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News From Our Volunteers

Stories From and About Volunteering


Volunteer News

As of 2021, US Servas is an all-volunteer organization that thrives when volunteers step up to the plate and add their talents and expertise to the cause.


Featured Articles

Unique volunteering articles submitted by Servas members that are particularly well-written and/or might be of special interest to members. Tell us about it. Submit your stories here.

Click here to send in your story.

Click here to contact the US Servas Peace Secretary.


  • 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 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 the 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 ae 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  eileen.rowley@usservas.org. 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 https://usservas.org/Volunteering (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 Lado.org which works to get justice for migrants with holistic legal and humanitarian support. 
    No More Deaths.org (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 VolunteerCoordination@USServas.com. 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.) 


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