Following catastrophic flooding along the River Elbe in 2002, seven HDZ NRW employees decided to found the association "herzensmittel e.V.".
The idea behind the association was to host different events to encourage colleagues to donate money to help the flood victims. The money raised from cake sales, collections, and an Advent bazaar was then donated to help restore a flood-damaged day-care center for children in Grimma.
From the outset the aim was not to pass on the money to larger aid organizations, but to give it to various regional and national non-profit projects in order to have as much contact to the recipients as possible.
Since then the association has hosted a bazaar twice a year, in addition to special one-off events.
Projects which have been supported in the first 10 years of its existence include:
- aid for Elbe flood victims (twice)
- theater project "Mein Körper gehört mir!" (My body is mine!) conducted in elementary schools to combat child sexual abuse
- various projects in regional youth centers and youth welfare services
- projects to help girls, boys and women who have become victims of (sexual) violence
- support of Humedica following the tsunami in Thailand and the earthquake in Haiti
- and many more...
The bazaars are well received by our patients and their families. They provide a welcome distraction from disease and pain for those who are mobile enough to attend. And the HDZ NRW employees also enjoy a browse around the various stalls. Last but not least, the bazaars attract other visitors from the region who experience the HDZ NRW as an inviting, state-of-the-art, well equipped hospital.
The association is always happy to welcome new members (annual contribution from €12) and also to let them play an active role.