Recap: Stil in Berlin’s Warm Up #4

This and all other photos: Rebecca Crawford

Last Friday, we celebrated our fourth Warm Up at Voo Store, collecting coats, boots, tents, and such for local volunteer organisation  Kreuzberg Hilft.
And while munching on Tausendsünd’s excellent Speculoos cookies and slurping hot beverages from Companion Coffee, 70 donors came around and donated 180 pieces and 172 Euros in total! At the end of the night, many of those were rewarded with the prizes we collected from local businesses, and the guys from Boxie24 schlepped over 30 filled boxes out to be delivered directly to Kreuzberg Hilft.

Once again, this was a success for Kreuzberg Hilft, who were incredibly thankful for all your prime donations. People donated coats and shoes in excellent condition, with some of them being brand new, and we even managed to collect three tents, five sleeping mats, and twelve sleeping bags, all of which are desperately needed in the winter season. Yet, compared to last year’s 330 pieces and almost 500 Euros, I couldn’t help but wonder why this year has been more difficult to get people out to donate.

For one, the weather wasn’t on our side (sudden sleet), and it’s also true that is has become more and more difficult to promote events through social media if you won’t pay money for it, so some of you might not have even heard about the drive. But what is also quite likely is that the problems of refugees and people in need don’t seem to be as pressing as they once did. The so-called refugee crisis is already two years old, and since then, Germany and most other European countries have shut their borders, so only a fraction of people manage to get to Germany. Plus, Germany stopped family reunions, so even the people who made it here can no longer bring their families. Only 173.000 asylum seekers were registered in Germany this year, versus over 700.000 a year before. All of this might contribute to many of us thinking the issue has been solved. However, this is certainly not the case. And it also doesn’t mean the often dire conditions in which refugees in Berlin live have been solved either. For instance, after months and months of construction, a new container-home village has just been opened on Tempelhofer Feld, which means the people who used to live in hangars (for two years) can now finally move into containers. The targeted opening of these temporary housing was last spring, by the way.

The people of Kreuzberg Hilft had to agree that it is getting harder and harder to reach people and to get them to donate. And at the same time, the demand is still high, also since Kreuzberg Hilft caters to all people in need, not only asylum seekers.

However, if it really was only the weather why you didn’t came out last Friday and you still have your donations ready at home, you can bring them to Kreuzberg Hilft directly (check their list of needed items here). Or donate them at Moabit Hilft, or Friedrichshain Hilft. You can also bring them to the Stadtmission, who even have a container outside for you to donate at any time, day or night. If you just wanna get rid of some money real quick, donate to Kreuzberg Hilft’s Betterplace donation project here.

Having said all that, thanks again to all you donors braving the cold, plus a thousand thanks to everyone who came by, and to my lovely helpers Dung, Fabian, Fanette, Kate, Kendra, Liora, and Nicole.

And to the amazing Berlin businesses who donated prizes: AesopBonanza Coffee, Fine BagelFolkdaysThe Good Store, Hallesches Haus, Iris Roth, Isla, Kanaan, Kin DeeLode & StijnMagic Stripes, Maitre PhilippeMDC CosmeticMotel BeerMYKITAObjekte Unserer TageOra, and Voo Store!