Help others during the coronavirus pandemic: Initiatives in the Netherlands
It’s perfectly normal in these uncertain times to want to help others but not know exactly how to. How do you know who needs help and what exactly you can do? Well, luckily a few initiatives have sprung up the last few days to enable you to register and help others by doing things like grocery shopping for elderly people etc.
People who want to help other people
Set up by a few students from Delft and Amsterdam, www.gewoonmensendiemensenwillenhelpen.nl is a website where people can either ask for help or offer their help to others by filling in a simple google form. You will then be contacted and matched with someone either needing or offering the help you have asked for.
This is a great way to help others in need during this surreal period. Unfortunately, the website is only in Dutch, but Google Translate goes a long way, and at the end of the day, all help is appreciated.
Red Cross: Ready2Helper
The Red Cross has a huge group of civilian volunteers who are called upon to help out in situations like this one: the Ready2Helpers. These volunteers are taking action and informing the most vulnerable groups in society about how they can protect themselves against coronavirus. Some of their tasks include hanging up posters / flyers in prominent places, offering to do grocery shopping and checking whether the elderly have enough medicine at home to get by.
You can become a Ready2Helper via the Red Cross website. Now, more than ever, people need an extra helping hand. Again, the website is in Dutch.
Another site where you can offer or ask for help is coronahelpers.nl. What's more, via this website you can also share your story to help inspire others to help those vulnerable in their area and get people asking for help if they need it. Ways you can offer help via the site include doing groceries, looking after children, picking up medicine, taking dogs out for a walk and tutoring, etc.
If you want to offer help in your area, simply register and go to the "Ik wil helpen" option and respond to the requests for help. The site is in Dutch, but some requests have also been posted in English.
Facebook groups and hashtags
Countless Facebook groups have sprung up to connect neighbours and residents of particular areas. In these groups, you can offer to help or specifically answer a call to help posted by another member. All you have to do is search “coronahulp” followed by the area you live in to find these groups. Another way you can offer or ask for help is by using the #coronahulp on Twitter.
Popping up left, right and centre
Initiatives are popping up left, right and centre. If you know of a new one, post it in the comments below so others can find it. It’s great to see people coming together during this crisis to help others.