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Lower Saxony and Bremen: social department stores – young people should appreciate things

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Lower Saxony and Bremen
Social department store: young people should appreciate things

A young worker founds a social department store near Uelzen. The special thing about it: the underprivileged young people he cares for help. And the surpluses benefit the artists.

Ebstorf (dpa/lni) – In a former pharmacy in the center of Ebstorf near Uelzen, Jörn Rückstein is realizing his department store social project. The social worker is still waiting for confirmation of admission as a non-profit association, because he does not want to make money with the motley business. The 14- to 18-year-olds he cared for helped renovate long-empty rooms last fall without pay. “I can’t pay them, but they know people here, that gives them security,” says Rückstein.

The youth monitor, who then invited the young helpers to eat ice cream, emphasizes that their self-confidence should be strengthened and that they should also be able to appreciate things more. In the rural town with about 5,000 inhabitants, the small shop with the large selection of crystal glasses, crockery and designer clothes is well received. “It’s impressive that really everything has been donated,” says the 42-year-old. “And most of it is high quality, not junk.” One battery sold faster: It only stayed two hours in the mini-department store, which looks like an indoor flea market.

“We have always found something here,” says customer Manuela Wehr. People in need come, but also clients for whom sustainability is important. “The selection is so big. It’s nice, modern clothes, it appeals to me,” says 49-year-old Kathrin Schulz. “And it’s all for a good cause.” Rückstein’s mother is responsible for sorting the donated clothing; he prefers to hold back. She also helps out in the store when he has to do his full-time job.

The money left over from fixed costs should benefit cultural workers. Rückstein also makes the entrance area for exhibitions available to artists.


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