Day 3 - Berlin - Stift & Papier

Download today's full story. Collect all 21 Stories and use them to inspire your community and fight loneliness. 


Stift & Papier is a friendship project that connects letter writing volunteers with residents at care homes and hospitals. This volunteer-led project has received significant media attention in Germany, capturing the hearts and minds of many. 

92 year old Edith lives at a retirement home in Altena, Germany. Her children live only an hour away and visit regularly - at least they did until the Covid-19 lockdowns began. Missing the connection with her family, Edith became very sad and lost her appetite. Worried about Edith and other residents, the facility director contacted Stift & Papier after learning about their initiative. 

Edith soon received a letter from Daniela who lives in a small village in Southern Germany with her 7 year old son. Working with a caregiver at the retirement home, Edith was able to respond and express her joy at receiving the letter. 

27 other residents of the facility have also received letters from many corners of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Currently more than 200 retirement homes and hospitals have joined the initiative. Because of the awareness around this project, writing and sending letters by hand has become a trend amongst younger generations. 

The Concept

Stift & Papier is a volunteer-led initiative that aims to connect generations through the written letter. It was inspired by Hein Bollow, a famous jockey in Germany. When the lockdowns began he was unable to visit the Cologne racecourse, which he frequented on a daily basis. When friends at the course found out that Hein was sad they put out a call to the racing community asking them to send Hein a letter. The response was overwhelming!  

Stift & Papier grew from this concept and connects people who enjoy writing letters with those who are most exposed, isolated and neglected by the pandemic.

The Result

During the first lockdown in Germany, more than 10,000 people registered to write letters. The Stift & Papier team has connected these writers with residents of retirement homes and hospitals across Germany. Within 9 months the number of letter writers has doubled to more than 20,000. Media personalities and sports stars love the initiative and have helped to raise its national profile. Over 8,400 people follow the Instagram account @einstiftundpapier.

Stift & Papier is founded and run by volunteers who are now working to scale the project. They are seeking partners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for collaboration, sponsorship and volunteer assistance to continue the program in 2021. To learn more about Stift & Paper check out this video and visit www.stiftundpapier.org.

Ambassador Endorsement

Contact Gaelle at berlin@aging2.com with any questions or to get in touch with Stift & Papier!


(c) Stift & Papier

​(c) Stift & Papier

​(c) Daniela Krautsack


​(c) Stift & Papier