Social Commitment by Conviction
From Ice Princesses and Princes
Our first CSR project came into being during the run-up to Christmas 2018. The association “Die Arche – Christliches Kinder- und Jugendwerk e. V.” is committed to combating child poverty and providing socially disadvantaged children with a variety of leisure activities, food, learning opportunities and carefree moments in their often difficult lives.
We wanted to be part of this, so in December, we asked for the children’s Christmas wishes. Contrary to our expectations, they were not interested in toys or clothing. They wanted to go ice skating together. And so we headed to the ice rink on January 9, 2019 with the children. OTRS AG financed the event, including food and travel.
A total of five of our employees accompanied the children on this fun day. In the end, we were no longer sure who became more of an ice princess or prince – the kids or our colleagues.
Girl Power at
Dealing with the subject of dying is difficult for many people. And yet it belongs to life, so it cannot be avoided. A dignified last few moments without pain is probably the wish of everyone. Making this possible, as well as to accompanying and supporting the dying person’s relatives, is the big and important task of a hospice.
If children are affected, this is particularly difficult, but also particularly necessary. Therefore a social engagement in this area was a real matter of the heart for us. The children’s hospice Bärenherz in Wiesbaden is one of a few of these facilities in Germany.
This day had a long-lasting effect on us. A statement by a member of the hospice staff particularly impressed us, “…despite everything, there is a lot of life here….”
Run Smoothly – Run OTRS
That was our motto at this year’s J.P.Morgan Run — at least on the T-shirts. Actually, like all runners, we were not only interested in the personal sporting experience, but also in doing something good with our participation. For each runner, two euro went to the Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe and the Deutsche Behindertensportjugend. J.P.Morgan then doubles the sum.
In addition, this sporting event makes a contribution to enhancing values such as team spirit, communication, collegiality, fairness and health. The run in Frankfurt among the largest in the world and took place for the 27th time in 2019. The course runs 5.6 kilometres through Frankfurt’s city center. This year, a total of 62,772 runners from 2,282 companies took part.
OTRS Group provided five runners, each of whom took 43 minutes to cover the specified distance.
In July 2019, a team of OTRS Inc. employees gathered at the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen. The soup kitchen has been serving the local community for more than 30 years, providing a warm noontime meal and supportive environment to those in need.
Upon arrival, OTRS Inc. was quickly set to work – opening cans, peeling vegetables, organizing dishes and such. Guests then brought the kitchen to life when they arrived, and the OTRS team made sandwiches, scooped cantaloupe and shared warm welcomes. The overwhelming sentiment among team members can be captured by a quote found on the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen website from Mother Theresa: If you can’t feed 100 people, then feed just one.
Everyone ended the day feeling motivated to remember the experience and to continue giving back in their own home towns.
It is known that animals have similar sensations to humans, such as strong feelings like fear or sadness.
Most animals in a shelter have a sad history and often have even had bad experiences. Many of them are anxious, distraught or suspicious. Providing hope, courage and confidence to these poor souls is one of the key tasks of the staff in a shelter – along with all the essentials such as feeding, cleaning homes, medical care, etc.
Facilities, such as the shelter in Oberursel, give the animals a second chance – ideally in a new, loving home.
With our commitment, we were able to support the shelter’s employees for a day and help them with many tasks. We fed the animals, cleaned the enclosures and houses, mowed lawns, sanded down doors and much more. Since animal shelters are basically dependent on donations to survive, we were particularly pleased to be able to hand over a check in the amount of EUR 1,000 to support this good and important program.
It was a day that left strong impressions on all of us and certainly inspired one or more of us to become involved privately in the future.
The Christmas season is, at least in German latitudes, filled with harsh outside temperatures. We are all happy when we return to our warm dwellings from this uncomfortable weather after outdoor activities.
Not all people have this luck. For many homeless people, this season is particularly hard and means a new fight for survival every day. So small practical things can often make life for these people a little easier.
The Street Angels organization has made it its mission to help people with low or no income, and especially homeless people, through public initiatives and practical or financial support. We wanted to support this great cause and called on our staff to collect things like socks, scarves, caps, sweets, hygiene and care items. We packaged these items into boxes to deliver to Street Angels. We were able to hand over 18 boxes to the organization, all packed with useful things, self-written poems and good wishes.
Actions caused by the Corona crisis are a challenge for us all. The effects will become clearer the longer this exceptional situation continues. It is not just an issue of lacking social contact, cancelling events or having strict rules and regulations when shopping.
Unfortunately, closures of childcare facilities, social services, and schools, as well as the reduced employment opportunities in more and more households, are leading to tension and stressful situations.
One worst case result means that we are experiencing an increase in domestic violence. After all, life situations and today’s circumstances are very different from normal. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in their own house with a garden so that they can get out. Many people live in cramped big cities without the possibility of avoiding each other.
The cases of domestic violence that occur have resulted in increased numbers of people who seek help from women’s shelters, as is the case in Frankfurt am Main. Shelters where women and children can find protection are more important than ever in these times.
As part of our CSR activities, we have asked our employees for donations to support the women’s shelter in Frankfurt. This enabled us to collect games, toys, books and clothing to donate to this important institution. For each of us, this gesture was a small thing, but for the women’s shelter it was an important help.
We are very happy to have brought some joy to people who are struggling in this crisis.