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Take a seat, Make a Friend

Serve the City Belgium's 10th anniversary is next year and culminates in the 10th annual Big Volunteer Week in July 2014, when hundreds of volunteers come from all over the world to improve our city via people-to-people community service projects throughout Brussels. It takes a lot of work to get local residents - especially Belgians, who tend to be more reserved - interested and comfortable enough to help out on a team with people they don't know. I'd love to re-create Soul Pancake's "take a seat, make a friend" idea at different locations throughout Brussels this year to build community, inspire friendships, raise awareness, and get people involved in Serve the City projects by the time Big Volunteer Week rolls around next summer.

"Take a seat, make a friend" involves turning a large wooden crate into a ball pit with questions written on all of the balls. There is enough room for 2 people at a time to sit in the crate and talk to each other at a time. You can watch how it played out for Soul Pancake here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHV4-N2LxQ#t=66. I'd like to do this, as well as a similar project with thermos of hot chocolate, plastic cups, and paper slips with questions for the more shy people in the community to get to know each other, too.

The ball pit would be moved to different locations around the city one day per month to build community and raise awareness for Serve the City's Big Volunteer Week amongst potential volunteers. The similar hot chocolate idea will be employed weekly on a smaller scale in our Saint Catherine neighborhood, where it will seek to build community and raise awareness more amongst the people we serve and who may not have shelter or other forms of warmth against the cold.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (January 2014)