With the worsening of the corona crisis, the municipalities in Potsdam-Mittelmark launched neighborhood assistance in a variety of ways in order to bring together seekers and helpers. Many volunteers have come forward – but it is a problem to find help seekers at all. The city of Werder (Havel) as reported provides its Maerker portal for helpers and requests for help. “In doing so, we make sure that we always make contact in our own living quarters whenever possible. In view of the many offers of help, this is also possible, ”says Werder’s investment representative, Linus Strothmann. He coordinates neighborhood assistance on the portal. By the end of the week, almost 20 Werderans had already signed up to help, the city said. Not only was shopping help offered: A young woman would like to give lessons to students over the phone. Two requests for help have already been successfully placed.
In StahnsdorfAlready received twelve offers of help in the first 48 hours, said community spokesman Stephan Reitzig. Together with the youth and family center “Clab”, the municipality coordinates the “Helping Hands” campaign and distributes a leaflet with the most important telephone numbers and information. In addition to the shopping aid, the volunteers also offered to go for a walk in the dog, to pick up medication or simply to help in general, says Reitzig. Five helpers have already received a helper card to avoid fraud. Seven more will soon also get one, says Reitzig. Many help offers also came from the Schwielowseers. “We have received an immense flood of offers of help. That really surprised us very positively, ”said Mayor Kerstin Hoppe (CDU).Kerstin Hoppe. (PHOTO: OTTMAR WINTER)
The family center provides help
The family center, headed by Anna Topfer, organizes and arranges the help with the support of the community. According to Topfer, 53 people from all parts of the city had registered. Shopping, delivery and delivery services of all kinds, help with IT or with homework were offered. Some said they were ready to cook for those who work a lot or who cannot, says Topfer. So far, two people have asked for help. Topfer also contacted senior citizens, informed them by email and offered them the support of the helpers.
But: Many older people would hardly use an internet portal like the Maerker, said the city of Werder. Therefore, she asks relatives to report. “It is not easy for everyone to ask for help,” said Mayor Manuela Sass (CDU). “But if you know that many Werderans offered this help, it might make it easier.”
The community of Stahnsdorf has had similar experiences. “It seems less of a challenge to find helping hands than to find those in need of help.” He also attributes it to the fact that the older residents, who belong to the risk group, are less likely to be on the Internet. And personal shame might also keep some out. But nobody has to be ashamed to be directly or indirectly affected by Corona, Reitzig said.
Stahnsdorf is happy to help you distribute the leaflet in the mailbox so that even those who are not on the Internet can get all the information. The flyer can be found on the website of the municipality. The call-in Schwielowsee can also be printed out as a PDF on the municipality’s website. The city of Werder had already responded and, as reported, asked for the distribution of its “senior citizen letter” to its immediate neighbors.