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: https://www.facebook.com/ServeTheCityGeneva/
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.