Corona is ubiquitous and, as on (almost) everything, the pandemic also has a major impact on our work. As the volunteering platform vostel.de, we normally promote the intensive exchange between people through voluntary work. Since social distancing (we prefer the term #physicaldistancing btw) is the order of the day (and probably for the next few months as well), we are confronted with a dilemma. Should we advise against engagement that requires a physical presence? Or may we point out that in many areas (e.g. helping the homeless) helping hands are still absolutely necessary?
Well, we do both. So we want to show you in the following weeks (and maybe months) here and on social media under the hashtag #supportduringcorona many ways how you can do good – also from home. In particular, we will be talking about Online & Remote Volunteering opportunities, neighborhood help and support for your local restaurants and shops, in-kind and monetary donations, the big topic of online petitions as well as DIY projects you can easily start from home.
At the same time, however, we would like to draw attention to individual offline volunteering opportunities that are dependent on local support even in times of crisis. Of course, all these projects have taken the highest security precautions to protect volunteers, staff and people in need of support from infection with Covid-19.
And last but not least:
In order to help others, we ourselves must be doing well. Our friend Jan Lennarz from Ein guter Plan has collected 11 tips on how to get through the pandemic in a relaxed manner. If you need further help dealing with this situation, we have collected helpful numbers where you can find professional support for yourself (and people around you).
And we would be very happy if you joined in and show us using #supportduringcorona what you are doing to help the vulnerable people in our society in this difficult situation. Because #wereinthistogether and because #werebettertogether. ?
Click on the links below to go directly to the corresponding blog articles:
You have turned your room or your apartment upside down in the last few weeks. Now ask yourself where to put all the sorted out but still good things? Exactly for this we have written a blog post “Don’t bin it, bring it | Meaningful ways to get rid of your old stuff”. In this we have collected organisations that are very happy about your in-kind donations!
Due to the Corona restrictions, many of our social partner organisations and initiatives have lost not only numerous volunteers, but also income (e.g.: through workshops or events). In order to help them out of their financial plight, we have therefore collected “Projects & NPOs you can support with your monetary donation” in our blog post.
Remote Volunteering – a commitment you can do from home – was already popular before Corona times. But now it’s more en vogue than ever before 🙂 In our blog post “Online & Remote Volunteering | Help in Corona Times” you will find numerous possibilities how you can now become active from home.
Step by step, engagement on site and with physical presence becomes possible again – always with a face mask, of course. And your commitment on site is again (or still) urgently needed by many organizations and projects.
In our blog “Get involved safely | How you can volunteer outside your home” we have summarized offline volunteering opportunities for you.
Since neighbourhood help will continue to be incredibly important in the coming weeks, especially to protect risk groups, we have summarized all the platforms that continue to match people seeking help with those seeking help in our blog post “Neighbourhood help | Continue to support risk groups”.
There are many offers of help, which you can also initiate or start on your own – or together with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues etc.
SEW AND DONATE PROVISONAL RESPIRATORY MASKS
The demand of hospitals, nursing homes and other public institutions for masks/mouth protection is becoming ever greater and manufacturers are no longer able to meet it. So there are more and more requests to volunteers to sew mouth protection themselves and send them to the institutions.
If you have suitable fabrics and a sewing machine at home, this is the perfect opportunity for a do-it-yourself session in quarantine. Instructions for sewing and further information on suitable fabrics have been compiled by here.
Here you can find a list of organisations that are in desperate need of masks:
- The association Coach e.V. from Cologne, which stands up for chance and educational justice, collects self-sewn “mouth nose auxiliary masks”, in order to distribute them to children, young people and non-profit organizations. If you can sew and have the opportunity to sew at home, help provide masks to the affected risk group! You can find all further information here.
- In addition, the Zeughofstrasse refugee shelter in Kreuzberg, with 147 women, men and children from all over the world, is looking for as many self-made protective masks as possible for its residents. For the masks they offer cotton bedding from their own stock. At the moment, 270 masks are still needed there. They are happy about every mask that you sew and send to them here.
OPENING OF A GIFT FENCE
The corona pandemic is forcing more and more social facilities such as the Tafel, night cafés and soup kitchens to close for anti-infection reasons. That’s why many cities now have gift fences (the idea comes from the Hamburg Gabenzaun association), to which food, clothing and hygiene articles for homeless and poorer people can be “attached” (well packed).
On www.gabenzaun.de you can see in which cities and districts there are such fences and where there are still some needed. You can also get tips here and download all templates for setting up a donation fence (i.e. rules in multiple languages). ?
You can also find more suggestions for helping homeless people in our blog post “8 ways you can help homeless people during Corona”.
The Corona crisis surely affects us all, but the local restaurants and shops are having a particularly hard time, as their source of income is currently vanished. Therefore it is more important than ever to use alternative ways to support our favourite shops in the present time. We have created for you a list of ways to support your locals in our blog post #supportyourlocal | How to support small businesses, art & culture!
Another possibility to get involved, and that without cost and effort, are online petitions. For this topic we have written the blog post “9 petitions that you should sign in Corona times”. In this blog post you can find (mostly Corona-related) petitions that are currently looking for support!
Fire and emergency rescue service: 112
On-call service for medical assistance: 116 117
Dental emergency service: 030 89004333
Hotline child protection phone: 030 610066
Children’s emergency service: 0 – 13 years Tel.: 030 610061
Youth emergency service: 14 – 18 years Tel.: 030 610062
Girls emergency service: 12 – 21 years Tel.: 030 610063
Help phone for pregnant women in need: 0800 40 40 020
Help portal sexualised abuse: 0800 22 55 530
Violence against women: 08000 116 016 or 030 611 03 00
Ritual violence help line: 0800 30 50 750
White ring: 116 006
Pastoral advice service: 0800 111 0-111 or -222
Youth telephone: 116 111 or 0800 111 0 333
Parents’ emergency telephone parents: 0800 111 0 550
Senior citizens’ telephone: 0800 47 08 090
Muslim pastoral care: 030 44 35 09 821
Addiction assistance: 01805 313031
Alcoholics Anonymous: 08731 32573 12
Addiction and drugs hotline: 01805 313 031
WHATSAPP BOT BY THE GERMAN RED CROSS
To stay updated in the current situation at all times, the German Red Cross has developed a “WhatsApp Bot”. It’s a virtual contact person who answers your questions about the corona virus around the clock. It provides you with information from trustworthy sources via text message and updates on the current number of infected people. Simply send a WhatsApp message with “Hello” to +49 30 85404106. Afterwards, you can select the content you would like to know more about.
ÜBERSETZUNG IM MEDIZINISCHEN ALLTAG
Communication problems in everyday medical life? Triaphon is a telephone emergency aid and non-profit organization that aims to improve the medical care of patients with language barriers.
In acute medical situations there is a lack of available interpreters. This can have serious consequences. A team of doctors has therefore become active. Triaphon now offers a 24-hour telephone translation service for hospitals and medical practices for Arabic, Farsi/Dari, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese.
The language mediators are immediately available and translate short telephone conversations between doctors, nurses and patients. This enables medical care to be provided at eye level.
If you need support or are able to translate in such situations yourself, it is worth taking a look at their website.
We’ll keep you up to date
Of course, this article is never complete (at least as long as Corona isn’t over) and so we update this blog on a regular basis. Through our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) we also provide daily updates. Furthermore, keep you up to date with the latest needs from the NPO world.
If you work for an NPO yourself or know of social organisations that need support, please let us know and send a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org! 🙂
Stay healthy! Your team from vostel.de ?