In the current times, it’s becoming harder to keep contact with the people close to us, and even more so with those vulnerable people in the community who especially depend on our help. Many of us feel helpless because we want to help but don’t because we don’t know how to, without possibly endangering our own health or that of others. We know that there are people who could use help and support but we don’t know how to take the first step to give that support.

However there are things that you can do! Both group projects (with Corona safe measures like 1.5m distancing in mind) and a selection of individual undertakings are possible! An example of a group action is a recent AdamHelpt initiative that took place at Stichting SPIN. SPIN is an organization that not only creates playgrounds for children in the North of Amsterdam but also organizes opportunities for children of all ages to learn and play together. By doing this the organisers give the children( and their parents!) opportunities to discover ‘new worlds’ and try fun activities which they may have been hesitant to try by themselves but through the group, receive the support they need. During the recent initiative, a group of volunteers came together to make essential repairs, maintenance work and improvements to equipment so that, when the time comes, all playground equipment can be enjoyed and used again safely. This project reminds us that there is a need to prepare for the future and the things we need to do to assist other people so that they may feel safe and supported in the months to come. It’s one less worry for a family that may already be dealing with problems brought on by the pandemic.

As the Corona numbers are still prevalent, some may feel more comfortable taking an individual approach to supporting others in their community. AdamHelpt co-founders’ organizations can help you out in this case. Organisations you can turn to include: Serve the City Amsterdam (STC), Buurennetwerk and Stichting Present. Examples of projects include things like food collection and donation for the elderly, homeless and mentally disabled. In the first months of the Corona Virus pandemic crises, STC has collected and distributed 842 food packages and lunches,100 cupcakes, 68 cakes, 98 pizzas and a whopping  6045 pancakes! This incredible amount of food was made possible by individual donations as well as company donations such as the Waldorf Astoria Hotel which donated 40 cakes and 200 pancakes and Salesforce, which donated many food packages via the Salvation Army. For many elderly people that received a food package it was an incredible relief to receive things as simple as coffee. Many of us may take for granted that essentials for breakfast will be in the fridge when we wake up or that we will be able to go to the supermarket to buy some jam. But for those who may not be mobile or may be in the high-risk groups, simply knowing that there will be something to put on your bread for breakfast without having to go out and risk your health or even life, can be a great relief.

Further great initiatives taken, include a game of noughts and crosses through the window with handicapped elderly people (see here) , the supermarket chain Jumbo collecting money for a shop that offers non-perishable items to those living in poverty within Amsterdam( link to article) or a great initiative by local Amsterdammers who would walk around Amsterdam while on video chat with an elderly person. In this way, the elderly person got to experience a daily route or a sunny walk without endangering themselves due to Corona. This experience was not only enjoyable from the perspective of the elderly person but often proved an interesting and enlightening experience for the younger person outside who got to experience parts of Amsterdam with completely new eyes. The elderly person would often talk about experiences they had had at a certain corner, a house or a street. A corner that the younger Amsterdammer may have walked past many times, now became meaningful through the ideas and the experiences of the elderly person. A video about this can be found here.

As you can see, there are many different opportunities to help out during these uncertain times. It’s up to you if you want to provide support in groups or as an individual, by offering your time or by giving a monetary donation. What’s important is that you open your heart and take the first steps to support those who need it most. If you are still unsure about how you can volunteer, don’t hesitate to contact us (link to the form page) so that we can support our community together. Because together we are strong. Together we are Amsterdam.


Written by Monika Seyer