Serve The City Geneva

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: 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.

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, Lundin-Energy.com 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 ..it 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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZtEX2-n2Hc&t=2s

Study about the droplets:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXhzjGbH7QA

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.

Carrefour Rue needs help

( March 23, 2020 )

Greetings to volunteers..

We have been looking around for ways to Serve the Community in which we live. We have been given a suggestion that just might work. (Request shown below)

If we could find 3 volunteers, to make 70 wrapped sandwiches, once per week (each Tuesday or Wednesday) and deliver them behind the train station at the Mt. Brilliant Soup kitchen at 10h to prepare packages. Perhaps a team of 4-5 could prepare 200 sandwiches!? (offsite)

We could feed the normal 200 people a day that normally eat there.

.. re supplies, expenses and other logistics, will need to be determined.

Hopefully it should be no problem to get Tuna, Mayo, bread from Partage. Perhaps other sandwich options, but we will have to first see if we have the sandwich makers available. and perhaps a Swiss living Project leader to look after logistics. It might be difficult for those living in France to participate.

Do signup on the website if this might be something you might be able to do…to serve.

—Carrefour Rue request.

Hello,

We try to prepare take-out meals. We work with a reduced team to limit the risks. Could cooks prepare sandwiches or trays at home or on their premises once or twice a week? Could someone deliver to the Garden? We are looking for equipment, such as oven mitts or packaging containers, and food that should not be cooked (cookies, cake, quiches). Look what is possible and tell me.

Thank you for your support and take care of yourself.

Take Care!

Ciao

Yann – Carrefour Rue Mt.Brilliant Soup kitchen

Croix-Rouge suisse / Swiss Red Cross

( March 21, 2020 )

Dear volunteers,

STC has been trying to find ways of serving the community. Many of our Service Providers have told us, that for the time being they will not use volunteers, as to not endanger their “clients” nor endanger the volunteers. The Red Cross has offered help to the communities, a limited controlled service program. This requires a limited knowledge of French but it is one of best offers STC can suggest at this time.. On our facebook page you should see a number of ways to help your neighbours by looking after them, on a personal basis. So for you French Speakers we offer this option:—

Madame, Monsieur,

Si vous souhaitez vous engager bénévolement à la Croix-Rouge pour venir en aide aux personnes malades du Coronavirus ou touchées par les mesures décidées par les cantons ou la confédération, merci de bien vouloir remplir le formulaire que vous trouverez en cliquant sur le lien suivant : http://www.redcross.ch/bénévolat-corona

Pour votre information, la Croix-Rouge genevoise se mobilise actuellement pour mettre en place un plan de solidarité en collaboration directe avec les communes du canton de Genève. En effet, en parallèle de cet e-mail, nous sommes en train de contacter les communes afin de pouvoir définir ensemble les personnes isolées qui ont besoin d’aide.

Dans le cadre de ce plan, vous serez amené-e à soutenir des personnes en quarantaine ou isolées (sans contact direct) en effectuant différentes tâches telles que faire les courses, aller à la pharmacie, apporter un réconfort régulier par téléphone, etc.

Cependant, nous ne pourrons pas vous proposer d’effectuer des transports ou des gardes d’enfants.

La Croix-Rouge genevoise se mobilise fortement pour déployer des missions bénévoles sur le canton cependant nous ne pouvons pas vous garantir l’assurance d’un engagement ou d’un engagement immédiat. Nous vous tiendrons au courant au plus vite.

Par avance, nous vous remercions de votre mobilisation et en cette période inédite, prenez soin de vous.

Bien cordialement,

David Muller

—–

Dear volunteers,

If you wish to volunteer with the Red Cross to help people suffering from Coronavirus or affected by the measures decided by the cantons or the confederation, please fill out the form which you will find by clicking on the following link: http://www.redcross.ch/bénévolat-corona

For your information, the Geneva Red Cross is currently mobilizing to set up a solidarity plan in direct collaboration with the municipalities of the canton of Geneva. In fact, in parallel with this email, we are in the process of contacting the municipalities so that we can define together the isolated people who need help.

As part of this plan, you will be required to support people in quarantine or isolated (without direct contact) by performing various tasks such as shopping, going to the pharmacy, providing regular comfort by phone, etc.

However, we may not be able to offer transportation or babysitting services.

The Geneva Red Cross is strongly mobilized to deploy voluntary missions in the canton, however we cannot guarantee you the assurance of an engagement or an immediate engagement. We will keep you posted as soon as possible.

In advance, we thank you for your mobilization and in this unprecedented period, take care of yourself.

Best regards,

David Muller

Responsable

Bénévolat & Activités ponctuelles