Painting for an elderly Surinamese couple

On this cold but sunny morning in November about 80 volunteers are ready to serve the city. They applied for one of the many day-projects at www.stcamsterdam.nl/en/volunteer. Among them is Xuanqi (26) who is heading out to the Bijlmer for a very thankful painting job.

Flexible volunteering
Xuanqi and her husband live in Zaandam and she is applying for a job in Amsterdam. In between job interviews, she wants to spend her time helpful. Serve the city has an advantage for foreigners as they often do not need to be able to talk Dutch in order to participate. Also you can be very flexible in choosing when and how often you can help.

This Saturday starts with coffee, cookies and practical info during the Kick Off meeting at the Kinkerstraat. The volunteers meet their peers, catch up with the project-coordinators and put on their bright green Serve the City t-shirts, their uniform of kindness for today.

Brightening up the living room
Then, Xuanqi and 4 others leave for the Bijlmer. They meet with miss Ingrid, a lovely old lady that lives with her husband on the 17th floor of one of those big apartment buildings. Once inside, it is clear that the apartment needs painting, the walls are stale and especially the kitchen looks as if it could use some redecorating.

Miss Ingrid regrets the fact that her house looks like this. She and her husband had some difficulties in the past and find it hard to make a living. Her husband has trouble walking and she is doing all the work when it comes to cleaning the house. Therefore, miss Ingrid is happy to know Bart, who works for the Salvation Army. He tries to help this old couple with all kind of different matters. “I can ask him anything and he always tries to help,” Ingrid explains.

Bart is the one who contacted Serve the City for this painting job. “I felt like these people need a fresh start, something that will ease their troubles a little bit”. Serve the city delivered 5 enthusiastic volunteers who were kind enough to spend their Saturday brightening up Ingrid’s living room. We hope it made her day!

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