Employees at the Customer Service Center of the HABA Family of Companies regularly take turns putting their aprons on at home on a Sunday, and getting their mixers out of the kitchen cupboards. Together they are making it the “Cake Service Center”, and from October to March have declared that Monday is officially cake day in the HABA Family of Companies! In accordance with the motto “80 good deeds” there have been 2 x 80 cakes.
A sweeter start to the week is not the only good thing about this campaign! The tasty treats – which include elaborately decorated cakes, lovingly baked muffins, savory creations and even pies – are purchased from the “Cake Service Center” by colleagues for a small donation. Altogether, the donations have added up to an impressive 3,000 Euros. Today this amount is being presented in equal parts to two organizations that, like the HABA Family of Companies, work with children and families.
Heiner Schaller, Head of the JAKO-O Customer Service Center, explains that his team is committed to its home area, and wants to support one organization in Thüringen and one in Bavaria. The choice fell on the outpatient children and youth hospice service in Meiningen, and the foundation for children with cancer in Coburg. “Places where good things are being done for children and families, that’s the commonality between the HABA Family of Companies and the selected organizations”, says Heiner Schaller.
In the morning, Konrad Müller from the outpatient children and youth hospice Meiningen visits the HABA Family of Companies. He has long been involved with Sozialwerk Meiningen in the setup and development of a hospice service for young people, and has created a point of contact for families. Together with his colleagues, amongst them a lot of volunteers, he accompanies young people and their families through what is probably the most difficult part of their lives, and provides them with support. “Organizations and people who make young people’s last days happy and worth living cannot be praised enough!” says Heiner Schaller, admiring the commitment of the hospice service. And Konrad Müller continues: “A lot of gratitude comes back. And that’s what people live from – gratitude.” The 1,500 Euros donation came at just the right time. Konrad Müller emphasizes: “This strengthens our position.” Within the year we will invest the money in the mandatory pediatric palliative care qualification for one of our employees.
“Places where good things are being done for children and families, that’s the commonality between the HABA Family of Companies and the selected organizations.”
With the other 1,500 Euros, the Customer Service Center is supporting the foundation for children with cancer in Coburg. Board Member Uwe Rendigs receives the delegation from the “Cake Service Centre” in the wedding hall of the “Bürglaß Palace” (Bürglaßschlösschen).
The foundation started out as a parent initiative, as a replacement of pediatric oncology in Coburg hospital. Therefore it is aimed at families in the Coburg area, Sonneberg, Hildburghausen, Kronach and Lichtenfels. There are still a lot of parents of affected children involved in the foundation board, as well as an extensive network of doctors, lawyers, politicians and others. Uwe Rendigs enthusiastically describes his extensive work for the children. Over and over again, families are faced with bureaucratic hurdles in difficult times of the illness. Overcoming them requires expertise and time, which they often don’t have.
Uwe Rendigs supports the families, mediating between schools, authorities, doctors and the young patients. After all, they aren’t only focused on getting healthy, but are often looking well past that point. “All the affected children are very ambitious. Many have already helped other families in the same situation.” One young woman, for example, wants to study psychology in Jena, inspired by the experiences and encounters that she had through the foundation’s support. The foundation will provide her with financial assistance, some of which will come from the proceeds of cake sales. At the moment, the foundation is providing support to 55 families and 15 acutely ill children, for whom they make a normal life possible, giving them hope that they will be able to fulfill their dreams.
The hobby bakers are thrilled that their donations can support the work of both these organizations. The description of Konrad Müller and Uwe Rendigs about their work, with and for sick and dying young people and their families, impresses Sophie Schneider, who says admiringly: “You really have to respect people who do this work!”