Employee association “ergo: wir helfen e.V.” continues its coronavirus aid for the homeless


Magazine, 18.12.2020

Already at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, ERGO (35,000 euros) and the employee association (20,000 euros) donated to warming rooms and soup kitchens that provide for people in need. At the association's general meeting in early December, it was decided to continue support for the homeless.

The board and delegates met mostly digitally for the general meeting. This committee decides twice a year on the allocation of donations to associations and institutions proposed by the association members. In many cases, they also get involved there and do voluntary work. Michael David, first Chairman of the association, explains the purpose of the association: "We help those who are not as well off as we are, and have been doing so for 30 years. Especially in our anniversary year, we are setting an example and supporting homeless and houseless people. Their situation worsens in winter, even more so this one with the challenges and restrictions posed by the threat of the coronavirus."

Currently, ergo: wir helfen supports a total of 13 institutions in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Hamburg, Cologne, Mannheim, Munich and Nuremberg. "These institutions have already received donations from us several times for their valuable work," says Julia Ries, Second Chairperson. Among them are soup kitchens, warming rooms, emergency sleeping facilities and a night bus that travels around a big city at night helping people on the streets.

Less emergency sleeping places due to distance rules

The current distance rules lead to a reduction of sleeping places in the emergency shelters, which means that more people than usual have to sleep outside. This is life-threatening in near-freezing temperatures: frostbite and immune diseases can result. People living on the streets are particularly at risk with regard to Corona due to the resulting lack of hygiene.

Michael David: "Every one of us encounters homeless people. It is up to us to show them respect and dignity and to meet them at eye level. Ask directly what someone actually needs. Then the homeless person can decide for themselves what they want and you are both happy. A colleague reported that she always buys a certain yoghurt in the supermarket if the homeless gentleman she already knows wants it. My request: Help in everyday life wherever you can.

The staff association again contributed to the cost of transporting thousands of Christmas parcels for needy children, which the Neuss Romania Aid organises every year. Around 1,200 parcels lovingly packed by ERGO colleagues in Germany were sent on their way.

Text: Monika Stobrawe

 

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