The German and American support unit stationed at HQ KFOR have maintained a close partnership with the "Mother & Children" children's home for years now. When they heard that the windows of the building were leaking and that there would be no money for heating material and electricity bills, two German soldiers started thinking about how they could raise a larger amount of money in a very short time. Chief Petty Officer Freddy Krüger and Petty Officer First Class Toni Willert came up with the spontaneous idea to have a charity party.
"What was important for us was to involve as many nations stationed at the HQ as possible", said Chief Petty Officer Krüger. "Organizing the event came about easily," Petty Officer First Class Willert happily states. "As soon as we made the event public, the first comrades already offered their help and took the organization into their own hands", he says.
From suckling pigs to mulled wine, the guests could enjoy a well-rounded programme. Organizers and guests from all the different nations were able to spend an alternative evening during which a large amount of donations could be collected. Almost 6,000 Euro in the form of cash and goods was raised.
A prime example for the generosity among the soldiers is Master Sergeant Axel Walther, who works in the military Post Office and donated goods worth 1,000 Euros. Andrea Z, a nurse in the Austrian contingent came from Prizren to run a mulled wine booth. Captain Mellak of the Hungarian Air Force set up his sales stand right across from the Austrian booth. Captain Juan A., who worked at one of the American sales stands, said: "I have children of my own. Whenever I look at the kids living in the children's home, I see my own kids”.
That night, the soldiers handed over a large bag of children's clothes to the head of the children's home, Halime Maliqi. These clothes were donated by a well-known clothes manufacturer from Germany. Sergeant Major Klaus Bruckner, who had organized the clothes donation through his private contacts, was visibly touched when Ms. Maliqi gave him a spontaneous hug. In her mind, she surely did not only hug the Sergeant Major, but everyone who devoted their time and energy to the successful outcome of the evening.
Story by Master Sergeant Steffen Maluche, German Army
Photos by Mr. Afrim Hajrullahu