wednesday, delivered to the door (actually just outside the door). Other teams box up the daily lunches and pass them out. 😊 ALL our team members, have committed to stay on, doing sandwiches thru April ! Yeah team.!

The other good news was: that when STC was given the challenge of sandwich making back in March, we had to close the signups after 60 minutes.. and in the following hour we had over 25 more volunteers trying to get involved.. 😄 Many, many thanks .. to you wonderful volunteers..!

Our sponsors are eager for us to find projects for our volunteers, and are willing to fund projects as well.

We are limited to supporting local projects for the marginalised, homeless, hungry persons of the community, and are continuing to search out ways to help. One of our new sponsors, is helping us fund these existing and new projects this year. They are an off-shore oil company in Norway working here in Geneva and want to help give back to the community. Also many thanks to the team there!

Perhaps you can help! We are looking to find 500 or 1000 masks to give away to this lunchtime community. If you have access to any, let us know. We checked out Amazon; 50 masks for 13.87 clicked on the link: and price was 28.88 !? delivery late May early June 😒
( I should check may have been April 1st )

More about the videos and masks, here are a couple Youtube links, if you haven’t seen them;

About the masks in Czech Republic:

Study about the droplets:

To finish off a bit more of our last year.

In 2019… We had 377 new registrations for Serve the City Geneva (this March we had 40 !?)
in 2019 Volunteers signed up for 518 events (not counting the soup kitchen which had 3-7 participants every day we served !) And we had over 70 events to choose from.

And now we are up to 2,303 registered volunteers!
(if you are unable to participate , please reply with subject: REMOVE )

If there is anyone living in France and able to work in Switzerland. We have some T-shirts that we would love to deliver to Swiss Mt.Brillant soup kitchen.

With sincere loving thanks.. The STC team.