A Volunteer Shares Her First-Hand Experience with Serve the City

 In STC Luxembourg

Ever wondered what happens to the clothes you donated to the Red Cross? Or thought about responding to the charity’s plea for help?

I saw an announcement on Facebook from Serve the City, asking, (on behalf of the Red Cross), for volunteers to help sort the piles of garments, footwear and linen. People have been especially generous this year after hearing about the asylum seekers arrival in Luxembourg.

This time instead of thinking about helping I sent an email, and a few days later, I spent a Saturday afternoon with a lovely bunch of people at the Red Cross Depot in Bonnevoie.

I’ve lived in Bonnevoie for 12 years, and I’m embarrassed to say, I never knew the Red Cross (RC) had a building here, tucked away behind the swimming pool, and just a few doors down from the piano shop. It’s a concrete wasteland of a place, but turn the corner, go through the door, and there’s a welcoming and cheerful team of volunteers.

The work is immense, the donated clothes are in bin bags. The job is to sort the items into winter and summer women’s and menswear, kids’ clothes, bed stuff, accessories and underwear. Anything that is too worn or stained is for recycling. The big hangar the RC has behind the sorting area was roof-high (when they had to refuse donations short term) with bags, now the room is only half full.

The team I worked with were all ages, multilingual, but most importantly warm, friendly and helpful. Refreshments are provided, and the time whizzed by.

I felt, after three hours, the team had made a tiny impression on the clothes. However, there was another shift to follow right after. Isabelle, from the Red Cross, is still looking for weekday volunteers from 10am to 5pm. Sadly, I’ll be working, but maybe there’ll be other weekend events.

And the clothes? These have to be resorted by the hardcore Red Cross, into which items are to be handed out on receipt of a clothing voucher to the homeless, or the needy, those for the asylum centres across Luxembourg, and then some items are reserved to be sold in the Red Cross’ sales to raise money for the charity’s future work.

I’d like to give special thanks to Serve the City, who brought this Red Cross initiative to my attention. Serve the City is a non-profit group of volunteers, who help to raise the community’s consciousness and awareness into areas and projects that need our help.

Sarah Wolff

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