“Uns schickt der Himmel – 72-Stunden-Aktion des BDKJ” is just the coolest idea.
The BDKJ [Federation of German Catholic Youth] with its 650,000 members does a lot of good deeds.
Mostly below the radar, but this year, they’ve organised a national campaign to channel efforts into a 72 hours period. (Here’s their Facebook page)
It works like this: Local groups (these are kids are from our very own Klein-Winternheim) come up with suggestions for projects – charitable, social, environmental, cross-cultural or political – that they think need doing.
But don’t get done because there’s either no money or because people can’t get their A’s into G.
Then last Thursday at 17:00, a jury said “That idea of yours to do something with the patch of waste ground at the top of the hill by the bus stop? Go for it”
So by Sunday evening, they’ll have laid paths, put up a fence to nudge dog walkers to stop using the place as a doggy loo and set up park benches.
It’s financed mostly by donations, but Toom (sort of like Home Depot) fronted up with a free truckload of gravel and a quarry on the Rhine is turning up tomorrow with 6 tons of pebbles for the paths.
Just the nicest bunch of kids and when I asked Eva, the young lady in the precarious equilibrial position on the wheelbarrow, what part of the village she’s from (we have a 2000 year history, – there are VERY old, old, new-ish [us] and VERY new bits…), she said “The old part. I’m an Eckert”
“Oh” I said “Reinhilde‘s niece, then. Johanna‘s grand-daughter”
And I bumped into her dad, Werner, the TV journalist, at the bakers 5 minutes later.
Some other folks were walking past, so I told them what was happening. “Suppose it keeps them off the streets” they sniffed. “I don’t think that’s a significant problem” I said.
I am SO happy that you posted this! Kudos for these kids, their good ideas, organizational skills, and healthy, good cheer. I won’t rant about how youngsters are under-appreciated, but more of these stories would help reflect on the better part of their natures.