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February, 2005 - Nr. 2


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Letter from the Editor

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister  

Dear Reader

February is not everyone’s favourite month. If the weather is not outright icy, like often in our climes, then it is grey, dull and foggy, but rarely is it pleasant and balmy, at least not in our regions. Thus the addition of Valentines Day to our winter weary hearts, the introduction of warm, loving and caring thoughts about someone else is most welcome, especially if we are not able to escape to more moderate temperatures in the south.

Beyond the obvious flirtation and love interests we also express our sentiment to those that we generally care about in a special way.

It is quite clear that the world and the people in it need a lot of caring. (See Rachel’s contribution on SOS Children’s Villages.) The many charitable requests we receive prove without a doubt that our official organisational bodies are not capable of taking care of all the needs of their people, neither here or anywhere else. In the end it is always personal and individual initiative that makes the day and changes an undesirable condition for the better.

We know that no one can go it alone. Often there are many hands and minds needed to help. A seemingly simple thing sometimes takes a big effort. And other times a huge change occurs with very little effort. Some results are practically miraculous. And it is those moments, the big ones and the small ones, that make it all worthwhile.

There is hardly a philosophy on earth that does not subscribe to "Giving is better than receiving". That this is true we can observe in life: When someone in our acquaintance has stopped contributing to the welfare of others they are not doing well themselves.

Could it be that the sequence is not always: They did not do well and therefore stopped helping…but it is instead often that they stopped giving and helping and thus started to decline…?

When Family Rudek came to us with a request for help with the finances for Zoe’s medical bills I did not know what to do at first. It was when Sybille Otto of the German Canadian Business Association, Toronto, asked me to help that I thought of ways to be effective.

Thank you from the Rudek family  [photo: Szauter Family]

Printing something in the paper is useful, but also connected with costs. Sybille Otto moved Volkswagen Canada to make a contribution to help with that burden, and we are very grateful for their donation. The Forget-Me-Not Family Fold (notice the new name configuration!) made the biggest contribution with their vast musical talents. Two concerts were arranged by Ingrid Szauter in two different churches, which generously contributed their spaces and refreshments after the concerts.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this cause: Sybille Otto and Volkswagen Canada, Pastor Mel Murray of Christ Lutheran Church in Aurora and his helpers and the Deutsche Kirche on Glebe Road in Toronto, so aptly administered by Frau Wuetherich and her helpers, who made us feel so welcome.

There are also the many other medias and organizations that helped and made this cause known, the German Canadian Business Association, which had made a sizable donation towards the schooling of the other children, German Radio personalities Helmuth Gschoesser and Ulli Jeschke who also made personal donations, Rosemarie Meier of the Deutsche Presse - for mentioning it in her publication, A donation for Zoe from the Board of the Danube Swabian Club handed by Brigitte Wecker (l.) to Sybille (r.)the Hansa Club and the members and guests of the Treue Husaren Mississauga, and the Danube Swabian Club, whose President Brigitte Wecker handed over a 500.00 dollar cheque at their appreciation night!

These are the happenings that make us a community, working together in harmony. When we help one of us, we are helping all of us and we will survive better as a part of all of humanity.

Anyone who would still like to make a contribution to Zoe's medical bills can do so by making a payment to:

Zoe Rudek, Royal Bank of Ontario,
Transit 6742, Account 5125463

Please read more about it under Kerstin Rudek’s Danke-Brief "Liebe Mitmenschen".

Until next time

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister


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