Volunteer spotlight: meet Elise – marketing support

Meet volunteer Elise Schoon – Serve the City’s marketing support
Serve the City is run by a number of passionate Amsterdammers who help us to realise our goals, initiatives and dreams. Elise just joined Serve the City and with her background in marketing, she helps to spread our stories and increase our online presence.
The last few weeks of 2023 are filled with festivities, love and warmth for Elise and her family. ‘December is when we have so many fun activities planned. We love to celebrate Sinterklaas and Christmas and you’ll always find a little treat like oliebollen on the kitchen table.’ While this is a time of abundance and celebration, Elise is aware that not everyone is as fortunate and privileged as she is. ‘Participating in the Reversed Advent Calendar is a way for me to spread a little love and sparkle with the people who aren’t as well off as we are.’
A real team effort
This awareness is something Elise also tries to instill within her kids. ‘Rather than taking care of the boxes myself, I turn it into a family activity where both kids actively contribute. Crafting each box and greeting card is something I’ll do with my daughter, and together with my son, she’ll also take care of getting the groceries from the supermarket.’ The time, effort and energy spent on each box, is what Elise likes most about the Reversed Advent Calendar. ‘It’s easy to donate to an organisation but it almost feels like cheating! Plus, you don’t really know where your money will end up and who benefits. Knowing that my boxes go to locals is very important to me. Everything is online and global these days but it’s key not to lose sight of our neighbors.’
Why contribute 1 box when you can do 5?
Elise contributes not one but five boxes in total. ‘It feels like a small effort. You fill them up and drop them off. Super easy!’ She hopes that with each box, she can provide some warmth, love and happiness for the undocumented Amsterdammer on the receiving end. ‘I appreciate that this is just a small gesture that won’t have much impact beyond a festive meal. But I hope that it does offer a brief, carefree moment. That’s so important to this audience.’ In terms of the items on the calendar, Elise is most excited for them to try the stroopwafels. ‘Whenever I travel abroad, I always bring them with me and they’re an instant hit! I hope they like them as much as I do.’
Spreading the word
Elise has made an effort to invite everyone in her circle to join the Reversed Advent Calendar. ‘I’ve shared the initiative with quite a lot of people and everyone is excited to participate. The concept is one everybody is familiar with and contributing is just so easy.’ The same goes for companies and organisations. ‘It’s the perfect team activity. You get together with your co-workers, have fun and the boxes are done in just a few hours!’
The joys of volunteering
The Reversed Advent Calendar isn’t the end of Elise’s time at Serve the City. ‘I’m a firm believer of making a difference on a local level. There’s a great range of initiatives that you can participate in and I like that they’re all short term engagements rather than an ongoing, long-term commitment. I believe there’s something there for everyone, regardless of your talents.’ Additionally, it’s also a great way for Elise to meet new people. ‘It forces you to get out of your bubble and interact with different kinds of people. To me, volunteering is just instantly rewarding.’
Would you like to volunteer at Serve the City with Elise and many others? Email us at info@stcamsterdam.nl to get in touch.

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