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Proceeds from the Friedhelm Loh Group’s charitable donation go toward providing care for terminally ill children and their families at the Balthasar Children’s Hospice in Olpe.

2013-02-18. It has become something of a tradition for owner Friedhelm Loh to join forces with employees of the Friedhelm Loh Group to collect money for a host of worthy causes in the run-up to Christmas. In 2012, a total of 180,000 euros was raised and, as in previous years, the proceeds will go to local charities.

Together, Friedhelm Loh, owner and CEO of the Friedhelm Loh Group, and staff members collected 180,000 euros. The money will be donated to local charities and good causes.

"I am both proud and delighted that you have chosen to help others, especially those who are not in a position to support themselves without society’s help," stated Friedhelm Loh. "Many people talk about Christmas being the time of neighbourly love, but precious few make a noticeable contribution. By making a donation, you are making a difference. You are a role model and an example to others, and for that, I thank you."

The company, headquartered in Haiger, Germany, but with international operations, is providing funds for a number of organisations. One of these is the Balthasar Children’s Hospice in Olpe. "Your child is terminally ill, there’s nothing more we can do," this diagnosis can rock a family to its foundations. Over 4,000 children are diagnosed as being terminally ill in Germany every year. For their families, the world is turned on its head – everything changes. Caring for the sick family member takes priority; everything else inevitably pales into insignificance. The months and sometimes years between diagnosis and death are extremely demanding on their parents and siblings. To ensure that such families are not forced to walk this difficult path alone, the first children’s hospice in Germany – the Balthasar – was opened in 1998.

The cost of treatment and care for the child is only partly covered by health insurance. What’s more, there are activities that go above and beyond traditional care, such as support for parents and other family members. The hospice relies on donations to fund this additional work. Rüdiger Barth, the hospice’s director, is extremely grateful: "For a number of years, the Friedhelm Loh Group has been a reliable source of aid. They will make a valuable contribution again this year, enabling us to help those children and young adults who have been affected, and provide support for their families in difficult times." Donations are essential to sources of help and advice such as these. "It is not just about the concerns and problems we face when caring for the child on a daily basis, the process continues throughout a child’s final days, saying goodbye, and grief after their death."

A further organisation that will benefit is the Herborner Brotkorb (Herborn Bread Basket). Volunteers at the Herborn Christian Centre have sponsored food and clothes for over eight years. Around 160 people from Herborn visit regularly, paying a token €1.50 fee to take any essential items. The centre relies on donations for all its needs: from the food and clothing, to the vehicles and refrigeration systems. "We are very thankful for the regular support of Mr Loh and his employees," said Herborn Christian Centre’s Siegmund Becker, the man responsible for the Bread Basket. "Today’s world is tainted by selfishness and the search for profits. That’s why I find it so touching when someone is there for people who cannot help themselves."

A total of 16 charities will benefit

A host of other organisations benefitted from the generosity of Friedhelm Loh and staff: the Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel, a Christian charity with a broad remit, including hospices, schools, and work with the elderly and disabled; children’s cancer charities in Siegen and Giessen, the Vitos-Rehberg Hospital in Herborn that provides psychiatric care to children and young adults; and a support group for addicts in Dillenburg. A mobile nursing service in Herborn also received financial support, as did the Christian Association of Youth Villages in Gera, a day-care facility for disabled and able-bodied children in Monheim, a mobile hospice service for children in Siegen, a home for disabled children in Burbach; a charity in Burbach that provides domiciliary and respite care, and services such as preparing meals for the elderly; Christian organisations in Haiger and Eschenburg, that offer domiciliary care services, a multigenerational house in Rennerod and an organisation that provides assistance to people with mental disabilities in Altenkirchen.

The Friedhelm Loh Group’s annual contribution is supplemented by aid from the Rittal Foundation. Friedhelm Loh established the charitable foundation in 2011 to celebrate Rittal’s 50th anniversary, and provided initial investment capital of 5 million euros. The Rittal Foundation is already using the earnings from this investment to support an education initiative in 14 nursery schools in the Lahn-Dill area, and to donate medical equipment to the hospital in Wetzlar-Braunfels.

Caption 2: The Herborn Bread Basket ensures that those in need receive essential foodstuffs.