Corona doesn't care who you are. It doesn’t care if you’re an old man. It doesn’t care if you’re a young woman. It doesn’t care what club you support. Corona affects us all. In the same way, the Borussia family has taken up the challenge of a new everyday life for everyone. Solidarity – as is quickly becoming clear this time – has always been a part of the DNA of the people of Dortmund.
01 | Guiding principle
"A football club shows its quality by how it performs its social duties." That was the guiding principle founding father Franz Jacobi laid down for his successors. This has never been more topical since the Second World War. And more necessary. It is wonderful to see, hear and experience how many members of the Borussia family feel bound by it. In the fan scene. In the club. In the "leuchte auf" Foundation. As a BVB family. People are showing solidarity with one another other, they are supporting each other. Several initiatives have sprouted up that have a profound effect on society. And there will be more. "This is a dynamic process, in which new ideas are constantly being created," says Marieke Köhler, manager of the "leuchte auf" Foundation. They are bundled under the motto: #BorussiaVerbindet.
- Borussia unites generations, men and women, and all nations. Read a post from the April 2020 issue of the member magazine "Borussia" here. Information has been updated in various places.
02 | Shopping service and messenger service
In the city of Dortmund, the Bündnis Südtribüne offers a shopping service and a messenger service for people in risk groups. "Over 90 fans have organised themselves and helped where they can. That is simply great and impressive," said Björn Hegemann, head of the fan affairs department, adding: "The recipients are grateful." For example, Volker Treckmann from Aplerbeck, who gave the BVB helpers some lovely words when they delivered his shopping: "I'm 73 years old and I'm really afraid to go out. It is really great that there are these young people who are helping us older people in this way." Affected citizens from Dortmund can contact the dedicated fans by phone on 0157 34794002 every day between 11:00 and 17:00 CET.
03 | Digital matchday
It is also confirmed by the "digital matchday for the Dortmund gastronomy sector". At the inaugural event on 22 March, several thousand supporters raised €73,611. Since then, that number has risen to over €164,000. Some 86 catering establishments, which are currently unable to continue their business due to the Corona crisis, had registered on GoFundMe under #BorussiaVerbindet.
On the "digital matchday", fans can virtually follow the exact path they take to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK on a normal BVB matchday. And they can stop exactly where they normally stop. For example, to drink an imaginary beer or to eat a currywurst and chips – if possible, in return for a small contribution to the respective gastro-establishment. The aim of the campaign is to ensure that the venues that are social focal points for BVB fans are still there on the next real matchday.
"We are excited and frankly touched by how many people have been involved in the campaign and have helped their favourite spots by donating a few euros. This is solidarity practised in real life, and that is the emotional mass effect that makes Borussia Dortmund so strong in these difficult times," said BVB managing director Carsten Cramer.
"The idea is that on digital matchday, our fans will simply donate some of the money they would normally have paid for the sausage, beer or coffee before or after the game directly to the respective company," explained Carsten Cramer once again. The managing director can feel vindicated based on his initial experiences: "A matchday in Dortmund is more than the 90 minutes on the pitch. With this campaign, we want to express our special connection with the city and hope to be able to at least give all the food and drinks providers and their staff a little bit of room for manoeuvre at the current stage.
Dortmund's food and drinks businesses can still be supported at any time at: borussia-verbindet.de
04 | The Covid-19 donation campaign
The BVB "leuchte auf" foundation has launched the Covid-19 donation campaign, with which it takes an unbureaucratic and intensive approach in order to provide help precisely where it is absolutely needed. In addition to donations from fans and sympathisers, additional proceeds from various auctions are also being collected. Together with Champion Partner ESET, three jerseys will be auctioned in the BVB online fan shop. In the next few weeks, the shirts worn by first-teamers such as Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland in the warm-up before the home game against 1. FC Cologne in January with "leuchte auf" printed on the chest will be offered on the auction platform. There's also a special "Borussia Verbindet" jersey and a T-shirt, the proceeds of which will also be donated to the campaign.
"leuchte auf" will invest one third of the total proceeds from the campaign in local projects in Dortmund. The foundation will use its network of non-profit organisations and will also tap into BVB's networks to distribute the donations in a meaningful and transparent manner. Another third will be given to the University Medicine Foundation in Essen, which specialises in innovative research, among other things, and the final third to the World Health Organization (WHO).
"We are always connected to our local assisted area. But because Corona is a pandemic, an international phenomenon, we are now extending it to the WHO. That is why the donation form is also available in English," explained Marieke Köhler.
Thousands had already been collected in the very first few hours immediately after the call for donations – a number that is rising continuously. The first small disbursements have also been made as emergency aid in the short term. All the information about the donation campaign can be found at bvb.de/Der-BVB/Stiftung/Borussiaverbindet
05 | We kick Corona
Mats Hummels has proved that when it comes to the Coronavirus and tackling it, we are all playing for the same team. He was the first BVB player to join the "We kick Corona" aid initiative created by Bayern players Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich. Our defensive linchpin wrote the following on Instagram: "Great campaign, @leon_Goretzka and @jok_32! Of course, I will be a part of it and support you in #WEKICKCORONA. As footballers, we want to try to live up to our status as role models, especially at this time, and to demonstrate how we understand solidarity. That is why we will only be able to beat Corona with all of us together – let's help the social institutions that are in urgent need of help now in particular." Julian Brandt was the second Dortmund player to support the initiative. Many other Bundesliga professionals and (ex-)Dortmund players like Julian Weigl followed. Goretzka and Kimmich were the first to donate €1 million to social and charitable institutions.
The money is intended for food for those in need, medical devices for hospitals, help for the homeless and blood donation services.
06 | Call for blood donations
Not only financial aid is needed. Blood donations are still urgently required at the Dortmund Hospital. After all, other diseases aren't taking a break during Corona. So reserves are in demand. Mats Hummels was the first to call for blood donations in public. Donations can be made at any time. "And when the Borussia family donates blood, adrenaline is often part of it," says Marieke Köhler, referring to the corresponding fan packages.
07 | Fun and games for the children
The BVB Evonik Football Academy has recorded video clips with dribbling, tricks, ball control and sprint exercises under the guidance of coach Dario Scuderi and made them available for download. Mascot EMMA is also there to provide entertainment and appeals to all children. To all parents: The BVB teaching materials for German and English could also be helpful when it comes to home schooling, which is still unfamiliar territory for many people. All children's activities can be found at: kidsclub.bvb.de
08 | bodo digital available at a special solidarity price
The association bodo e.V. has been particularly affected. Previously, it had one of the most stable markets possible available: the public. But with Corona, this has suddenly disappeared. Social life has migrated to the net, and people have lost sight of the homeless as a result. "Hundreds have been cut off. They sit there in the morning and don't know how they are going to get through the day," says Bastian Pütter, head of the street magazine, which represents an important lever for social work – and whose street sales have now stopped because of Corona. "Not by public order, but in order to protect our target group, the majority of which are on the older side and thus constitute a risk group in themselves." The people who get their purpose in life through bodo are not only losing the income they depend on, but also social contact and structure in their daily lives.
As the analogue model of the street magazine is currently not working and thus points of contact have been lost, immediate emergency measures have now been put in place. In addition to emergency opening times, a new 24-hour hotline set up for the homeless and the possibility of selling shopping vouchers at the supermarket – which represents the only remaining option with a stable public presence – the bodo editorial team has now taken over the distribution of the street magazine. Until further notice, the magazine will be available as a printed issue and as a PDF download at the special solidarity price of €5 (price includes shipping where applicable). Half of the price will continue to benefit those in need. The new edition has been available since 1 April. All additional information can be found on social media and at: bodoev.de
09 | #BorussiaVerbindet
Hans-Joachim Watzke takes care of the interaction between fans and those in need with pride. The CEO says: "Our fans are known for their great humour, choreography and a special atmosphere. But the fact that they also have a special sense of responsibility for people in need makes this community special."
Author: Nils Hotze
Photos: Jens Volke, Dieter Menne