The staff of non-profits and volunteers from the Help Is at Hand Coalition gave 1,245,000 hours of their time and helped 81,500 seniors during the pandemic.
Recruited to provide elder care were neighbours and people of various ages and professions. In cities and towns. On foot, bicycles, motorcycles, public and private transport, they delivered food and drugs. Helped find those who needed support. Gave their time and attention, without which genuine care is not possible.
The Timchenko Foundation released a social video entitled “Solidarity Is the New Normal” about the coalition’s activities.
“I feel I’m not quite alone”, “They take such good care of us, God bless them”, “The only thing I would like now is just to give you a hug and a kiss,” say the people featured in the video. People who were not left in the lurch to face their fears, concerns and problems alone.
At the end of March, the Timchenko Foundation and the Third Age Alliance invited non-profits to join the Help Is at Hand Coalition and pool their efforts to support senior citizens. To date, the union boasts 231 non-profit members in 56 states in Russia.
“Nobody knew what to do, but we tried to recruit as many non-profits as possible to help the older generation. We succeeded because we were in touch 24/7, thought about how to better help those who self-isolated at home, promptly responded to questions from members of the coalition, and found the best solutions together. I am confident that the Help Is at Hand participants will continue having a major impact on the development of the elderly care and support system,” said Kira Yankelevich, head of the Elderly programme at the Timchenko Foundation, at the concluding conference of the Help Is at Hand coalition.
The care system is not only social services and assistance from foundations and non-profits; this system includes every person who phoned elderly neighbours, brought them groceries or taught them to pay their utility bills online.
The pandemic will end. Will loneliness remain?.. Or is solidarity the new normal after all?
The Timchenko Foundation continues to identify and support elderly care practices. 8 September is the deadline for entries to the Family Circle competition www.b-krug.ru