SOS Holiday Appeal
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Since 1974, SOS Help has been carrying out vital work in France, offering a listening ear to anglophones in need of help.
2020 has been a challenging year for everybody, and SOS Help overcame its own personal challenge when it managed to keep its emotional support line open during lockdown in France, in spite of the practical difficulties, at a time when its help was needed more than ever. However, at the same time, due to the impact of the global pandemic, its fundraising activities have been vastly reduced.
This is why SOS Help is asking for your help this Christmas, in order to be able to keep its line open and provide its important services in the future.
I hope that you will see from the quotes below how important SOS Help is to those who call it, and ask you, if you can, to support SOS Help this Christmas, whether with a financial donation or the gift of your time.
Thank you, on behalf of all of the callers to SOS Help.
“I feel there is no hope, I have no wish to carry on.”
Over the last few months we have published a series of interviews from people who are involved with SOS Help, to give an insight into what we do and how we work. Our line is confidential and we never share or disclose the content of calls, but for this last story of the year we wanted to share with you the quotes on this page, to show you how important our line is for so many people.
“Thank you for being there for me this evening. I have never done anything like this before but I did not know what else to do.”
The world has changed enormously since the line was founded in 1974. It is now possible to communicate freely and easily with friends and family around the world, which has made life for non-natives in France easier. Travel has also become much cheaper; the world has become a much smaller place in many ways.
“No one understands what I am feeling, I can’t tell anyone. I feel guilty that I feel like this.”
At the same time the pressures people face have also changed. The covid-19 pandemic has created new fears and anxieties. We are proud that we maintained our line during the lockdown, a time when many people needed us more than ever.
“My everyday French is good, but when I try to talk about my fears about covid-19 it is too difficult, it takes too much effort. It feels much easier in English.”
It has always been important for SOS Help to reach out to the English-speaking community in France. Some of the people who call SOS Help are in a very dark place and see no reason to live; some are simply struggling with work and day-to-day life. What they all share is that they feel they have no one they can talk to, that there is no one willing to listen to them in the language they feel comfortable with. This was why SOS Help was set up and why it continues to help English speakers from all around the world who come to live, study and work in France.
“Thank you for having the time to listen to me this evening.”
Sadly we have had to cancel our book sales in Paris this year and we have lost an important source of income which allows us to maintain the line. We very much hope they will return next year and that we can continue to recruit new listeners and develop new ways of reaching out to people.
Until then, there are ways you can help. If you are able to help us by giving your time, click on ‘Volunteer’ above. Or if you would like to donate money to help keep our services going, just click here.
“Everyone at SOS Help has helped me through some very difficult times.”
Thank you. From us and our callers.
15 euros pays for the cost of running our Listening Post for one day
25 euros pays for our phone bill for one month 50 euros pays for a Listeners' monthly support session with a qualified Counsellor 150 euros pays for the training of a new Listener 300 euros pays our phone costs for one year
500 euros pays for our Listening Post for one month
SOS Help is a registered charity in France and as such allows tax residents to deduct 66% of any donation in money made to SOS Help against their tax return (Article 200 of the French Tax Code).