Everything in life has a price. Is that really the case?
Everyone comes to a point in their life when they think about what is really important. These usually include family, friends, health, happiness, freedom and peace... a price tag could never express how valuable, for example, family or freedom is to each and every one of us - if not priceless. But only our heart can recognize the true value of these "things" so important to us, which cannot be measured in numbers. Love, for example, is priceless, and yet it is available to everyone free of charge in one form or another. What else is available to us free of charge? These are the things that we often take for granted, such as time, sun, flora and fauna, air, water, closeness to other people, faith, free will and freedom of choice.
So if the things that are really important to us cannot be weighed against money, then the things for which we need money should at least be allowed to move down the list of priorities.
Out of this consideration follows for us Helfas the conviction that we can give to each other everything that is important in life and that we need. And for everything that we cannot (yet) produce ourselves, there is the possibility to give money or to pay for things with the cost price within the H.e.l.f.a. community.
What does it mean to give a gift?
To give means to give a gift to someone for permanent possession in order to please the other person with it, without asking for anything in return. And isn't it true that not only the recipients are happy about such a gift, but also we ourselves? Giving from the heart triggers an intense feeling of joy and happiness on both sides. A feeling that connects us with the other.
And that is why at H.e.l.f.a. we do not barter. Because even in traditional barter (things for things) it can happen that I have something (e.g. a cupboard) and the recipient doesn't need a cupboard, What now? Thus, even barter of things or services represents an imbalance and a disadvantage if the needs do not match. Within the H.e.l.f.a. project, we give to the other what we can and want to give. Freely and without coercion or expectations. At H.e.l.f.a. all help and support is offered free of charge or at most at cost price.
We are aware that accepting a gift can cause a feeling of guilt and discomfort in some people with the simultaneous urge to give something back as thanks or compensation. At H.e.l.f.a. we would like to overcome these negative feelings and thus also relearn the "ability to accept". Because every person on this earth deserves to be given a gift.
We want to keep the hurdles of "giving and taking" as low as possible and give what we have and / or no longer need to someone who needs it at that very moment. What can be given as a gift is so incredibly diverse that a list cannot reflect this here. Therefore, when we give gifts, our main concern is to respond to people's needs in a holistic way.
What does the cost price mean?
In the case of repairs, it is often not only the work of one person that is required, but also spare parts, e.g. for the washing machine or for the car. In this case, costs are incurred for the procurement of parts. The donor can also give away these spare parts. If this is not possible for certain reasons, the person seeking help bears the costs in the form of the cost price.
This is one of many examples of what we at H.e.l.f.a. mean by helping at cost. Covering the cost of travel to receive help can also be included. Important for H.e.l.f.a. is that the money is not in the foreground and is considered again and again: How, and if so how, would it be possible to arrange helping without money?
Self-employed people and entrepreneurs can also contribute their talents to H.e.l.f.a. by making gifts to people with their skills or by helping at cost price. There are no limits to the variety of gift ideas. And this significantly reduces the need to think in terms of profit.
Reasons why it may be important to charge cost price:
If an H.e.l.f.a. member is self-employed, giving spare parts for a car, for example, could mean that helping involves a financial loss for the helper. This could mean that the self-employed person suffers economically and is then in turn no longer able to help. Once quite apart from the fact that he could possibly get into trouble with the old system (tax office). It can also mean that once money is involved, again the feeling of being "taken advantage of" arises and this weakens the trust relationship. We want everyone to feel comfortable with H.e.l.f.a. and to make the transition from the old system to a gift community smooth, gentle, and in the spirit of win-win situations for those involved.
However, the principle that is always at stake is to give gladly from the heart. There should be no coercion, everything is voluntary and without expectations. This is the only way to permanently get rid of old habits, such as self-generated pressure and dependencies from the old world.
The more people step out of the old system (little by little) and join in, the sooner the vision of a giving society will be able to sustain itself.