Young and old have been affected by the crisis. Students generally feel lonelier than before and older people find it difficult to go out, because they do not want to face the risk of being infected, with all the consequences that might entail. Serve the City has found a clever way to respond to this, by allowing young and old to interact in a responsible way, thus combating loneliness!
Serve the Grey, the committee of Serve the City that takes care of the elderly, has set up a new initiative, the so-called buddy profiles. It works as follows: both student and senior fill in a Google Form. They will be asked for general information such as name and age, but also specifications such as interests in order to make the best possible match between senior and student. Based on this information and a WhatsApp group with the students who have signed up for this, couples will be formed. Based on your own preferences and those of the senior, we will agree on a regular basis (for example once a week or once every two weeks) to have a cup of coffee, play chess, go for a walk, or anything else that you both enjoy! However, the activities can only be undertaken if they are coronaproof.
Do you like it? Then sign up! Serve the City will contact you when you have filled in the Google Forms.
Below you can read more about the different committees of Serve the City.
About Serve the City
Serve the City is a volunteer organisation located in several major cities in the Netherlands. The organisation in Tilburg was founded in 2010, with the belief that the organisation can make a difference in Tilburg. The organization consists of a group of student volunteers who all want to contribute to making the city more beautiful in different ways. The volunteer organisation organises projects that you can participate in alone or with your friends.
Many students want to do something for others, but simply do not know where to start. Serve the City offers you, as a student, the opportunity to do volunteer work by organizing many different activities.
STC has five committees in total. Below is a brief explanation of each committee:
Serve the Grey
Serve the Grey includes all activities related to the (lonely) elderly, both in nursing homes and independent homes. During these activities, the elderly of Tilburg are put in the spotlight. In cooperation with, among others, nursing homes, this committee ensures that the volunteers give the elderly a nice day. These activities are very diverse. Last year, for example, a high tea was organised, pancakes were baked in care homes and a meeting circus took place where people could talk to each other.
Serve the Kids
The Serve the Kids committee is committed to children and young people in Tilburg with a backpack. Actually, all children in Tilburg who have less, whether this is due to poverty or a physical disability. The goal is to put these children in the spotlight for a day and let them forget their worries for a while. Children are easily entertained and love surprises, which you can capitalise on! This committee organises, among other things, game and sports days, does something extra during the holidays for children who are less fortunate at home and last year volunteers from this committee baked pancakes at Villa Pardoes.
Serve the Homeless
This is a very diverse committee. All people who do not (yet) have a permanent home fall under this committee. Within this committee you will organise activities where students and refugees come together to do something fun. The goal is to get to know each other's world better. Last year, this was done by organising a dinner together with T.S.V. Plato where these two groups came into contact with each other. You also organise activities to give needy mothers a helping hand. This includes mothers and children who are staying in a women's shelter because they have been subjected to violence. Last year, a beauty day was organised for these mothers to take a break from this horrible reality.
Serve the Brave
Serve the Brave is a challenging but very interesting committee in which you are committed to help mentally and physically disabled people and the chronically ill. Think of activities such as a gala for mentally disabled people, a dialogue dinner to get people talking or a beauty afternoon where one-on-one contact is very important. It is also important to think of an awareness activity for outsiders who do not often come into contact with this target group, such as letting people experience what it is like to be in a wheelchair.
This is a relatively new committee and unfortunately many events have not been able to take place due to corona. Of course, this does not take away from the fact that these people deserve a relaxing and fun day. Because this committee is so new, you can use your own imagination to organise new events to give the physically and mentally disabled and the chronically ill an unforgettable day.
Serve the Green
This is the newest committee of the organisation and is - how could it be otherwise - dedicated to sustainability, the environment and awareness. The goal of this committee is to introduce students to sustainable products, recycling and a cleaner living environment. This includes the food bank, where student volunteers will lend a hand. Other ideas are: a vegetarian dinner, a clothing collection action or an information market with sustainable companies. Furthermore, this committee is still open for newer ideas, so you are free to think up new or other additional activities yourself!
Apart from these committees, the organisation is mainly busy with requests for help during corona time. People who do not dare to leave their homes or who are unable to do so can send an email to email@example.com with their corona-related request for help. These questions can be very diverse: from a phone call, to walking the dog or doing the shopping. This question is shared in a WhatsApp group with over 100 students who want to lend a hand. A lot of people have already been helped by a student who was able to respond well to this request for help!
In addition, the organisation is currently busy organising things for the target group instead of doing things with the target group (because this is simply not possible due to the coronation measures). Serve the Kids has distributed 100 craft packages to children under the poverty line, Serve the Grey has made Christmas pieces/Christmas cards for lonely elderly people, Serve the Brave has distributed care packages to homeless people, Serve the Brave is working on making Tilburg wheelchair friendly and Serve the Green has organised a 'week of waste reduction' to be aware of the environment.
Has one (or more) of these committees aroused your interest? Would you like to work as a volunteer for this organisation? You can! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will contact you!