Serve the City has coordinated team-building and corporate social responsibility (CSR) events for many different organizations throughout Brussels and Belgium. Here are some of the organizations we have partnered with to Serve Brussels.
Team buildings with European Institutions
2010: DG Comm (Citizen’s Policy Unit), DG Comm (Directorate C)
2011: DG Comm (Unit A/2), DG Agri (Unit I.2), DG SANCO (Unit G6), DG Markt (Unit F3), DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, EESC (Group III), EACEA (Eurydice P9), EESC (Imprimerie Offset), Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (T0 TEN-T EA), EESC (Workers’ Group)
2012: DG SANCO (Unit D4:Substances of Human Origin and Tobacco Control, EPSO (05 Stakeholder relations and selection support, , SG R1 (Human Resources), EPSO, EACEA (Eurydice P9)
Volunteering events with corporations
2011: General Electric, Rezidor Hotel Group, Levi’s
2012: Levi’s, Rezidor Hotel Group, Starwood Hotels
Ongoing Partnerships: MCI, Levi’s, Rezidor Hotel Group, Starwood Hotels, UPS, SWIFT, General Electric
Volunteering Events with Organizations:
2012: People to People International, International School of Brussels
Here is what they are saying about their experiences.
From a GE team building participant:
A rather poignant lesson I was privileged to witness was not provided by a presenter, conference participant, educational material or even an employee of GE. I wanted to share that with you. As a break from the rigors of conferencing, we all had the opportunity to perform a few moments of community service. Six of us were selected to work with a local charity and distribute food to several homeless people. We met our hosts and guides (young men and women), that took us via metro to a southern portion of the city. Once there, we set up our soup and bread dining room in the middle of the station. Nino, our “boss” carefully instructed us on what to do. He and some of the team would go to the surrounding streets and areas of the train station and recruit diners, bring them back to our makeshift dining room where the rest of the team would serve the meal and socialize with the clientele.
Before long, Nino began to bring his “friends” to the dining room. One such friend was actually a family. A Chechen woman with four small children, all under the age of 8, came by for some soup and bread. This family was refugees from Chechnya where the mother had lost her husband to the war. One of her sons had been burned by one of the bombings and still had the scars of that experience on his back. They escaped from that war torn situation and now were homeless and illegally in Belgium. Now they lived in the train station. No money, no work, no health care; none of the material things that we may all enjoy. The children did have a lot though. They had smiles. They were polite and happy. They had their family and they had their Mother. Marta, the daughter had a smile that literally lit up the station. I remember thinking how sad it is to see that throughout the world, where there are plenty of resources, families like this must go without food, shelter or medicine. The gratitude expressed in the eyes of the young children and the dignity of the mother was impressive. Nino told me he would try and help them but it was difficult to do in Belgium. As they left the dining room, walked back to their benches in the station, I had the comfort that for at least one day, they had something to eat. Better yet, I knew Nino would watch out for them.
As we neared the end of our “shift”, I saw Nino bring an Afghani man to our dining room. Nino was embracing this individual and talking excitedly with him. We served him the very last cup of soup, a little bread and some water. Within a few minutes, another Afghani man came into the area and this first man called him over and gave him his own cup of soup and piece of bread. I had read about such a thing in various religious texts, but here in real life was a man who had nothing giving something to a man who had less. All the while, Nino sat and talked with this man, an arm wrapped around him. They talked of life, the weather, of how things are looking better and reaffirming that they will get better. Nino was sharing a message of hope.
It was a great experience and made me question my own contribution to humanity and if I, in fact, share that message of hope? We can all give something of ourselves like Nino; share our blessings like the Afghani and love our families like the one in the train station did. We have much to be thankful for: our families, life and our jobs and working at GE, a great company, with a leadership team of quality individuals like those at this conference, and being with each other. Please take time to share with those less fortunate. Receiving lessons from them and giving them those things they need as well. To me, this is the lesson of Brussels. And what made it special is that I was with friends and co-workers from the company that I work for so this was not a lesson learned alone.
From an ISB student:
On Friday the 16/9/2011, we were sent to the Anker with a Serve the City volunteer in order to help out with whatever we can. It was the very first time I’ve ever been in a place where people had basically nothing and needed to go to a place only to get a hot drink and have a little company. It was weird at first, but it made me realize how lucky I am to have a home and a loving family. Our job was to repaint their entrance. I have never before painted a wall and only recently have learned what it meant to work with other people as a team, but there is a first time for everything. I always believed that it was up to me to finish a task by myself, but this time there were people right there with me helping me out and getting the job done quicker and in a more enjoyable way. It felt great to know that I was doing something for someone else, but team work was something I hadn’t really done before and the truth is it was an amazing experience.