“It was the end of February and the NGO Helpific hosted an innovation themed seminar in the Startup Incubator. People from fields connected with accessibility on the physical and mental level gathered in that seminar. Among other people with high social tolerance and nerve, I met a person who still has an immensely important role in my life – NGO Helpific project manager Kristina Amor.
Already at the end of April, we found a way to the dance festival in Freedom Square. Me, in the wheelchair, and Kristina, as an accompanist, experienced how it is like to move from Männiku to the center with public transportation. At the beginning of the May, we went through another obstacle – we went to a Special Sailers opening event in Tallinn’s Olympic Sailsport Center, where they christened three new sailing boats for special need people. We sailed! It was an inspirational and enjoyable day. A few days later info day of Tallinn’s and Harjumaa’s Special Needs Women association took place, which we had a pleasure to participate in. On the 26th of May, “Homecafe’s day” took place in Kakumäe. We chose the cafe “Soul tree”, Kakumäe port’s Haven sea cafe “Chamber” and “Literature Cafe”. At the beginning of June we “ended up in a bog”. We spent a few hours in the hot Viru Bog. Luckily there were wide boardwalks, which were suitable for wheelchair users. Kristina’s helping hand was very useful on the bumpy forest road and a viewing tower in the middle of the bog.”
“We met with Marita in the Seminar organized by Helpific on a snowy day in February. I immediately noticed Marita as her smile and presence were shining up the room. Proximately a month later she contacted me and asked if we could go to a dancing festival at the freedom square together. I agreed! In a joyful manner, the bus ride was fast. Sun was shining warmly, which means that
our first bigger amounts of D-Vitamine came from Freedom Square. The evening ended with a slice of pie. That is how our friendship started! I am baffled from time to time how Marita always has a way to keep that spark in her eyes. Not all days are brothers, so she, too, has difficult days. I need to learn from Marita how to keep the hearth open and be positive, no matter what.
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Yusrin comes from a family where generosity and tenderness towards others is very important. When she came to study in Estonia, she promised herself to help the locals as a way to promote a better world. When she met Jüri, she instantly connected with him and she completely values their friendship.
Yusrin lives her life based on this quote by Mother Teresa, “In this life, we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people. Spread love everywhere you go.”
Jüri met Yusrin through the Helpific platform. Yusrin, a student from Singapore who is going to school in Estonia helps Jüri with various everyday matters. Jüri considers Farina more of a friend then a helper, “we are very good friends and we do all the things that friends do together.”-Jüri
Helen has only good things to say about her helper Timo and the platform Helpific. “Timo is so conscientious in his actions. Searching for help through Helpific has been a positive experience – mostly I like the flexibility – I can call for a helper exactly when the need arises, even if it occurs relatively unexpectedly and with a short period of notice. The existence of a helper gives me more freedom and an independent life. Also, the service is affordable to me as a person with a mobility disability who has limited income”
“Helen is very nice. She is an active and friendly girl who has experienced hardships but manages, and that is the most important thing. When we first met, we did a short training since this was the first time I had helped with this type of personal assisting.. I have a physical disability myself and whenever there is a need to help her, our cooperation gives us a good workout. This opportunity has had a great effect on me in every way, even economically.
Merle has personal helpers, but sometimes the unexpected can occur. She feels that the Helpific platform is very useful to get instant help. “It is great shopping with Helen – she has a good eye for what might fit me and I trust her on that. She is also easy to talk to and we have found we have lots of common interests. I like hanging out with her”.
Helen has been a support person to a number of people with special needs. Since Helen has experienced being a person in need herself, she knows the true value of helping. She met with Merle through Helpific, who is bright and cheerful. “I am glad that I can now give back even a bit of what I have received. I also like to meet with new and exciting people. Accompanying Merle is more like hanging out with a friend – we have lots to talk about and time always flies by very quickly”.
My biggest wish was for my son to get a stable grasp of mathematics and to significantly improve his grades. Konstantin has done a great job with my son and he even got a B on his test. Even though tutoring will need to continue, I am already very pleased.
Being a teacher is a whole new experience for me and I consider it a preparation for the time when I become a parent.
A good sense of humor is so important to Tom that he tested it the moment he met his current helper Marek and was so happy that Marek could laugh along with his jokes. Marek’s help with adjusting the machinery in the gym and getting dressed is irreplaceable to Tom.. “It is cool how Marek finds unconventional ways to perform an exercise (attaching hands to the machine etc). I encourage everyone to use Helpific’s services, because I would never have thought that I could find so many people willing to help me in the gym”, adds Tom.
Marek’s teamwork with Tom started on an impulse after a coincidence of circumstances. He saw Tom’s request to find a helper on Facebook by chance and since he wanted to continue his own workout in the gym, he decided to combine offering help while continuing his own fitness goals.. “Tom is an incredible person”, states Marek, “willpower and vitality, sense of humor, desire to try something new and not to be afraid of failure – all this makes it easy to help him as a person in need. I tend to forget that I am with a person who needs help. Yes, often it is he who helps me”.
“I have used Helpific since it was founded. Altogether twelve times. For instance, last year when I wanted to go to a Trad.Attack! concert at Kultuurikatel, 6 people offered their help. Sigrid managed to get a ticket and we were able to enjoy the music together. I believe that it was an experience for both of us. I have also searched for and found help in daily activities such as getting dressed or locking the door. Olga, Marko and Erika have helped me in these activities. I am very grateful to all of them!”
“I accompanied Tom at a Trad.Attack! concert, which was a powerful experience. The cool show and the music made the evening go by quickly. The audience was cheering and among them also Tom, who in reality would have been ready to go to the concert on his own. I am happy that I managed to form a friendship with people whom I otherwise would not have met. Thanks to Helpific my life is enriched with valuable experiences with great people.”
Marina got to know Helpific when she started her internship in the support environment. She also decided to respond to help requests herself and so Marina coincided to help Elena, who in turn was organising a Christmas party for the women with special needs. Marina herself is an activity advisor in Randvere Profession Learning Center, which is focused on special welfare services. Helpific experience was nice for Marina, as she met pleasant people among the social organization leaders, as well as among the ones who needed help. Marina praises the leaders for their cognition of vision, since mediating a helping hand, so to speak, is clearer and more concrete through the support environment. Marina would definitely recommend Helpific to those in need of help and to helpers, as it is a good opportunity to spread the idea of volunteering both in Estonia, as well as everywhere in the world. Marina thinks that not a lot of people notice the opportunities to offer help. When speaking of Helpific, it is a gratifying operation – this kind of mission should definitely be continued. As a volunteer, Marina would prefer offering company or organising events in some society.
“I had a great experience with a blind woman who asked me to help her with cleaning her house. I was surprised by how clean and tidy her household was, as she cleans by feel not sight. The house was so clean that I am not sure I was of much help. I am willing to help again though, perhaps next time there would be more visible work for me. Putting your potential into practice makes volunteer work very rewarding.
While helping people, I try to think about what could be done to simplify the everyday life of those people. I found Helpific when reading advertisements in a volunteer portal and Helpific matched my values. As a volunteer I can perform different activities, because there is no specific mode of helping people. I want to notice those who need help around me and if I have time I can help. Maybe I can do it indirectly as a distributor of Helpific’s message. I recommend all my friends to join the Helpific environment to try to help someone. It is an eye-opening experience and the time spent on helping doesn’t take long.”
Merle has a profound visual impairment and Sigrid has helped her. Merle says the people that have helped her have all been, “very nice”. She has been able to reach her destination or her home and also has had help cleaning the house through Helpific volunteers. Merle recommends the Helpific platform to other people in need as it is a great solution to their problems.
“I have requested help from Helpific several times. What I like the most is that finding help has been made so simple, comfortable and quick. Maris was an excellent helper, just who I needed for the event that night. And Maris did more than I asked or even expected of her – looking back, I honestly don’t know how my night would have turned out without her. We have become good friends and we also had other things to talk about, so we even went for coffee afterwards, our whole time together gave new, enjoyable energy. Everyone can either offer help or order help through Helpific – you don’t need special skills to help, only will and openness. Maris helped me a lot and I like her!”
“Thanks to Keiu, I have had operations that I didn’t even know were possible before I met her. I have neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors both externally and internally. Keiu knew doctors who perform these kind of operations and thanks to her I have had several operations already and continue to have them…
Keiu has also urged me to do volunteer work, which I like very much and it gives me a feeling that I am useful to the society in some other way besides being a taxpayer 🙂. Of course, she has taught me to hold my head up high and despite my illness, live a full life and contribute to the society in order to create a better environment for myself and for everyone else.”