01/09/2020 | Press Releases
Gifts that bring happiness and make dreams come true
MainLichtblick and Hattersheim-based speciality chemicals producer Kuraray work together to make dreams come true for sick children — an interview with Frank Fechner, Managing Director of MainLichtblick, and Bettina Plaumann and Moritz Ehlert, of Corporate Communications at Kuraray.
Frankfurt am Main/Hattersheim, January, 2020. Making dreams come true, especially for sick and disabled children, is a joint aspiration of Frankfurt-based charity MainLichtblick and speciality chemicals producer Kuraray, which has its European headquarters at Hattersheim, Germany. MainLichtblick brings a ray of light into the lives of children and young people by fulfilling long-held wishes. Kuraray and its employees have donated a total of EUR 12,400 in money and goods to support the work of this organisation and other social projects, including clown doctors and Samaritan's Purse, a charity that organises Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children. In this interview, Frank Fechner, Managing Director of MainLichtblick, and Dr. Bettina Plaumann and Moritz Ehlert talk about special encounters with recipients and how small gestures can make a world of difference.
Mr. Fechner, MainLichtblick fulfils the dreams of seriously ill children and children with disabilities. What are the heartfelt wishes of such children?
Frank Fechner:They are as varied as the children themselves! They range from special therapies and medical equipment to special experiences such as seeing the sea. A boy suffering from brittle bone disease recently expressed a desire to meet Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. We managed to arrange for him to meet his idol. Dreams like that can be fulfilled without much money - with organisation and a bit of luck. But for others, we have to rely on donations. That's why it's really important to have reliable partners like Kuraray.
Ms. Plaumann, Kuraray supports many social projects in the region. Why is this so important to the company?
Bettina Plaumann: Many of our employees are deeply committed to helping people who are less fortunate than themselves. One special feature of MainLichtblick is that we can be present when the children's dreams are fulfilled. This year, for the second time, we provided support for the Panorama school ...
... a special school in Frankfurt for children with disabilities.
Bettina Plaumann:That's right. We made a donation to fund a performance of the play “Heaven and Hands” by the Schauspiel Frankfurt theatre company. We had met some of the children last year. Meeting them is wonderful and very special.
Mr. Fechner, how can children and families get in touch with MainLichtblick with their requests?
Frank Fechner:The simplest way is to fill out the form on the mainlichtblick.de homepage. Or, of course, to contact us by post or email. As the next stem, we visit the families and consider how we could make the children's dreams come true. Incidentally, our help is not at all bureaucratic: we step in where the social security system - the benefits provided by health insurance - do not apply. A case in point is little Celine. With the help of Kuraray we have been able fulfil her dearest wish.
What did Celine wish for?
Frank Fechner:Celine was born with spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord is undeveloped, and is confined to a wheelchair. She is a very happy and vivacious 12-year old. Her dream is to be able to walk and dance like her friends. In conjunction with Kuraray we are able to offer Celine adeli therapy costing EUR 3,500. The treatment comprises training in a sort of space suit. By stimulating the movement of the muscles it should help Celine’s brain learn to control her legs.
Bettina Plaumann: We hope that this therapy will help Celine come a step closer to achieving her dream. Another project we are supporting with MainLichtblick is a project with Sichtweisen in Frankfurt.
Frank Fechner: Sichtweisen is a church-based charity in Frankfurt that works with families with small children who are blind or have impaired vision. The aim is to help the children develop their abilities despite their impairments. Kuraray is donating a tablet PC costing around EUR 1,500 that will be used to train the children to recognise outlines and colours.
Mr. Fechner, is there are dream that MainLichtblick fulfilled that you have particularly special memories of?
Frank Fechner: The very first dream I helped to fulfil was really special. A boy who was unable to walk wanted a special bicycle. No-one was sure whether he would really be able to ride it. The joy on his face when he was placed on the bicycle and rode off on it was a really special moment. It showed me how much our work can do. Every dream that we turn into reality motivates me to keep going.
How did MainLichtblick and Kuraray start working together?
Bettina Plaumann: Social commitment is an important part of our corporate culture. We were impressed by the commitment and the tremendous enthusiasm and energy that the people at MainLichtblick invest in making dreams come true for sick children. .
Frank Fechner: Often it's small things that give such children the strength and the will to face up to the next operation. A moment of happiness can mean the world to them.
Moritz Ehlert: Talking about bringing happiness to children, Kuraray also supports other local social projects. For example, the clown doctors. Dressed as clowns, these volunteers offer remedies comprising joking around, fun and music. At present, there are 30 clown doctors who visit twelve children's hospitals, eight old-people's homes and a children's hospice in the Rhine-Main and Pfalz regions. We are happy to donate EUR 3,500 to support them.
Mr. Ehlert, what other social projects are close to Kuraray's heart?
Moritz Ehlert: As in the past, this year many of our colleagues at Kuraray packed gift boxes for the “Christmas in a Shoebox” appeal by the Christian charity “Samaritan's Purse”. 100 lovingly packed boxes containing toys, clothing and sweets are now on their way to disadvantaged girls and boys in Eastern Europe.
How does Kuraray contribute to this appeal?
Moritz Ehlert: We provide empty gift boxes for our employees to fill and then transport them to the collection points. This year, we organised a special “packing party” where staff could pack the boxes together. Kuraray supplements the gifts from its employees with a financial donation of around EUR 3,500.
Established in 1991, Kuraray Europe GmbH is based in Hattersheim, near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 2018 the company generated annual sales of EUR 690 million. It has approximately 700 employees in Germany at its sites in Hattersheim, Frankfurt and Troisdorf. Kuraray is a global speciality chemicals company and one of the largest suppliers of industrial polymers and synthetic microfibres for many sectors of industry. Examples are KURARAY POVAL™, Mowital®, Trosifol® and CLEARFIL™. Kuraray Europe also has around 200 employees at six other European sites. They are also working on the development and application of innovative high-performance materials for a wide range of sectors, including the automotive, paper, glass and packaging industries, as well as for architects and dentists.
Kuraray Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of the publicly listed company Kuraray Co., Ltd., which is based in Tokyo, Japan, and has more than 10,000 employees worldwide and sales of EUR 4.8 billion.
Dr. Bettina Plaumann
Head of KEG Communications & Marketing
Kuraray Europe GmbH
Wortwahl – Agentur für Unternehmens- und Onlinekommunikation
63263 Neu-Isenburg, Germany
Phone: +49 6102 36678-22
Captions/source of photos: MainLichtblick, Kuraray, Clown Doctors