Many seniors also have to pay medical expenses from their small pensions. Photo: Mauritius Images
“Help for the Neighbors”, the donation campaign of the Stuttgarter Zeitung, supported over 1700 people in need last year. This was possible because the readers of the Stuttgarter Zeitung donated an impressive 1.6 million euros for the needy.
Stuttgart – There are quite a few folders that fill up over the course of a year for “Help for the Neighbors”. The donation applications that reach us as a non-profit organization are neatly documented in it, 1,600, 1,700 cases per year, whereby there is a fate behind each case, for example that of Mr. L., who threw divorce and serious illness off the rails. The medical bulletin reads dramatically: severe osteoarthritis of the shoulders and hips, acute problems with the ureter, bladder and kidney, and esophageal cancer since 2018. The small pension and supplementary basic security that the man receives are just enough to survive – but not to buy a special armchair where he can change the sitting position at the push of a button to relieve pain.
Or Ms. I. from Stuttgart, who – just got pregnant – was abandoned by her husband. Their daughter was born in the single mother dorm. Now the young woman, who has trained as a nurse, can move into her own apartment, which of course wants to be furnished. “Help for the neighbors” is available to buy beds, slatted frames and mattresses and a stove.
As a rule, it’s not the big things that our Christmas campaign, which has been running for more than 40 years, steps in – and makes society a little more humane. Anyone with bad teeth knows a thing or two about how rudimentary health insurance grants can be; glasses are also not financed: even those with unusual visual defects have to see how they are coping. And if the wallet is already tight, special purchases are usually simply not possible.
How important an association like the StZ association “Help for the Neighbors” is, especially in these times, is reflected again and again in our advisory board meetings by the charitable organizations in the city and the Stuttgart region that are gathered there. If the action didn’t exist, it would have to be invented, they say. And that, in turn, is a compliment that goes directly to you, dear readers, dear donors, to you who alone are responsible for this campaign. They gave 1.6 million euros last year, an unbelievable sum that has been used up. Every single cent of it went to the needy because the board of directors is purely voluntary, but above all the publishing house of the Stuttgarter Zeitung bears all administrative costs. It cannot be taken for granted. But that’s good tradition and that’s how it will remain in the future.
Certainly, in all of this, the great thanks of those in need, for whom "Help for the Neighbor" is a ray of hope in often dark times. For Mr. L. and Mrs. I. and for all the others who get support. I now wish you, dear readers, a merry and reflective Advent season. And please stay with us.