das magazin das magazin / 22 December

    Help for the helpers – and beyond

    Nobody in Germany (but also in Belgium and the Netherlands) will forget 14 July 2021. Immense heavy rainfall caused unprecedented flooding on that day. More than 130 people died, thousands were made homeless and countless buildings were destroyed. The Ahr valley was and still is the most affected area, which has almost become a synonym for great human suffering on the one hand and immense solidarity on the other.

    Many companies in Germany were quick to provide support in the face of the flood disaster - including L&R, which has branches in Neuwied and Rengsdorf just 50 km away from the Ahr Valley.

    Emergency aid budget of 75,000 EUR

    In the first step, the L&R Executive Board made available a support amount of 50,000 EUR. A specially founded emergency aid team handled all incoming donation requests quickly and unbureaucratically. As a company in the health sector or as a supplier of medical products, it was clear to L&R how it could best help in a first step: Many helpers on the ground in the flooded areas urgently needed bandages, disinfectants, plasters and compresses. These products could easily be collected from the L&R logistics centre in Neuwied. The donations were also used to finance work materials (e.g. shovels, wheelbarrows, work gloves), food for soup kitchens as part of the care of affected people and helpers, overnight accommodation for the suddenly homeless, playground equipment for children, etc. The donation budget was quickly exhausted and the L&R Executive Board increased it again by 25,000 EUR. 

    Great solidarity among L&R colleagues

    Wolfgang Suessle, CEO of the L&R Group:

    "The extent of the destruction and suffering caused by the flood was and is still immense. As an important employer in the region, but above all as a person who works here, this tragic event deeply affects us. I am so incredibly proud of the L&R teams and what they have achieved in the last months out of a huge solidarity. Not only the emergency aid or logistics teams, which handled our donations in a highly professional manner, but many colleagues also actively supported relief operations on the ground themselves."

    In addition to the colleagues who themselves helped with clean-up work in the Ahr valley, the L&R plant fire brigade was also in action. Others who were not able to help by hand donated to the L&R donation account. Many L&R employees outside Germany - L&R currently has branches in 27 countries - also contributed to this account that was closed in November with a total of more than 11,000 EUR. And: solidarity does not stop at a hard-earned bonus: field staff donated their team bonus in favour of L&R flood relief and increased the donation budget by another 15,000 EUR.

    In the end, the total donations amounted to more than 100,000 EUR, which went to 65 different relief measures. Most recently, a cash donation was handed over to 21 families in Dernau. Their houses were so badly damaged that a complete renovation was necessary.