Minden: “Refundable Deposit Against Cancer” Project a Great Success


From left: Claudia Bahl (representative of parent-child ward), Pascal Christiani, Peter Teuber

In June 2017, we noticed how fast an increasing number of refundable empty bottles and cans accumulated in the rubbish bin in the communal room of Ephedrine production. As this represents cash, we came up with the idea to use the refundable deposits for a good cause. 

Following coordination with the department manager and the workers’ council, two 120-liter drums were put up. Soon, the drums were filled to the rim and had to be emptied. The staff members at the supermarket were often unhappy when we arrived with a high number of returns blocking the machine. 

More than half a year later, we had reached a deposit amount of 280 euros, and we had to decide which institution we were going to donate it to. Following extensive research and the wish it should be a regional institution, we opted for ELKI, the parent-child ward of the Johannes-Wessling Hospital in Minden.

The hospital treats children, most of them suffering from cancer. As a rule, this serious illness requires long hospitalization of the children, often in the company of their parents. The parents’ stay is partly financed by means of donations if the family lacks the financial means. Siegfried augmented our funds for 2017 to 500 euros, and we consequently arranged for a time and day to hand over the donation. At the hospital, we were shown the children‘s cancer ward, and we could see what our donation was going to be used for. This included toys of all kinds, starting with building blocks and ending with gaming consoles, as the ward also treats children up to the age of 17. It was shortly before Christmas, and the delight of the nursing team was all the bigger. Now, additional Christmas presents could be obtained for the children.

After the visit and the hand-over, it was clear to us: we wanted to continue collecting for the ELKI project in 2018. And again, we took the collected empty bottles and cans to the supermarket, and at the end of the year we had collected nearly 500 euros. We were very excited when management doubled our collection, and our donation now amounted to 1000 euros. 

This time, at the hand-over, we were extensively shown what our last donation was used for. Some of it went toward the renovation and extension of the kitchen used by the parents and their children to cook, celebrate, eat or just spend time together. While we were there, we were happy to see that the kitchen now is an intensively used and important space for families. 

Our project shows that even a small donation of 25 cents can make a big difference. It brings a smile to the face of many a sick child. We would like to thank all Siegfried employees for their donation. We shall continue our passion for collecting and donating in 2019.