Locals in Faxe rally together to offer aid to the homeless during winter
Photographs: Martin Kaiser
Text: Jakob Weizman
Winters can be challenging for everyone, especially amid a global pandemic forcing us to stay inside our homes whenever possible. For some, it reminds them of others affected more than just by the season, especially Martin Kaiser, a local who resides in Faxe, a town in Southern Zealand.
"A lot of misery in my teens made me care for those who were less fortunate than myself. I had a grown-up friend who was homeless. I remember him every morning, crawling out of the garbage dumpster behind the vegetable shop when I was on my way to school," said Kaiser, who is married with a 13-year-old son.
"For half of my life, I've been surrounded by people who had a rough life," added Kaiser, who works in renovation.
Looking for ways to socialise during the lockdown as many began to struggle with mental issues, Kaiser joined the Bearded Gentleman's Club, where he quickly made friends and began staying active through charity work.
"One day, I started talking in the group about how we could help the less unfortunate under a lockdown. Later that day, I talked with a local homeless guy and heard that many homeless shelters were closed or had a waiting list because of the lockdown. So when winter came, I knew there was going to be a serious problem finding shelter," revealed Kaiser.
“I talked with a local homeless guy and heard that many homeless shelters were closed or had a waiting list because of the lockdown. So when winter came, I knew there was going to be a serious problem finding shelter.”
That same night, Kaiser wrote a letter to a local Facebook group to see if anyone wanted to donate old clothing to the homeless, organised by his club. Soon enough, not only the local community but people all over the country pledged to donate.
"We collected and sorted over 500 kg of clothing in one week. There were so many people writing to me, from all over the country, that every time I had responded to one person's donation, 3 new people had written to me," said Kaiser.
"So personally, for me, it was a massive success. A handful of members came by my workshop also with donations they've been gathering, and we started packing the donations in boxes, getting it ready for the homeless," concluded Kaiser.
For those looking to donate to the less fortunate, check out Kaiser's group on Facebook: