An Estonian donation website helps support those suffering from the COVID crisis

An Estonian donation environment, called “I Love to Help”, has reopened a special donations campaign to support organisations focused on mitigating the effects of the novel coronavirus crisis.

People in Estonia, like in the rest of the world, have been fighting the spread of the coronavirus for more than a year now. As a result of the pandemic, many people have lost their jobs, mental health problems have increased, medical staff has become overworked and overwhelmed, and so on, the donation website said.

“We set up a special donations page last spring as a response to the changes in society and as the situation has lasted for over a year now, the number of those in need has increased as well,” Merje Klopets, the societal engagement manager at Swedbank – a financial institution behind the donation environment – said in a statement.

“A lot of people have found themselves in unexpected situations and therefore need support. The special donations page provides a great opportunity to support reliable organisations that work on mitigating effects of the crisis on a daily basis.”

A mother with newborn child, who was born prematurely. The image is illustrative. Photo by Sharon Mccutcheon on Unsplash.

“The crisis, which has lasted for more than a year, has placed hundreds of families with children in a difficult situation, as incomes have decreased, but weekly food costs have continued to increase. It is especially difficult to set the table in single-parent families,” Aage Õunap, the president of the Estonian Association of Families with Many Children, noted.

“We use your donations to support large families who need our help the most,” she added. The donations raised during last year’s special donations campaign were used to help more than 400 children; in 2021, there are even more people in need of help.

Over €40,000 donated to vulnerable societal groups in 2020

Through the campaign, people can donate to assistant teachers to the children of health-care workers during distance learning periods. “You can also help get food aid to families in difficult financial situations and mental health counselling to people who are in need of mental health support,” the website said.

Donations can also be made to the Estonian Maternity Hospital Support Foundation, the Food Bank, the Estonian Association of Large Families, NGO Peaasjad (a non-profit association for mental health), a substitute teacher programme, NGO Alustavat Õpetajat Toetav Kool (a non-profit association, School for New Teachers), the Youth to School Foundation (Noored Kooli), Dokfoto Centre and NGO Doktor Kloun (a non-profit association of Doctor Clowns).

Young Estonian teachers. Photo by Jüri Vlassov/NGO School for New Teachers.

Any donations made through the donation environment will reach the selected organisations directly and without delays, the organisation promises.

During last year’s special donation campaign organised on the platform, people donated over €40,000 to organisations that helped the most vulnerable societal groups during the emergency situation.

The “I Love to Help” donation environment was created in 2008 by Swedbank and the Good Deed Foundation to promote donation culture in Estonia. The donation environment has over 50 charity organisations across Estonia, divided into five categories: children, health, nature and animals, education and strong society. To date, a total of over €2.7 million has been raised through the donation environment.

Cover: Estonian Food Bank (Toidupank). Photo by Toidupank.

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