“Echo Helps!” – Major Donation Drive for Multi-Generation Projects in South Hessen
With its annual charity donation drive, titled “Echo Helps!”, the Echo media group has been benefitting social initiatives in South Hessen for the last 15 years. In addition to countless donations from readers in the region, the media group’s thorough reporting about the recipient organizations brings valuable public attention to their volunteer work.
In 2019/2020, financial help was offered to five organizations committed to the relationship between younger and older generations. The supported organizations include „Zusammen in der Postsiedlung“ in Darmstadt, the Heydenmühle in Otzberg, Generationenhilfe in Büttelborn and Oberzent as well as the Bürgerstiftung Heppenheim. As in previous years, the Software AG Foundation (SAGST) supported the drive, donating 25,000 euros to support the socially oriented care of the elderly and disabled in Darmstadt and the surrounding areas. In total, “Echo Helps!” raised around 260,000 euros for good purposes.
The money will be used to support, among other projects, the Heydenmühle in Otzberg, a residential community for individuals with and without assistance needs, where it will finance the relocation of their kitchen workshop to a barrier-free building.
Enabling social togetherness is also the goal of the Darmstadt organization “Zusammen in der Postsiedlung” (in English: “Together in the Postal Settlement”). Here, every Wednesday seniors get together with single parents or young singles; together, they enjoy an affordable meal in the common room. As considerable interest and demand is increasing the organization’s offered programs, the money from the donation drive will be used to remodel an additional room into an office. The office will be used to professionally coordinate the common room and adjoining café as well as the bookshelves and the freeshop.
In Oberzent and Büttelborn, local elder-care organizations have initiated several well-established gathering places. The museum café in Oberzent, for example, offers seniors a central meeting place in a pleasant atmosphere where they can enjoy conversation over coffee and cake. So that the café is accessible to all, irrespective of their level of personal mobility, the organization is also planning to acquire a bus that will further connect the areas of the city. The money collected by „Echo Helps!“ will make a considerable contribution to this acquisition.
In the family café in Büttelborn, on the other hand, young parents and small children from the entire region find a place to come together. Once there, a team of experts is on hand to answer questions about nursing, nutrition, and sleep, or to help young parents to find a volunteer “surrogate grandparent.” The donated funds will help the organization to purchase a mobile caravan so that they can bring the program to other districts.
The Bürgerstiftung Heppenheim, a civic foundation, has very different plans for its donations. Its vision was to transform the almost completely overgrown plot of the former synagogue into a public park. Thanks to the support of „Echo Helps!“ and the Sparkassenstiftung Starkenburg, which doubled every donated euro, the ambitious dream of a place of recreation and encounter for all generations was able to be realized.