Reminder: Yale Day of Service this Saturday!

I was surprised how good I felt after the last Yale Day of Service here in the Netherlands. It was my first, and the first time in a long time that I had volunteered. You might think that just doing physical work could account for those good feelings, but the work wasn’t too different from what I had been doing renovating our house and while that’s satisfying, it doesn’t make me feel the way this did. No, this was purely the inner peace that comes from helping someone else, expecting nothing in return except the happiness of others. I thought about the kids who would come the next Monday to a room that felt new and shiny and how much better playing in a brighter place would make them feel, and how that subconscious feeling would influence them and their parents to feel better about the world. And I just felt good, looking around, seeing what we had accomplished, and knowing that we had anonymously made a little corner of the world better.

And this year we have the chance again. This year we’re helping out at Uit Je Eigen Stad, an urban agriculture initiative in Rotterdam. This is a project that will, when finished, brighten up a whole corner of a deserted industrial area and bring people back. It will connect people with what they eat and provide a gathering place and a center for a redeveloping neighborhood. It will supply good local food to residents and restaurants, including the one on site. And our work will have helped it.

What will we do? We’ll clean, paint, plant and sow seeds, helping them get ready for their first public event next week. And, if there are any among us with talents for planning spaces, graphic design, translation, ICT or marketing, we may be able to help by using our professional talents as well. But whatever we do, we’ll go home after our Day of Service, happy to have done good.

We have a good group already ready to go, but we still have a few places left. So, please, if you would like to be part of the Yale Day of Service this year, email me at or register on the Yale Day of Service site:

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