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Get involved and give back this holiday season

As a new lockdown and its restrictions are making it tough to get together, reaching out and helping others where you are is a way to find meaningful connection in these trying times. If you are in a position to do so, here are City Central’s recommendations for local causes where you can get involved and give back this winter.

My Local Friend

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, there’s City Central’s own My Local Friend programme. If you’re a native Dutch speaker, you can become a Taal Friend volunteer and serve as a conversation practice partner for internationals who are learning Dutch. And if you speak English and have lived in the city for a while, why not become a Welcome Friend and provide some much-need guidance and question-answering for newcomers from abroad?

Vintage shops

The easiest way to give back to your community and environment is as simple as donating your used clothing to one of the dozens of second-hand and vintage shops in town. From bikes to shoes and mid-century furniture, there’s a new home waiting for your well-loved stuff.

Donate blood

Sanquin is the Netherlands leading blood bank, and they have locations throughout the country – including one at UMCG. And to incentivize new donors, starting in 2022, people who give blood will be offered free blood testing for diabetes, heart disease, immunocompromising conditions and cancer.

Groningen foodbank

You can make a contribution to the Groningen foodbank in the form of food or household items, or by making a financial donation.

Omarm Groningen

This is a great list of local causes in the city, from providing stuffed animals for patients at the Beatrix Children’s Hospital at UMCG to financial aid for single mothers working on their degree – and you can even suggest your own ideas for charitable initiatives.

Support your locals

Since the hospitality industry is once again limited by lockdown restrictions, it’s a better time than ever to find meaningful ways to be patrons of local food suppliers. Check out all the products locally available in and around the city.

Connect International

If you’re looking for a chance to do something meaningful for your community while also growing your own social circle, Connect International offers its members the opportunity to set up their own special interest clubs led by a volunteer.

For other English-language or language no problem volunteer opportunities, check out International Welcome Center North and GroningenLife! And there’s also an excellent overview of every single neighborhood’s local newsletters, so be sure to find yours and sign up.