Limerick volunteers celebrate twelve months serving the city

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by Alan Jacques

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John Buckley and Etan Blass of Serve the City. (pic: Liam Burke/Press 22)
John Buckley and Etan Blass of Serve the City.
(pic: Liam Burke/Press 22)

IT’S one year since voluntary organization ‘Serve the City’ was set up to help the poor and marginalised in Limerick.

To celebrate their landmark birthday last weekend, ‘Serve the City’ leaders from across Ireland joined local volunteers to reflect on the achievements of the past twelve months and outline their ambitions for the year ahead.

Twelve months ago, Raheen native John Buckley and Etan Blass from Baltimore in the United States, established the local extension of the worldwide network of volunteer groups. Serve the City Limerick now organises volunteers for once-off monthly project days to help the poor and marginalised in local communities.

“Serve the City Limerick has been such a success in such a short period of time that other cities are keeping a close eye on our organisational model to see how they can achieve similar feats,” Etan Bass said.

“I put that success down to the community spirit that thrives here in Limerick; everybody knows someone in need and that really drives our volunteers,” he said.

His partner in volunteerism, John Buckley, cites Serve the City Limerick as his “proudest achievement to date”. And it’s easy to see why!

Over the past year, John and his team have been joined by over 50 active volunteers to make a big impact on the lives of dozens of less well off people in the city.

“We now have grown to be able to accommodate ‘serve days’ every month, and this year we will move to hosting two projects a month,” John revealed.

“We are blown away by how engaged some of our volunteers are. We offer no-commitment volunteering, but some of our volunteers are so enthused that they make serving the marginalised and vulnerable with us a priority in their lives and that’s just fantastic,” he explained.

Over the past year, Serve the City Limerick have brought volunteer groups to nursing homes, halfway houses, family homes and other institutions.

“We try to keep it varied, but we always want to help the marginalised and vulnerable, be it due to disability, income, age, addiction and those fleeing from difficult circumstances. We want to facilitate our volunteers to engage with people they usually wouldn’t, and through small acts of kindness, make a big impact in their lives.”

For more details on Serve the City Limerick visit their facebook page.