Serve the City Peninsula is a way to connect residents and organizations who want to help those in need. “Our motto is that we serve with humility, compassion, respect, courage, love and hope,” said Executive Director Cindy Hahne.
One of their main projects is home repairs for those who cannot do their own work or pay someone to do it, she said. These are chores that call for skilled labor such as fixing porch rails, installing handicap rails, fixing leaky roofs and tree removal.
She works with the cities’ codes compliance departments and police departments to learn who needs help.
Every month there are Big Volunteer Days in which several projects are tackled. All ages can participate in projects ranging from home repairs for displaced families to creating cards and goody bags for domestic abuse victims.
Many times, during Big Volunteer Days, residents work beside volunteers to finish a project. Those who cannot, thank the volunteers by making lunch for them. “They may not be able to do their home repairs but they can make sandwiches for those who are,” she said.
The next Big Volunteer Days are April 10 and May 8. In July, a Big Volunteer Week is planned for July 13 until July17 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
They also help other organizations that need volunteers.
As the pandemic hit, the focus shifted to food collection and distribution for those who need it. “We collected, packed and distributed food and educational materials to 15 Newsome Bailey families bi-weekly along with Newsome Bailey Academy. We currently deliver food for the Peninsula Food Bank the first Tuesday of each month,” she said.
The local organization is part of Serve the City International which started in Brussels, Belgium. The Peninsula chapter started just four years ago and has managed to recruit more than 900 volunteers.
Volunteers come from the community as well as organizations such as Christopher Newport University students and Ferguson Enterprises through their Ferguson Cares program.
Hahne said project organizers make sure to keep volunteers busy. “It’s important that we make the volunteers’ time meaningful and that they are just not standing around,” she said.
To volunteer for Serve the City Peninsula visit www.STCpeninsula.com.