A meeting place for the people of Friedberg

Charity Christmas Market sets new records

It was a special Christmas market in Friedberg in 2023: for the first time, the Pallottine Fathers were represented with a stand. The masses of snow would have almost prevented the market from taking place if 15 people from the building yard hadn’t shovelled it clear, and the result was another record like the year before: 57,500 euros remained after expenses. 35,000 of this went to the Pallottine Fathers for their mission in India, 15,000 to the Missionary Benedictine Sisters for Ndanda and a further speciality: 7,000 euros went to the Augsburg-Hochzoll-Friedberg Social Centre and the surrounding area.

The Christmas market is a real meeting place for the people of Friedberg, praised Thomas Treffler from the tourist office at the thank-you evening in the Pallotti House, and also reported that many people had asked whether the money would stay in the region. Eberhard Krug from the Tourist Office added that the donations have changed over the years. However, the purpose of the donations has always been the same: to help people in social need or poverty, both at home and abroad. This is why the decision was made to donate to the social centre again this year.

Pater Reinhold Maise SAC begrüßt die Teilnehmerinnen beim Dankesabend im Pallotti-Haus in Friedberg
Schwester Raphaela

Giving families a home

The Secretary of the Pallottine Mission, Father Reinhold Maise, emphasised in his acceptance speech that it had been worthwhile to take part and spend four days on the stand. “I think it’s only right that we get involved here,” he said, and then went on to report on last year’s project in particular. While this year’s focus was on the so-called “House of Peace”, a home for impoverished and abandoned people in Dornahalli in the state of Karnataka in south-western India, the 2022 project is called “Home for Homeless”.
This project aims to build houses for families who are homeless or living in poor huts. Although there is a government programme for this, it is not enough for the fathers of the families who work as day labourers to be able to afford the construction, said Father Maise, illustrating the situation with many photos.

Ndanda representative Martha Reißner, former teacher at Friedberg Secondary School, who has been collecting donations for Ndanda for decades, gave a retrospective of Ndanda aid from Friedberg. She recalled the beginnings of the leprosy village in 1969, outlined the support projects such as a large cooking pot, houses for the elderly, wells, the school bus and the current support goal: the nursing school.

Nursing and obstetrics

As Sister Raphaela, Prioress of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Tutzing, explained in her acceptance speech, the school trains nurses who also work as midwives and obstetricians. The donations were mainly used to finance the tuition fees, which amount to up to 1,000 euros per year. This means that at least ten students can now be supported.

As Rainer Genswürger, treasurer of the Verkehrsverein, explained, the 2023 total was almost the same record result as in 2022. There were 2400 direct donations, bringing the total to over 66,000 euros. After deducting the cost of food and drink of over 8,000 Euros, the final result was 57,591.68 Euros. The Pallottine Fathers received 35,000 euros, Ndanda 15,000 euros and the social centre 7500 euros.

Melita Resler, Director of the Social Centre, expressed her gratitude for this special donation and emphasised that it would enable them to maintain their one-stop care package in the region. The money from the Christmas market will go towards the purchase of a new vehicle.

The 140 or so volunteers were then treated to a delicious meal prepared by Pallottine chef Uli Schneider. And what had been said about the Christmas Market was also true of this evening: It was a great social event for the town of Friedberg.

Dankesabend Karitativer Christkindlmarkt 2024 im Pallotti-Haus in Friedberg

Report & pictures: Alexander Schweda

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