Due to #PhysicalDistancing a large part of our daily life still takes place in front of displays and screens. Not only the working world but also the volunteering world has shifted to the online universe in the last weeks.
And as much as we appreciate the flexibility and variety of remote and online volunteering opportunities, we look forward to volunteer on site and with physical presence again. Because meeting and supporting people directly – always with a face mask, of course – but at least personally, is and will remain something very special.
And not only that: Our work on site is again (or still) urgently needed by many organisations and projects.
All these projects have of course taken the highest security measures to protect volunteers, staff and people in need of support from infection with Covid-19. Please make sure that you only get involved if you are healthy! Otherwise you will go from being a friendly helper to a virus spinner! “Don’t just help out” is also advised in this ZEIT magazine article.
1 | SUPPORT THE “KIEZMAHLZEIT” FOR DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE
Especially in times of crisis it is important that we do not forget the weakest members of society. That’s why the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. provides all those in need with food, drinks, coffee and tea every day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the “Kiezmahlzeit”.
Therefore, they are always looking for people who are interested in helping with household activities, warming up the donated food, serving and clearing up the food, or coordinating at the entrance. You can easily register via vostel.de.
You can find more suggestions for helping the homeless in our blog post “8 ways you can help homeless people during Corona”.
2 | RELIEVE FAMILIES THROUGH CHILDCARE
There is still limited availability of childcare in kindergartens, daycare centres and schools. If you are in good health and have a low risk, the intermediary platform Yoopies is urgently looking for volunteers to provide childcare for “systemically relevant” workers. You can find more information on their website.
Tip: If you want to make a real difference and help those who need it most, offer your service as a volunteer free of charge so that financially weaker people can also benefit from your help.
3 | SUPPORT IN SORTING RESCUED FOOD
GEMÜSE NETZWERK E.V.
The association Gemüse Netzwerk e.V. in Gernsheim near Darmstadt saves food and offers it to the public. The target group is senior and disabled people, but the remaining food can be picked up by anyone.
To make sure that the rescued food can be offered, it must be sorted and prepared in advance. This means that fruit and vegetables must be checked to see what is still edible and then draped nicely so that everything looks appealing when we distribute it.
You want to fight against food waste and help people at the same time? Then you can simply register directly on vostel.de for this volunteering opportunity!
You don’t live near Darmstadt, but you would like to help sorting saved food for people in need? Then take a look at the website of the Tafel Deutschland and find a support possibility in your local area.
4 | DRAW ATTENTION TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
FEDERAL MINISTRY FOR FAMILY, SENIOR CITIZENS, WOMEN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
The corona crisis severely restricts daily life. In this difficult situation, the risk of an increase in domestic violence grows. At the same time it becomes more difficult for those affected to seek help.
This makes it all the more important to reach affected persons in this exceptional situation by alternative means outside their own four walls. This can be the cash register in the supermarket or the notice board in the hallway. The poster campaign “Zuhause nicht sicher?” (which means “Not safe at home?”) aims to draw the attention of customers in supermarkets and also of neighbours in their corridors to available help. During this time, we are all particularly called upon to pay attention to alarm signals of domestic violence in our surroundings and to take action against it.
Anyone can take part in the action and actively work against violence. All interested enterprises, administrations, associations or private people, who likewise want to support the action “Zuhause nicht sicher?” find the poster template in various formats and an information sheet with all worth knowing about “Stärker als Gewalt” (Stronger than violence) as a direct download.
5 | TAKE CARE OF THE TREES IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
Due to the low rainfall this spring, many city trees suffer from drought. In recent years, the lifespan of many trees has decreased and more and more have even had to be cut down. In the meantime, the population is regularly called upon to provide support, albeit largely uncoordinated.
This is why CityLAB Berlin has developed the “Giess den Kiez” (which means something like “Water your Kiez”) platform. There you can find out about trees in your neighbourhood and their water needs and subscribe to or mark individual trees once you have watered them.
Even for those who do not live directly in Berlin and are now worried about the beautiful trees by the roadside, you will find good tips and useful links for irrigation and maintenance. Just have a look on the platform!
6 | DONATE BLOOD
DEUTSCHES ROTES KREUZ & BAYRISCHES ROTES KREUZ
Even in times of Corona, the blood donation services of the German Red Cross and Bavarian Red Cross urgently need blood donations so that seriously ill people and accident victims can still be helped. Therefore: Blood donations are further permitted and very important!
Are you fit and healthy? Then make a valuable donation in the form of blood to ensure that hospitals can continue to provide care! If you are unsure, you can call the DRK Service Centre: 0800 11 949 1, where you can find out whether you are allowed to donate blood and what the requirements are.
7 | SUPPORT AS MEDICAL STUDENT IN LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES
BUNDESVERBAND DER ÄRZTINNEN UND ÄRZTE DES ÖFFENTLICHEN GESUNDHEITSDIENSTES E.V. (BVÖGD)
BVÖGD has developed the volunteer exchange Medis4ÖGD in cooperation with the Bundesvertretung der Medizinstudierenden in Deutschland e.V.
This has already enabled over 2,500 medical students to support their local health authorities in times of crisis. Here you can find an up-to-date list of the health authorities that have reported needs and are still looking for support. For example, the following tasks will be taken over:
- Backtracking of contact persons
- Information, care & medical checks in case of isolation at home
- Cooperation in telephone hotlines and data entry
In addition, the website contains numerous training materials for all supporters. Registration is very simple via the BVÖGD website. All you have to do is fill in a short questionnaire and you will be put in contact with your local health authority.
8 | SUPPORT FARMERS AS HARVEST HELPERS IN THE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE HARVEST
in cooperation with the FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
Due to the corona crisis and the associated travel restrictions, German farmers lack up to 300,000 workers for the fruit and vegetable harvest.
On the platform www.daslandhilft.de you can place an advertisement and thus offer your help as a harvest helper. Afterwards you will be networked with farmers in your area.
Would you like to help ensure that tons of regional fruit and vegetables can be harvested according to plan? Then click on the following button:
9 | CONTINUE TO SUPPORT NEIGHBOURHOOD HELP INITIATIVES
As “normal life” slowly gets going again, risk groups will need more support than ever in the coming weeks. Many of them will now have to be even more careful not to become infected with the virus. That is why it is important for us to continue to point out neighbourhood help initiatives:
DRK-KREISVERBAND BERLIN-NORDOST E.V.
As part of the project “Quarantäne-Engel”, the DRK-Kreisverband Berlin-Nordost e.V. organises, in addition to regular food distribution campaigns with the Berliner Tafel (Berlin food bank), a neighbourhood help service with little contact so that the people who are being helped also remain protected.
Therefore they are looking for volunteers for the telephone hotline, helpers who take over a partnership for people in need, helpers who do public relations work for the regular campaign “Gemeinsam statt einsam – warmes Essen to go” (which means something like Together instead of lonely – warm food to go) (e.g. distributing flyers) and support the campaign on site.
You can also find more neighbourhood help platforms in our blog post “Neighbourhood Help |Support risk groups through online platforms”.
We’ll keep you up to date
You know or work for a NPO yourself, which is in need for offline support? Let us know and write a short mail to firstname.lastname@example.org! ?
Take care! Your team from vostel.de ?