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June 17, 2018

Filling days with more life

“To fill days with more life rather than life with more days.” This is how Franziska Thümmel, division manager of the Central Germany Children’s Hospice, describes the self-imposed goal of the social institution. The inpatient hospice in Tambach-Dietharz gives children with life-shortening diseases and their families the possibility of spending time together in the institution and using its provision of care and support. Many children spend one or two weeks here with their family in order to experience short-term relief from the energy-sapping course of the particular disease. Other families arrive to gracefully bid farewell to their own child.

No matter which little patient arrives in the Central Germany Children’s Hospice, the focus is on the high quality of care. No lists are checked off because individual care is implemented in the institution. The hospice is right now housing four children with their families. The institution is deliberately designed to care for only a few patients at the same time.

Two employees of the HABA Family of Companies had the idea to give some joy and diversion to these children and their families for one afternoon. Ines Peter from the IT department and Bianca Groß from the machine shop in Plant I organized together with their colleagues a special surprise for the sick children, their siblings, parents, and caregivers: A magician would take them all along into the fantastic world of magic!

Bianca Groß has been wanting for a long time to do something good for the children in the hospice as well as its employees: “I have often heard on the radio appeals for funds for the Central Germany Children’s Hospice. And I always felt that you could do something yourself, you should help out there. And then came the 80 good deeds of the HABA Family of Companies!”

Around 2 p.m., there is an air of joyful excitement in the cozy “House of Magic Moments.” Phantaro the magician has already set up his mysterious paraphernalia. Not only the sick children have gotten together with their parents and siblings; the nurses, volunteer employees with their own children, and the five guests from the HABA Family of Companies are also anxiously sitting in the audience.

Phantaro quickly succeeds in releasing the audience’s tension with laughter. With a lot of humor, colorful balloons, amusing sound effects, and incomprehensible card tricks, the congenial magician takes everyone along into the crazy world of magic.

“Those were a few light-hearted hours for us in such a difficult time.”

Not only the little spectators, but the adults as well more than once stared in amazement. On several occasions frowning glances were exchanged, and there was whispering about possible solutions to the trick that had just been seen. But there wasn’t a lot of time for that. Phantaro quickly pulled the next surprise – or the next rabbit – out of the hat. Time flew by for everyone!

And then there were some sweet refreshments for everyone. The HABA employees had worked flat out and baked colorful parrot muffins, a fruity strawberry pie, a tasty cookie cake, and much more.

The delegation from Bad Rodach had of course brought along not just delicious food but also a large package of games. Three-year-old Emilia got to work right away with unpacking and discovered many great toys. The Orchard, a classic from the HABA product range, gave her special delight: “Cool, I have the game at home as well!”

While the first ones were already helping themselves at the cake buffet, the employees of the HABA Family of Companies were handing over a donation check to Franziska Thümmel. The Central Germany Children’s Hospice is financed up to 80 per cent by donations. At least one million euros in donations per year are required. Monetary support for the non-profit organization is therefore so important in order to be able to continue its valuable work in the future.

The HABA employees from the machine shop of Plant I accumulated and donated overtime. Some of them even converted a whole working day into a sum of money. The IT department also diligently took up a collection, so that a total of 1,800 euros could be donated on this afternoon. One could also see that for the employees as well as the parents the thought behind the initiative was gratefully received. “Those were a few light-hearted hours for us in such a difficult time,” Emilia’s mother said, expressing her thanks for the afternoon.

The impressive job that all the employees of the children’s hospice and the parents of the sick children do calls for additional support. You can find all the information at

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