Colleagues Donate Time – a Lot of Time
Some news pulls the rug out from under a person’s feet – they seems so unimaginable and unreal. And yet, tragically, they are just that: real.
A groninger employee couple received such message last year. Their youngest child, just five years old at that time, was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy – a pathological enlargement of the heart muscle and especially the left ventricle. The little boy, who was being examined in the hospital because of suspected bronchitis, was all of the sudden in a critical condition from one moment to the next. His heart was massively enlarged and was close to failing.
“Suddenly the physicians were talking about a donor heart. About organ donation. We didn’t even understand what was happening to us. I was able to hear what was said, however, I couldn’t comprehend it. Were they really talking about our child?” the mother describes her memory.
The five-year-old is send to the university clinic in Freiburg, where he is now waiting for a donor heart. At least one parent is always with him during this time – a large investment of time that of course cannot be sustained by reducing overtime or vacation.
When groninger management and staff found out about the child’s fate, they immediately agreed that they wanted to support them as best they could.
The company is calling for an internal time donation campaign: Employees are able to transfer vacation and overtime to the couple and give them the time they so desperately need to be there for their child.
A wave of helpfulness and solidarity erupts: 320 colleagues, which is around a quarter of the worldwide employees, take part in the campaign, empty their overtime accounts or donate vacation days.
The result is overwhelming: “After counting, we came to just over 20 months of vacation time - for both. This means for both the father and the mother,” says Managing Director, Jens Groninger, summarizing the donation result and adding: “We at groninger wish the family the very best and hope that with this campaign we are at least able make everyday life easier for them in these difficult and emotionally stressful times.”
“And it did,” confirms Jens Terjung, Chaplain at the Freiburg University Clinic, Department of Pediatric Cardiology/Congenital Heart Defects: “In an amazing way, this vacation donation gave the family the peace of mind they need. Because this was the only way that one parent could always be in the hospital for the boy, day after day, 24/7.” “We would like to express our sincere thanks to the company and its employees.”
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