CARE - Love and care - for Christmas - December 2020

Do you know crackle bags? Two fabrics are sewn together - containing crackle paper and then when the "bags" are squeezed, sounds are heard. Little kids love them! Bright colors, touch and sound are an exciting experience for them and stimulate their senses.

The Live To Love team in North Rhine-Westphalia visited a mother-and-child home and a residential group in Hörstel and Ibbenbüren in recent days to surprise the young families receiving support there with Christmas presents as part of the Live To Love Care project - including the popular, self-sewn crackle bags.

And there was more for the little ones to discover in games, hand puppets, stuffed animals, knitted scarves and mittens - which were arranged according to the respective age groups. "It was moving to see how the children were just as happy about little things, such as the homemade cookies or even hair clips," said Melanie Lange from the LWL facility in Ibbenbüren.

Some children marveled quietly - others ran around the rooms with excitement.

In these very lovingly furnished accommodations, young mothers, children and fathers find a place where they can get advice in challenging family situations and are accompanied appropriately for the circumstances. A very valuable work, which the employees do there!

Thank you for the warm welcome!

"Happiness - it's right here and now," sums up Live To Love team lead Anke from Ibbenbüren and her colleague Stefanie, moved by the many very energetic moments: "I'm always fascinated by how much these short but very intense encounters move in me." For Live To Love team member Barbara from Werlte, the actions mean "pure happiness, caring for each other and being there."

© Agnes Forsthuber / Live To Love Germany  
 

In Hamburg, we again visited senior citizens in Winterhude and Altona:

Many are making an extraordinary effort to make the best of the time of restrictions. Some experience it in part less restrictive than in the spring, because they have found their own methods to deal with it more easily.

When we handed out the gift bags, we offered books, audiobooks and magazines, as well as mouth-nose protection masks. Many of them were sewn by a member of the staff of the animal sanctuary Sol Luna e.V., which Live To Love has supported for many years.

One elderly lady we met reminisced about Christmas last year and told us about her herniated disc - immobilized, she had been stuck in Munich. The current lockdown doesn't bother her much - she is still happy and grateful about being able to walk again.

Also admirable is the attitude of an older man who used the lockdown this year to become more familiar with the Internet so that he could continue to practice his profession as a guitar teacher.

He now teaches via Zoom at the age of almost 70 - and the students are happy to be able to make music together with him this way. Every day, he sends his family a recording of a special moment in his everyday life to bring them joy.

© Agnes Forsthuber / Live To Love Germany  
 

A woman passes the time of lockdown by carving wooden figurines to illustrate her friend's stories. While handing over the gift bags, she showed us the dancing foxes that are looking forward to becoming human one day. She is definitely not bored!

For safety reasons, she will spend Christmas Eve in her apartment playing Christmas carols on her piano for the residents of the house. It makes her happy to give the neighbors joy with it, she said. "It's enough for me to know they're thinking of me."

Our visits to the homeless, to the lonely, to the abandoned - to confront the deep, even profound suffering of people does indeed require a lot of strength at times. The awareness of the loneliness and the sometimes extremely sad fates often also requires time to process.

However, since our actions above all cause positive surprise and joy, this energy gives us, in addition to many substantial insights, an enormous motivation to go on and on. In this sense we can only recommend imitations.

We wish everyone a happy Christmas - and promise our reunion in the new year!

 

December 19, 2020

 

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