One of the things that struck me in that first experience was the loving care from the organizers towards our group of inexperienced volunteers who were trying (and sometimes not succeeding) to help. After learning more about Serve The City values, I realized that this appreciation came from their realization of the real meaning of volunteering: no matter how menial a task might look like, be it sweeping floors or washing dishes, when volunteers decide to help others what is being offered is the most important asset that we can give: a part of our own lives! And most paradoxally, by giving our lives away we find joy and contentment that we would not be able to reach if we’d be living just for ourselves.
After that experience many others followed: painting schools and social centers, cleaning dirty streets in the city, gardening for elderly people, cooking for organizations that support underprivileged neighborhoods… small things together making a difference in the lives of the ones who we serve, but also for the ones who we serve with. Today serving is an integral part of my life and I’m sure even when I move away from Leuven, I will always feel deeply connected to the people of this city that became so dear to me, thanks to Serve The City.