The year 2020, marked by the coronavirus pandemic, also brought great challenges for charitable institutions – they too were affected by the crisis and often had to cope with the loss of potential donation income. Two Leipzig organisations can look forward to receiving urgently needed donations from the Leipzig energy company VNG shortly before the end of the year: The association ‘Lumos - Stark für Kids e.V.’ and the foundation ‘Leipzig hilft Kindern’ are each receiving generous financial aid through the VNG Foundation. The total amount for both beneficiaries is EUR 25,000.
The association ‘Lumos - Stark für Kids e.V.’ (Lumos - Strong for Kids), which focuses on the integration of socially disadvantaged children and young people, is also benefiting from an initiative of the VNG Advisory Board, whose members jointly agreed to support a selected Leipzig charity against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis. The choice fell on the Leipzig-based association, which has been organising diverse projects and leisure activities for children for almost two years. The VNG donation will be used to further develop the current ‘Digital Learning’ project and to equip a multimedia room at the association premises.
In Ulf Heitmüller’s eyes, it is a fitting choice: “With its work and diverse projects, the association contributes to giving children the chance to enjoy leisure activities and experience education. This is an indispensable asset. If we as VNG can contribute with this donation to putting a smile on the faces of the next generation and creating additional educational incentives, then that makes us proud. I’m already very excited to take a look in person at the new multimedia room that is being built,” said the Chairman of the VNG Executive Board.
His Board colleague Bodo Rodestock added: “In light of our deep roots in Leipzig, a wide-ranging social commitment has always been part of the DNA of VNG and the VNG Foundation. It is a matter close to our hearts to support numerous projects in the areas of culture, education, sports or social commitment in the city. This is all the more important in times like these, when everyday life is marked by the ongoing coronavirus crisis and people have to put up with a lot of hardship. Solidarity on both a small and a large scale is therefore immensely important and any kind of help is extremely valuable. This also applies in particular to the support of children and young people, for whom many everyday pleasures are currently falling by the wayside.”
For the donation to the ‘Leipzig hilft Kindern’ foundation, VNG joined forces with four other companies involved in the foundation, which in previous years had already acted as partners for the annual benefit concert on the 1st weekend of Advent in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus concert hall for ‘Leipzig hilft Kindern’. Since this highlight had to be cancelled this year due to coronavirus, the committed companies have joined forces and are jointly providing funding of EUR 40,000 for 2021. In addition, the cancelled benefit concert is to held in the spring.
“If we can bring a little joy to children through our joint support and make a little more education possible, then it would be a ray of hope in this not entirely untroubled Advent season,” Rodestock explained.
The foundation ‘Leipzig hilft Kindern’ was established in 2009 by VNG AG, the newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung and the bank Stadt- und Kreissparkasse. The Leipzig Gewandhaus concert hall and Porsche AG also contributed as members. All institutions participate in various initiatives to raise funds for international, national and regional organisations dedicated to supporting children.
About the VNG Foundation
The VNG Foundation was established in 2009 and brings together the charitable and social activities of VNG AG. The foundation supports charitable and social projects in the fields of art, sports, culture, science, education, social welfare, foundations and university activities. It is also the sponsor of the Verbundnetz der Wärme initiative. The more than 200 members are committed to promoting voluntary work in Germany and increasing the visibility and importance of voluntary work in society and politics. Every year, the network selects six ‘VDW ambassadors’ who receive financial support and assistance with their public relations work.
Another focus of the Foundation’s activities is the promotion of scientific exchange in the fields of energy and environmental protection. To this end, there are partnerships with universities and research institutions such as the University of Leipzig and the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences. As part of this, the Foundation awards, for example, two German scholarships for young students each year, promotes study programmes and participates in a variety of knowledge exchange formats.