Volunteering in Germany

| September 17, 2015

In the past week, I have both volunteered in another town, and learned how to volunteer in my own community. I want to share both experiences to encourage those of you who would like to donate your time and talents as an expat, to research avenues where you can do so.

castle restoration in germany, volunteering in germany, seeheim-jugenheim

Burg Tannenberg, castle ruins in Seeheim-Jugenheim

Just last Saturday, I volunteered to help a historical society with the restoration of some 800-year-old castle ruins. How cool is that? No matter that I spent the next 3 days popping anti-inflammatories as a result of using shovels, rakes, and something like a tampers. The cool thing is, I was helping to rebuild a castle in Germany!

seeheim-jugenheim germany castle ruins

Not shown: me taking a bath and a nap after the experience.

In this case, I learned of the opportunity through my husband’s affiliation with an army base here in Germany. We signed up, we showed up, we dug up.

seeheim-jugenheim, germany, castle restoration

That’s my husband bent over in bright blue.  He’s in a trench, digging up a wall.

If you’re interested in helping with a historical society in your area, the easiest thing to do would be to visit your local Rathaus and express your interest in volunteering. They will direct you to the right organization. This goes for any way that you hope to volunteer: visit the Rathaus and ask.

Speaking of the Rathaus, my second brush with volunteering in Germany is still in progress.

Recently, a parent at my daughter’s school posted to facebook that she and some other parents were going to volunteer with the refugee situation in the nearby city of Darmstadt. (NB: Germany is experiencing refugee overload; learn how this affects your border crossings and your community.) I told her that I would join them.

Then while doing some research, I learned that next month, my own town will be welcoming refugee minors. And so I went down to the Rathaus to inquire: How can I help? I was given the phone number of a local volunteer coordinator. I phoned, and he gave me the date of the next meeting. Next week, I will attend to learn about opportunities to volunteer my time and talent.

The gist of it: visit your local Rathaus to find out how you can volunteer while living in Germany. They’re hosting you. Contribute.


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Category: Castles & Palaces, Ex-pat Parenting, FAMILY, Germany, In Germany A Broad blog, Living in Germany, SGH blog, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

Comments (2)

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  1. Josh says:

    Great information. I’ll check out the Rathause.