About Secrets of Paris

American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

* Custom Travel Content 
* Free Paris Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events
* Private Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

Book NOW for September 5-6
The American Church of Paris is hosting A Prarie Home Companion radion show with Garrison Keillor for two dates, September 5th at 8pm and September 6th at 4pm. Tickets are €31, book as soon as possible, space is limited.

July 3
My favorite English book store, Abbey Bookshop (29 rue de la pArchiminerie, 5th), is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a street party featuring authors Stephen Clarke (Year in the Merde and his new book Dirtie Bertie) and Heather Stimmler-Hall (with the first new copies of Naughty Paris!) today from 7pm until we run out of sangria. Free entry. RSVP on Facebook.

June 25 -July 29
Les Soldes! The annual summer sales take place this year for five weeks throughout France, primarily in clothing stores, but pretty much everything is on sale now. 

Through August 31
Between the Lines and the Trenches, a very intimate collection of personal letters, notebooks and photos from the trenches, many never published before. At the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts (222 Boulevard Saint-Germain), through August 31st, entry €7.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL CALENDAR

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees
to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

Volunteer Opportunities in Paris: Get Involved!

France Bénévolat
This website is one of the best for volunteer opportunities in France, with over 300 listings for Paris alone. This one is only in French, as most of the volunteers must be French-speaking. They list all kinds of positions, from coaching sports teams to working with handicap children to admin work for Reporters Without Borders. 

WICE
WICE is an anglophone cultural organization that's been around since 1978. They offer courses and programs ranging from Visual arts to Food and Wine, and Languages. WICE has a wonderful work environment and gives you a great amount of flexibility and many opportunities to meet new people.  Contact volunteer@wice-paris.org for more information.

Espace Bénévolat is an ideal place to start for English-speaking volunteers. This group is a sort of volunteer portal where you can find out about all of the volunteer opportunities available by location, type of activity, or type of charity. Armelle Lévy-Collin is in charge of the English-speaking volunteer opportunities, as well as the special projects for the 18-25 year old volunteers. Contact her directly at espacebenevolat.anglophones@gmail.com
 
Je Veux Aider also makes it super simple to find out how you can help, starting with three donation categories: time, money, and “other” (like used clothing or computer donations). You can find, using their search system, volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood for health, education, children, international, social, environment, etc. Sign up for their newsletter to keep up with opportunities throughout the year.
 

The “Restaurants of the Heart” are soup kitchens and grocery distribution centers located throughout France. Founded by the late comedian Coluche in 1985, this popular charity is known for its spirit of solidarity and good humor. As a weekly volunteer at one of the mobile distribution units, I can say that the Parisians I’ve met here are nothing like the grim, cranky, cynics you see on the metro every day, LOL! They are always looking for volunteers with regular availability.

SOS Helpline
A free and anonymous helpline for the English-speaking community since 1974, SOS Help is always in need of volunteers to help with the phone line as well as office administration. Training provided.

Orange RockCorps
This is a fun one: donate your time to charity in exchange for free tickets to music concerts.  It's targeted to young people of Generation Y (born between 1978 and 1994). 

The American Church of Paris
The American Church keeps the English-speaking community informed of volunteer opportunities and humanitarian needs throughout the year. Those of you who don’t speak French may want to start here.

Croix Rouge
The French Red Cross is a huge organization with many activities throughout the country. They sell holiday cards, organize toy drives, collect donations for particularly urgent international disasters (like Hurricane Katrina or the Pakistan earthquake). They also give regular first-aid and CPR certification classes in Paris for €60. They are always looking for volunteers for everything from organizing book or clothing collections to office assistance and first-aid response teams. They even send professionals on international missions (helps to speak English and have 6-9 months availability). They are currently recruiting young people 16-25 for their “Service Civil Volontaire”

Secours Populaire Français
One of the most active charities in France, the Secours Populaire is similar to the Red Cross, with a focus on humanitarian projects within France in the fields of education, health, emergency aid, and human rights. They have a huge Père Noël campaign at Christmas (you’ll see the “Green Santa helpers” around town). They’re looking for volunteers of all ages (they even have a program for young children).

Secours Catholique
A charity created by the Catholic priest Monseigneur Rodhain in 1946 after the horrors of the occupation during WWII. Today the organization is one of the largest in France, with local and international humanitarian projects. They recruit regularly for short and long-term missions in France and overseas. In Paris they are currently looking for dynamic volunteers to accompany at-risk children (a sort of Big Brother/Big Sister project), to welcome people at their soup kitchen on weekend evenings, and technical assistance with the annual directory.

Tout le Monde Chant Contre la Cancer
A non-profit French charity that helps children and families affected by cancer by raising money for research and organizing special events (such as toy distribution in hospitals at Christmas, gala concerts with French stars, vacations for the families and “make a wish” style gifts for the kids, such as a trip to Disneyland). They always welcome donations, but if you live in Paris and speak French and are looking to volunteer your time and expertise, check the website for current openings. 

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