Text Hannah Weber ––– Photography
We saw some horrific scenes following the worst flooding in a century in the regions of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany. Heavy rainfall resulted in flash flooding and massive deluges that led to over 180 deaths and caused damage running into billions. Numerous families – but also schools, nurseries and social facilities – lost many of their possessions and are now facing months of clean-up work.
As a family company, the Friedhelm Loh Group didn’t need to think twice before taking action to help those in need. Thanks to extremely generous donations from staff that were tripled by Prof. Friedhelm Loh, owner and CEO of the Friedhelm Loh Group, and further donations from the owning family, a sum of 930,000 euros was soon collected for the flood victims – the highest amount ever donated in the company’s history. “You have sent out a sign – a clear sign of compassion and, what’s more, a moving sign of your willingness to help people in dire straits,” said Prof. Loh in thanking all his staff for their solidarity. Many employees also travelled to the flood-hit areas to help in person or organised aid campaigns for the victims. “They are setting a wonderful example,” emphasised Prof. Loh.
SUPPORT IN DISASTER AREA
The funds are being distributed via the Rittal Foundation, the charitable foundation of the Friedhelm Loh Group. They are going to projects and social institutions in the local area and will benefit nurseries, schools, youth organisations and initiatives helping the elderly. The foundation is keeping in close contact with the flood victims to get an idea of the extent of the damage and the help required. Recipients include nurseries in Leverkusen, two schools (the Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager Realschule in Ahrweiler and the Paul-Klee-Schule in Leichlingen), the disability support organisation Lebenshilfe Sinzig and Caritas in Euskirchen. Thanks to this financial assistance, they can repair flood damage and playgrounds and obtain vehicles to transport relief supplies or pupils. Counselling and psychological support services for victims are benefiting, too. Some of the money is also being channelled through the donation accounts of local municipalities, churches and aid organisations to help individuals quickly and directly.