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The Friedhelm Loh Group’s annual donation raises €215,000 for charitable causes

2020-07-10. Doing something big through many small individual donations is what drives the Friedhelm Loh Group’s annual charitable donation. This year, the employees of the family-run business, along with proprietor Professor Friedhelm Loh, donated the considerable sum of €215,000. In doing so, they are supporting eleven regional non-profit organisations at the group’s locations, as well as the international organisation “Aktion Deutschland hilft” (Germany’s Relief Coalition).

Willingness to help has long been a tradition within the Friedhelm Loh Group – both as a corporate group and among its employees. The awareness that everyone can make a difference through their own personal contribution also ensures that the results of the annual donation are impressive. This year, the employees raised over €100,000, which proprietor Professor Friedhelm Loh personally topped up to make a grand total of €215,000: “It makes me proud that our staff are so highly committed, especially in these difficult times. We all share a responsibility for those people in our surroundings who have to face problems. We can help and are capable of helping and we take this very seriously as a corporate group”, says Professor Loh.

This year’s donations will go to eleven non-profit organisations in the regions where the business is located, as well as to Germany's internationally active “Aktion Deutschland Hilft” relief alliance. Collections were made at the turn of the year.

Greater mobility, even with disabilities

With part of the amount raised, F.L.G. employees are supporting the Hephata Diakonie evangelical community care centre in Schwalmstadt-Treysa in northern Hesse. This non-profit association has been active for more than a hundred years, since 1901, in such fields as youth welfare, social rehabilitation, assistance for the disabled and the provision of vocational training for people who depend on support. “Thanks to this donation, we can improve our sports programme for children with disabilities at special schools,” says Johannes Fuhr, head of public relations at Hephata Diakonie: “We're delighted by the support.” For physically and mentally impaired children, physical education means much more than just training for the body: “The ball pool in particular encourages the children to exercise. We can now renew the outdated exercise station for the young athletes thanks to the donation.”

Early playful learning in the nursery

Other beneficiaries of the annual collection include the Evangelical Church’s four integrative day-care centres in Monheim am Rhein, the headquarters of the Eplan subsidiary. Around one third of the children being looked after require extra support. Their approach, however, focuses on each individual child’s strengths and weaknesses, not on physical limitations and thus on differences: “The many smiling children’s faces represent a big ‘thank you’ to all our employees for their generosity,” says Dorothee Nickel, Head of the Lerchenweg day-care centre, happily: “Thanks to the donation, we can afford to make purchases that contribute to a shared and inclusive education.” For example, new play equipment, on which children with and without disabilities can play and learn together. This includes a woodworking workshop for outdoors, as well as special therapeutic material.

Helping across frontiers

As a globally operating group of companies, the Friedhelm Loh Group views itself as having social responsibilities that extend beyond national frontiers. That is why “Aktion Deutschland Hilft” is receiving some of the contributions. This alliance of German aid organisations, founded in 2001, provides immediate humanitarian and emergency aid in disaster areas all over the world. “Thanks to this support, we can provide help where it’s needed most”, says Manuela Roßbach, who is the Chief Executive Officer of ‘Aktion Deutschland Hilft’. Last year, for example, our ‘Help’ alliance organisation provided solar power to assist people and the environment in Burkina Faso.” Aktion Deutschland Hilft is providing fast and effective emergency aid in many other countries too. In Mozambique, for example, the “Johanniter” alliance organisation distributed seeds for vegetable fields in the aftermath of the major Cyclone Idai in March 2019 in order to help local people with their reconstruction efforts.

Efficient aid for a good cause

Over the past two decades, the employees, along with owner Professor Friedhelm Loh, have donated more than €5 million in their annual campaigns for good causes. The Friedhelm Loh Group has also had a supplementary institutional framework for social engagement since 2011. Friedhelm Loh established the Rittal Foundation to mark Rittal’s 50th anniversary. The foundation supports non-profit organisations and projects with the proceeds of its foundation capital of €20 million. Funding priorities are in the fields of education, corporate social responsibility and integration, as well as culture and science.

“It is our shared society in which we all live and for which we all bear a responsibility. We have to stand together with – and for – the weaker members of society. This is what we are committed to,” Professor Loh added.

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