When helpers need help themselves: Reifenhäuser supports ELFEN helfen e.V.

There are wonderful people who have made it their life's work to help other people in various difficulties. Here in Troisdorf, you can find such people in the ELFEN helfen e.V. association.

The elves here can, as we know from various fairy tales, actually work a bit of magic: these elves manage to make children and young people in need not only dream of sitting on the back of a horse, but actually ride on real horses. For women who have to stay temporary in the women's shelter house, the elves conjure up missing cots or children's clothing from their sleeves in a flash.

But what happens when the helping elves themselves get into financial difficulties and are robbed of their magic powers? Despite the many volunteers, the donations are never enough for all the projects and the restrictions on contact since the beginning of the Corona crisis do not make it any easier.

The Reifenhäuser family heard about the financial worries and filled the empty treasure chest with a generous donation. Due to Susi Reifenhäuser's many years of voluntary work at the AWO in Troisdorf, the helping elves had been known for some years. "Such great work urgently needs to be supported, it is so important that these services for those in need are maintained," explains the project's godmother.

The non-profit association ELFEN helfen e. V. was founded in 2009 to help in Troisdorf. The power of the elves is at work where the need is greatest and consequently many wishes must remain unfulfilled. This can be the financing of holiday camps and children's birthday parties for children and young people from socially deprived areas, free access for young and old to animals in the "Reitstall am Türmchen", free participation in the "Pony Fun" project, in which children and young people are introduced to the world of horses in a playful way, regardless of their parents' purse, or the "Wish Tree Campaign", through which wishes for needy children and young people are fulfilled every year at Christmas.

In 2010, the opening of the occupational therapy practice in the "Reitstall am Türmchen" created another framework for help: riding therapy. Children of the Troisdorf Women's Shelter, as well as people with physical and mental disabilities, can experience the healing effects of riding and working with horses. This diversity is rounded off by a petting zoo with small animals that have waited in vain for species-appropriate husbandry and social contact with their previous owners. The animals are now allowed to live a better life and enjoy the attention and caresses of the young visitors to the association. They, in turn, lose their fear of contact with animals and learn that careful handling is rewarded by the animals' trustfulness.