Following an appeal from Emmaus Solidarité, which works in Paris to assist anyone facing social exclusion (homeless people, refugees, etc.), for equipment for their night rounds (warm clothing, shoes, scarves, gloves, hats, blankets, duvets, underwear, toiletries, travel bags; and for babies: nappies, wipes, formula milk, etc.) our community decided to organise an awareness-raising initiative, by offering “solidarity soup”.
A day devoted to solidarity was organised on the initiative of the community’s solidarity committee, with the aim of raising our customers’ awareness and informing them about the Emmaus movement’s various actions of mutual assistance at local, national and international levels.
1400 customers in our database were invited by email. We asked them in advance to support us by donating goods, whilst in return we gave them a bowl of soup when they came to our shop.
Saturday 9 December was chosen in order to raise awareness among as many as people as possible, themed sales having been scheduled at the community on that day.
For the running of the event, we opted for a stand with awareness-raising posters with explanations and key figures on poverty and easy-to-read, illustrated documents, set up at the shop entrance, near the tills, in order to reach as many people as possible. Customers were offered “solidarity soup”, which we thought was both a symbolic and attractive gesture.
Information about the event was posted on the community’s website and sent by email to all the community’s customer contacts, and an appeal was made specifically for donations for the homeless and migrants.
Companions, volunteers and staff (including Marie and Noémie from the international secretariat who were passing by) worked all through Friday to produce the boards and prepare the soup, supervised by Laurent, our skilled chef.
It was freezing cold on Saturday 9 December, so our piping hot, creamy pumpkin soup was served just at the right moment. There were a lot of people around our steaming and delicious pot! It was a lot of fun, giving customers a chance to chat, ask questions and show their interest in the community and the Emmaus movement, and bring their donations.
- Régine Phegler (Coordinator of the community’s solidarity committee),
- Thierry Muniglia, Community Leader,
- 2 volunteers
- 2 companions.
We have not mobilised any partners to get involved with this initiative.
We received an email appeal for mobilisation from Emmaus Solidarité for the homeless. They were asking for equipment for their night rounds.
The solidarity committee decided to run this initiative, and a task group headed by Régine was set up.
We don’t have any specific plans currently, but we might run this initiative again some time.
A huge influx of donated clothing;
Applications to volunteer were received;
The day was without a doubt a success.
For this type of initiative to run smoothly, there needs to be a group to coordinate it. In this case, it was the community’s solidarity committee.