When moving to a new area one of the first things one does is explore the community and try to meet new people. This is especially challenging when you are in a new country and culture. I love meeting new people and learning their story. Serve the City has provided me with the opportunity to not just meet new people but to learn about the needs and the people in the community where we now live. One of my favorite projects was a couple of years ago at a local community center where we helped paint and remodel a children’s facility. The project lasted for a whole week during the Easter vacation. We were able to work along with people new to the area that came from Asia, the Middle East, North America, and several who were from here in the Leuven area. When serving toward a common goal your language and cultural differences dissipate and the common heart to help the community becomes a bond for friendship. We laughed while painting and listening to music. We struggled while trying to figure out how to put together furniture. We got to know the workers at the community center and their story and heart for the community they were serving and the needs there. In the end we got to see the faces of the kids who had a new place to study and play after school while waiting for their parents. Serving is about relating to the community you live in. It challenges you, allows for reflection, gives you an appreciation for the people you live with, and motivates you to find more needs and people to connect with in your community. Serve the City provides opportunities for a unique connection to the people and the needs of the community. I am grateful for their work in creating communities of volunteers and meeting the needs of others.
– Eric, Project Leader, Serve the City