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Volunteer News

  • June 29, 2024 12:46 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Wood-block graphic saying "Welcome New Volunteers"by Eileen Rowley

    US Servas has been an all-volunteer organization since 2021. We no longer have an office nor staff. We are thriving thanks to the help of volunteers like the new team members below. The more volunteers we have the less time each needs to devote to Servas work, and the smoother things run. Consider volunteering (see below).

    photo of Lisa AikenLisa Aiken:  Lisa resides in Belchertown, MA, with her husband, Tom.  She is now the Co-Volunteer Coordinator.  She enjoys helping others and walks through the world leaving a small footprint.  She and Tom have converted their van and enjoy having travel adventures. 

    photo of Eric RomanEric Roman: Eric hails from Puerto Rico and has joined the Tech Team.  For his day job, he migrates web pages for a business.  Eric has ambitious travel plans.  He enjoys helping others.

    photo of Rick WolfeRick Wolfe: Rick has joined Operational Finance.  He has been a Servas member for decades, and hails from California.  In the past, Rick has worked with Servas International, performing audits.

    Photo of Steve EdwardsStephen Edwards: Steve lives in Wasilla, Alaska and has joined the Investment Team.  His dad was a life-long Servas member and bequeathed a generous amount to US Servas. 

    photo of Elaine EllsworthElaine Ellsworth: Elaine lives near Charleston, SC.  She is helping coordinate visits for our SYLE program (youth from 18-30 years old) wanting to improve their language skills by having four, one week stays with various members.  To learn more contact

    You, too, can join our volunteer community!  To learn more, simply contact

  • May 25, 2024 12:47 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)


    Now that we are an all-volunteer organization, did you ever wonder who issues your LOI eStamp, manages your renewals, changes your travel status, or answers questions raised by members? Well, meet the Member Help team. This team has the distinction of being the largest, longest running, and most active team since we migrated to the new US website in 2021. This is due largely to the efforts of David Hills, who set up procedures for doing these tasks and performed them alone for the first few months on the new system. David is also a slick recruiter who got this article's coauthor, Bill Magargal, to join him in November of 2021. He also established a system for training new volunteers by starting them out on simpler tasks, then mentoring them to other functions as their time, talent, and interests allowed.

    Today, the Member Help team consists of twelve people. This distributes the workload and allows time for team members to travel and do other things.  Although the website allows team members to perform tasks more efficiently than previous Servas systems, the fact that we must coordinate information between two websites increases the workload. The US website keeps track of member contact and membership information. The International website stores all travel-related data, making it searchable by all members world-wide, thus eliminating the need for paper host lists... Yay!

    Here are the current Member Help team members (listed alphabetically by first name).

    Photo of individual Member Help team members with their names

  • March 29, 2024 7:12 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    photo of Dan in IndiaMeet a guy who has it all... skilled, giving, humble, seeker, kind, hardworking, good looking, entrepreneur, author, and more. Dan Bare has been a key, behind-the-scenes US Servas volunteer since 2015 when he helped plan and host the National Conference in Portland, OR. He currently leads the Technology Team, which is a vital function now that we are an all-volunteer, computer-based organization. We thought we’d like to invite readers to celebrate him and learn a bit more about this patient, highly skilled guy. He is an embodiment of the Servas ethos, and he checks all the boxes...

    Dan working on tech setup for Portland, OR conference

    World traveler? Check -- around the world 3 times! Dan's first journey was inspired in part by a blind French Servas host, one of the most traveled people he’d ever met, and who trusted others when traveling.  Dan began his membership with Servas Britain-Ireland in 2005. Worldly host? Check hosted on the beach in Australia, moved to Chiang Mai and invited all he’d stayed with and met in his travels to visit!! Most well-traveled host? Could be -- has visited 47 states and 76 countries! Travel expert? Check co-founded a travel company, co-authored a best-selling travel book, taught multiple college classes and thousands of students about the Secrets to Using Technology Abroad!!!

    Dan grew up in Michigan and left in his early 20s for New York City. He moved to the greater Portland, Oregon area in 2013, and currently lives just north of Seattle, WA with his wife of 24 years, U.S. Servas Board member, Shyla Esko Bare. He first volunteered with US Servas as part of the team planning/hosting the 2015 national conference in Portland, Oregon. He also gave a talk at the conference on Using Technology When Traveling.

    Dan at 2022 SICOGA conference in India iOver the next several years, Dan regularly co-hosted local Servas events in Portland as well as co-interviewed candidates with his wife, Shyla. In 2021, Dan was asked to help with technology for US Servas. He was a part of the team that launched the new website. In 2022, he became the lead of the US Servas Tech Team. Also, that year, he led a team of international volunteers doing Tech Support at the Servas International conference in India. 

    Dan holding copy of book co-authored with his wife, Shyla Eskimo BareDan’s numerous accomplishments include a long career in IT, primarily as a programmer for companies in the US, Canada, and the UK. He combined these skills with his love of travel to co-found Wild Spirit Travel. Wild Spirit has a unique focus on helping people travel smarter and safer. He has taught Secrets to Using Technology Abroad at ten colleges/venues to thousands of students in the Pacific Northwest. Dan also co-authored the best-selling travel book Before You Go Abroad Handbook (in which Servas is mentioned several times!

    In his free time, Dan enjoys exploring new places, wine-tasting, and outdoor activities like kayaking or hiking. Be sure to visit Dan & Shyla when you are in the Seattle area!

  • February 24, 2024 12:04 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    photo of Phyllis and Saryl Chinnby Eileen M. Rowley

    Meet Daryl and Phyllis Chinn, two of the behind-the-scenes volunteers whose contributions make US Servas so awesome!

    Phyllis and Daryl joined Servas in 1995 and soon thereafter became interviewers.  When the US Servas office lost their lease for the NYC office due to subway reconstruction, Phyllis suggested to the Board that the office be moved to Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA.  Daryl personally loaded the office files onto a truck and drove them from New York City to Arcata. For 15 years he then oversaw the Arcata office finances.  

    Both Daryl and Phyllis previously served eight years on the US Board of Directors.  Daryl now serves on the Finance Committee, is Chair of the Complaint Resolutions Committee, and has been Chair of the Key Persons Committee for the past six years. These are low visibility, but very important functions. Phyllis has served numerous positions, among them as a key advisor to several of our national conferences, including the last three. Also, for the past twenty years she has sent personal handwritten thank-you notes to members for their donations to US Servas.

    Phyllis and Daryl have attended Servas International conferences in Argentina, Poland, New Zealand and South Korea and Phyllis has been a voting member for one, as well as serving on the planning committee for US Servas national conferences in New York, North Carolina, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Oregon.  They have also attended at least ten national conferences.

    Phyllis is impressed and pleased with how people have stepped up over the last few years to make US Servas an all-volunteer organization!

    Thank you, Phyllis and Daryl Chinn!

    Editor's note: I first met Daryl at the 2021 national conference in N. Carolina. He introduced himself and said, "Hello, my last name is Daryl Chinn ...with two 'N's." The mnemonic worked and I immediately remembered his last name, especially since he and Phyllis are often together... you know, the double Chinns.

  • January 22, 2024 7:06 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Graphic with hands raised and the word Volunteerby LeeRowley   

    Volunteer-run organizations are like icebergs – 90% of them are never seen. I just completed my first year on the US Servas Board, and more than ever have a deep appreciation for our volunteers. US Servas has no paid staff, no brick-and-mortar office – SERVAS is our volunteers.    

    photo of iceberg with people and the words" Volunteers keep us afloat"

    I serve on the Board, but just volunteered to wear the hat of Volunteer Coordinator, too. I need your help! US Servas needs your help!!!   

    All six branches of US Servas want your help! As a team member – there are six teams, or, to take on a task. Here are some areas where volunteers can make an enormous difference.   

    Governance: Consider running for the Board.      

    Finance: Do your talents lie in investment or accounting?      

    Community: What about social media, publications, conference and event  planning?   

    Peace & Justice: Participating in or planning activities for the UN International Day of Peace – Saturday • September 21st, 2024   

    Member Services: Onboarding new members and renewing memberships? Consider the Member Help Team?   

    Technology: Be part of the website redesign project...   

    There are so many ways just a little of your time and talent can go toward making US Servas even better. Why not volunteer?     

    Want to know more? Email me at Please include your name, phone number, preferred email address and time zone. If you already know which branch for which you’d like to volunteer, let me know, and I will connect you.   

    Can’t wait to have you join us! 

  • January 17, 2024 3:02 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Graphic with laptop computer and the word Help!by Dan Bare 

    Do you have an opinion on what could be better on the website?  What needs more attention?  What would look better? 

    On January 23rd, the US Servas Tech Team kicked off a three-month project to discover and design a refresh to the website.  We need volunteers who would like to assist with content, design, look/feel, organization.  You do not need to be a techie to do this. In fact, it would be fabulous to have "normal" people working on it. We don't want the site to be something that only techies can understand and use. 
    The website refresh group will meet twice monthly on the second and fourth Tuesday at 5pm Pacific / 6pm Mountain / 7pm Central / 8pm Eastern. We will send you a link to attend. 

    For more information, please go to (you will need to sign in) and let us know if you are interested. 


  • November 20, 2023 3:36 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    photo of the Peruvian village of Ambar, nestled in the Andesby Anne Cridler 

    As a “vintage” Baby Boomer, I discovered Servas when I met a host while motorcycling   in Mexico in 1968. I've been with Servas ever since -- hosting and traveling for decades. In fact, my daughter’s LOI says she "was Servas born." When she was seventeen, she lived a dream and spent a year with hosts Andres and Lourdes in Spain playing futbol! 

    In many ways, my connection to Servas also led to a lifelong commitment to volunteering which began with rebuilding the village of Ambar, Peru, after the 1970 earthquake. The crew included Cubans and Russians who brought generators which were very popular. My friends, former Peace Corps volunteers in Ambar, and I brought grit and muscle, which was also popular. Since then, I’vehad volunteer gigs in Mexico, Haiti, South America, Uganda, Ghana and South Africa. 

    I lived on the Greek island of Lesbos for eight years where I assisted in welcoming refugees from North Africa. I did similar work in Pireaus, the port of Athens, with the Indian women’s group Amurtel while 4,000 families were stuck when EU countries closed their borders with Germany. I have also volunteered with All Hands and Hearts doing reconstruction projects in the wake of hurricanes in Louisiana, Florida, and the Caribbean.  

    I spend the majority of the year volunteering, and Itreasure that time as well as welcoming travelers to share our common belief in celebrating diversity and humanity – building a better and more peaceful world. 

    Two great projects relatively close to my base in San Diego are: 

    Al Otro which works to get justice for migrants with holistic legal and humanitarian support. 
    No More (SW Arizona) provides humanitarian aid, search and rescue with the goal of ending suffering and deaths in the borderlands.   

    Ed. Note – Might Anne be another Servas Peace Prize candidate? 

  • November 20, 2023 3:12 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    photo of keyboard with enter keey labeled "Volunteering"by Julie Emory 

    We are looking for a Handful of volunteers to help with projects in the new year. These projects are part of the Tech Support team’s work. You don’t have to be a “techie” to make a difference. 

    Projects: Refresh the membership website, analyze and archive correspondence data, document various team processes.  

    Any level of tech skills will do. We’re looking for detail-oriented, organized, logical thinkers, with the ability to take direction and complete short assignments. It would be helpful if you are comfortable with standard office software (email, documents, spreadsheets) as a user OR an administrator. If you have experience with web design or programming, that’s even better,  but it isn't required!  

    Time commitment: one or two hours a week, but not necessarily every week.   

    Member level: must be Host/Traveler  

    Questions? Interested? Click Volunteering to learn more about this or any other teams that could use some helping hands.    

  • October 25, 2023 11:49 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

    Graphic of Heart with volunteer related wordsby Shyla Esko Bare 

    Calling friendly, welcoming, and Servas-loving members to join our volunteer team! Volunteers are vital to the success and growth of US Servas. We value our current volunteers and are looking for more. 

    On October 16 we launched a new membership level – Friend of US Servas. For the new onboarding process to work, we need interviewers and people willing to be on our nationwide welcome team. If you care about Servas please consider volunteering for these roles. 

    Welcome Team Members will be reaching out to new Friends of US Servas. Monthly, team members will receive a list of new members in their area. They will communicate with Friends (via email or text) to welcome them to Servas. The goal is for new members to know they are part of a thriving community. Welcome Team Members can be new or long-term members. This team will also help plan local events to further build community and spread peace locally. 

    Interviewers should be experienced members who have traveled and/or hosted before. The duties involve contacting Host/Traveler applicants and reporting interview results. Volunteers in this role should be friendly, articulate, and able to speak on the phone or via video. They need to be able to discern if someone will make a good representative of the mission/vision of Servas International. Questions focus on making sure the applicant understands the Servas ethos and duties/responsibilities of being a Host/Traveler. Interviews last approximately 45 minutes. Volunteers are asked to do one or two interviews a month. 

    If you are interested in these volunteer roles please send your name, email address, and the position that calls to you to If your skills lie elsewhere, just let us know how you would like to volunteer. We are looking for members on other teams too (e.g., Tech Support, Publications, Social Media, Events, and more.) 

Volunteer Recognition

US Servas is now an all-volunteer organization with no office nor staff. Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated volunteers below we have not only survived, but thrived.  Our volunteers handle all the finances, membership admin, publications, events planning, etc. previously handled by a paid office staff. In addition we have added the technology issues involved with two computer systems (US and Servas International), plus we have increased our presence with the international Servas community.

Virtual Office Volunteers

The volunteers below handle all of the functions needed to keep US Servas up and running. If you would like add you name to the list, i.e. become a volunteer, please visit our Volunteering webpage to learn more. The names below are listed in alphabetical order by first name.

Andy  Norton

Eric Roman

Ramona Haller

Anne Cordon

Ernie Baragar

Richard Weaver

Bill Magargal

Evelyn Wolf

Rick Wolfe

Brian Saltsburg

Joanne F. Cavanaugh

Russ Hatz

Carol Trible

Johan Cavert

Shelley Mitchell

Chris-Ann Lauria

Julie Emory

Shyla Esko Bare

Connie Ross

Karen Morian

Teresa Crockett

Daniel Bare

Karl Kosok

Tim Sullivan

Daryl Chinn

Leena Desai

Tom and Jana Bergdall

David Hills

Lisa Aiken

Tys Sniffen

David Schwartz

Marguerite Hills

Vena Rainwater

Deirdre Marlowe

Marty Henner

Verona Forrest

Duncan Hughes

Natalie Petersen

Vicky Wason

Eileen Rowley

Phyllis Chinn

Yosi McIntire

Ellen Singer

Radha Radhakrishna

1887 Whitney Mesa Dr., #1250,

Henderson, NV 89014

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