Sometimes all it takes is a ratchet
Created: 01/12/2023, 12:00 p.m
By: Bernd Heinzinger
Head of operations Heike Schwaiger was on a carriage with St. Nicholas on the road through Langenpreising and Zustorf and distributed gifts to the little ones.
© Neighborhood Aid Wartenberg
The active members of the Wartenberg neighborhood help are there for their fellow human beings with heart and hand.
Whether with a meal, financial help or organizational support: you are there to help unbureaucratically.
– Neighborhood Aid Wartenberg (NBH) has digested the corona dent well.
In the early days of the pandemic, the number of members fell from over 100 to 86, and there are now over 90 men and women in the association again.
Operations manager Heike Schwaiger is happy about a tribe of up to 15 active helpers.
One is also active across communities, says Schwaiger.
She remembers the special case of a pair of siblings who lived in Eching in the Landshut district.
The two still lived there in their own apartment, but after major problems on the cross, the woman was no longer able to look after her brother (care level three): "Members of us then went there every day to prepare breakfast for the two of them," reports Schwaiger: "We took turns for three months and at the same time tried to find a place for the two in a senior citizens' facility."
It was a very difficult undertaking, as the head of operations emphasizes.
Especially since their older sister lived in a retirement home further away and they both really wanted to go there.
Heike Schwaiger: "It was only after her sister died that we were able to convince them that it was nice in Wartenberg." Luckily, there were places available in the senior citizens' center there, and the search found a happy ending.
In an interview with our newspaper, the head of operations also told of an elderly woman who worked in the mountains and who urgently needed help after breaking a foot: "We drove her to the doctor and also did some shopping." Contact with other people was also very important for the woman: "Sometimes she just wanted to chat a little."
Not an isolated case, as Schwaiger emphasizes: "Often older people call us who would like to talk their problems out of their souls."
There are currently no fixed assignments, but the Wartenberg volunteers are usually on the road two to three times a week for their fellow human beings.
Neighborhood help has by no means reached its limit, says Schwaiger: "Thanks to our many helpers, there is still room for improvement."
Because Caritas asks from time to time about the care of those in need of care: "But then it's often about four hours a day and we can't do that with the volunteers.
Nursing services are responsible for that,” says Schwaiger.
So far, no calls have come from people who can no longer afford their heating or electricity bills in view of rising energy costs.
But if the worst comes to the worst, neighborhood help is also available here: "We would take a look at the whole thing and step in financially if the help is really necessary." A single mother was recently paid a full month's rent because otherwise it was no longer possible would.
The NBH maintains complete anonymity in all assistance measures.
Even their own helpers only find out the name of a person when they have agreed to help.
According to Schwaiger, discretion is paramount.
Therefore, nobody should be afraid to report problems to the neighborhood help.
Because that is what you depend on, in view of data protection, the facility does not receive any information from the community about people seeking help in Wartenberg and its districts.
The operations manager likes to look back on great campaigns around Christmas.
For the first time, people took part in the Wartenberg St. Nicholas market and even brought their own St. Nicholas with them.
He gave away over 100 chocolate Santa Clauses to beaming children.
At the Christmas market in Berglern, the NBH sold lots.
The entire proceeds of 1086 euros were donated to the clinic clowns.
Shortly before Christmas, Schwaiger himself drove through Langenpreising and Zustorf in a carriage with Santa Claus – with small gifts for the little ones in his luggage.
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Even if the number of operations went up again after the corona pandemic, the limit has by no means been reached.
"We could do more, but we are dependent on people contacting us," emphasizes Heike Schwaiger again.
The emergency hotline is available on 01 72 13 13 13 5 from Monday to Thursday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
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