Everyone! We all can help in some way, children, adults, students, workers, … The only requirement is to want to help others and to find the right opportunity for your profile.
Good question! In short, Serve the City is a non-profit organization that organizes periodic Volunteer Project Days. These projects are carried out in collaboration with other local NGOs/associations/groups that work with the people in need in our community on a daily basis. Each project covers a real and specific need, and each volunteer chooses the project they’d like to dedicate their time, energy and talent.
Every project is different, but there is one common thread between them all. In all of our projects we strive to unite people, whether they are volunteers or organizations, or connecting the needy with the people who really want to help. We don’t believe “transactional” volunteering -where one person gives an item or some money to another- is a successful approach to relieving the suffering we see around us. Every person’s greatest need is community or genuine friendship.
Big Volunteer Days are the specific days when we carry out several projects at once. Usually we have a Big Volunteer Day every three months. Since the projects all have a specific starting and end time, it is `possible for a volunteer to sign up to more than one project on that day.
You don’t need a particular skill or talent. Sometimes a specific project needs people with a certain knowledge or requirement, but there are all kinds of projects, so you can almost certainly find one that suits you.
Of course! Volunteering doesn’t just depend on how much time you have available. While there are projects that require several hours a day, a week or a month, there are many others that only require a couple of hours and really make a difference to those who receive your help. Additionally, Serve the City projects are always carried out on a specific day, with an established beginning and end time.
How do I sign up to a one-off project? It’s easy, here’s a short video showing you how:
Well, you may well find yourself out of your comfort zone! Not many of us are accustomed to dealing with adults with learning difficulties, for example, or having conversations with the homeless people we pass every day on the street. One thing you can be sure of though, it isn’t half as bad as you think it’s going to be!
We determine the number of spots according to the need that the project must cover, and its characteristics. There are times in which having more people can be counterproductive and can do more harm than good.
Serve the City itself is not in any way religious or political, we don’t discriminate or favor any particular worldview. Having said that, due to its nature, there are many people of faith, and many without faith, who participate in the projects as volunteers, each with their own motivation. In fact, Warren and Karen -who originally launched Serve the City in Madrid- would say that their own faith was the motivating factor for bringing Serve the City to Madrid.
We aim for Serve the City to be a movement that is truly accepting and welcoming of all people, without exception and that those people will not be asked or expected to agree with or confirm the beliefs of anyone else.
For starters, you can reflect on what kind of activities interest you and search your neighborhood for related organizations, but if you’d like to collaborate with us (and we hope you do!), it’s easy. When we have volunteer opportunities available, we post them on our Volunteer page, with all the necessary details, and you just have to sign up to the project you want to help out in. See? Easy!
There are certain projects that have specific language requirements. There are some projects in which it is essential to speak Spanish; in others, we do activities in English, and then there are other projects where there are no requirements. We always specify if you need to speak Spanish or English in the project description.
There are many reasons to be a volunteer: to acquire professional experience, for religious beliefs, to meet other people with the same interests, to learn new things, … But there is one main reason: becoming a volunteer will surely help you grow as a person as you contribute to a good cause.
At STC we know that we each of us have different circumstances: we’re working, we’re studying, we’re looking for a job, we want to spend time with family, friends, etc. and/or we don’t have a lot of free time. We want to make accessing volunteer opportunities something easy and possible for everyone, so we have different types of volunteering opportunities:
One-off volunteering (also known as One-off projects): these are activities that take place in a single day, and in which you can collaborate with different groups and NGOs. You can sign up to volunteer for a few hours, and that’s it. You don’t have to return again if you don’t have time or don’t want to, you are only a volunteer during that day, and it is as easy as choosing the project that interests you and filling in the form; The Volunteer Leader will contact you with all the details. We publish the projects available on the page each week as they are confirmed with the various NGOs.
Skill-based volunteering: this type of volunteering is for people who want to use the skills and experience they use in their professional or work life (such as graphic design, lawyer, etc.) to help an NGO(s) with their knowledge and services, to which organizations do not normally have access due to lack of resources. If you fill out the form, you will be entered in our database and as specific projects related to your experience are created, we will contact you to see if you want to collaborate.
Long(er) volunteering: this is your “traditional” volunteering, in which a person commits to helping an organization for a specific time and with a longer and more regular commitment. Since we are in contact with several groups and organizations, we know and want to make known the diverse needs that exist, in case you are looking for a place to collaborate.