The Christmas season is known to be the time to reflect on values such as humanity. The focus is on sharing, giving and cheerful togetherness. This also applies to the "helfen helfen" foundation run by media manager Bernd Reisig, who also invited homeless people to a Christmas dinner in Frankfurt's Römer in 2019 - now for the eighth time. More than 600 Frankfurt homeless people came this year and experienced a Christmas dinner 19 days before the start of the festive season. More than 40 celebrities from politics, business, the media, sports and entertainment helped as waiters, including Eintracht President Peter Fischer, Hesse's Minister of Social Affairs Kai Klose, VGF Head Thomas Wissgott and actress Radost Bokel. As with all previous invitations, the patronage had been assumed by Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann, for whom it was again a matter of honour to serve the homeless.
"With this campaign we are filling the Christmas idea with life and making it possible for the needy of this city to take a few hours break from their difficult everyday lives," explains Peter Feldmann. "It is a special honour for me every year to serve food to the homeless together with prominent supporters and to show them that they are welcome at the Römer, just like all citizens."
For Bernd Reisig, the large attendance at the Christmas event is a confirmation of how important this relief action is. "In the rich city of Frankfurt, unfortunately, there is also poverty. With the Christmas goose dinner we can make sure that the everyday worries of the homeless are forgotten for at least a few hours. Of course this is only a small ray of hope for the people in need. But if each of us makes such a contribution of support, we are on the right path towards a society in which people are there for each other," says Reisig. "For me, this event is a matter close to my heart, and I am very happy that so many prominent helpers have once again agreed to participate without hesitation. With the meanwhile traditional Christmas goose meal we want to show respect and community spirit - values that are of great importance even after the Christmas season."
Long queues had already formed in the afternoon at the Christmas market in front of the Romans. The homeless people, who had registered at various contact stations such as Caritas, Diakonie or Frankfurter Tafel, were asked to come to the table in two shifts, once at 4 p.m. and once at 5.30 p.m.
"I am always looking forward to supporting this very meaningful action," says Radost Bokel. The actress has already slipped into the role of the waitress for the fifth time. For model Gina Lisa Lohfink it was a premiere: "I'm here today for the first time and it's great how warmly the homeless are welcomed here. It is good and important that there are actions like these by Bernd Reisig and I am very happy that I can contribute a small part to make these people happy in the pre-Christmas time."
For the homeless Robert the Christmas goose food is a beloved tradition. "If you live on the street, such sumptuous meals as roast goose with dumplings and red cabbage are something very special. I hope every year that the meal will take place again in the Römer - not only because of the roasting, but also because of the Christmas atmosphere and the feeling of being really welcome." Most of the homeless, like Robert, have been to the goose dinner several times. Gisela brought her friend Angelika this time. "She hadn't heard anything about the campaign yet and so I was able to give her a Christmas treat by registering her with me. We tried to be served personally by the Lord Mayor - and it worked," she is pleased to say. "More than 700 goose legs, red cabbage and around 2,000 dumplings were served, donated by REWE Bernd Kaffenberger and prepared by Lohrberg Schänke and wineBank. In addition to the Christmas dinner, the guests received a gift bag from the DFL Foundation, filled with Christmas stollen, fleece cap and scarf, fleece blanket, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, lip care and a thermo mug, sponsored by RMV. In addition, REWE Bernd Kaffenberger provided fruit and sweets to take away.
The Frankfurt am Main Transport Company (VGF) once again made it possible this year for all homeless people to travel to Frankfurt by public transport free of charge.
The guests were entertained by these helpers (in alphabetical order):
Reza Ahmari (Press Officer Federal Police Airport), Constanze Angermann (Special Olympics Germany in Hessen e. V.), Madeleine & Steffen Ball (Ballcom GmbH), Gerhard Bereswill (Police Commissioner Frankfurt), Radost Bokel (Actress ), Christopher Crell (Star Chef), Andre Dick (Sparda Bank Hessen, Director Frankfurt), Werner D´Inka (Editor Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Angela Dorn (Hessian Minister), Manuela & Christian Dressler (Lohrberg-Schänke), Nancy Faeser (SPD Chairwoman Hessen), Peter Feldmann (Lord Mayor City of Frankfurt), Woody Feldmann (Comedian), Peter Fischer (President Eintracht Frankfurt e.V.), Jürgen Harrer (FRAPORT AG), Patrick Hausmann (Festwirt), Bernd Kaffenberger (REWE), Thomas Kaspar (Co-Editor-in-Chief Frankfurter Rundschau), Kai Klose (Hessian Minister), Karl-Heinz "Charly" (Hessian) Körbel (Eintracht Frankfurt legend), Manfred Krupp (Intendant Hessischer Rundfunk), Frank Lehmann (TV stock market expert), Gina Lisa Lohfink (model), Marco Maier (Head of HIT RADIO FFH), Miriam-Juliane Nerlich (SIXT), Franzi & Lars Obendorfer (Best worscht in town), Markus Philipp (Sports Moderator), Marcelino Pohl (Bernd Reisig Foundation), Christopher Posch (TV Attorney), Bernd Reisig (Media Manager), Knut Ringat (Head of RMV), Claudia Roth (Vice President of the Bundestag), Eva Rüther (Jacobs Sister), Benjamin Scheffler (Head of FES), Carlos Schoenig (wineBank), Julian F.M. Stoeckel (TV actor), Thomas Sulzer (Regional Manager BILD Frankfurt), Jürgen Vormann (Managing Director Infraserv Höchst), Michael Wies (Priest of the Order), Dalia & Thomas Wissgott (Head VGF).
>The event was accompanied by the saxophone quintet of the Bundespolizeiorchester Hannover as well as comedian Woody Feldmann.