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"We are very grateful. Extremely so. You in Germany probably cannot even imagine how much you are helping us. The hardship in Greece has reached a level that leaves us speechless,” wrote Father Gabriel, abbot at the Metamorphosis monastery in Doloi, Kalamata, which ensures that the packages are distributed fairly.
The latest relief effort organized by Hans Stamminger involved school supplies, bedding, clothing, incontinence supplies and much more being collected in Colmberg on two Saturdays. The items were gratefully received. 270 aid packages reached the children, poor families and elderly in Kalamata last week and their eyes lit up as they received them.
For days, Hans Stamminger and his volunteers had packed the donations into boxes before a Greek shipping company transported them to Greece where they were unloaded in a hall belonging to the self-help group GAIA.
The elderly in the nursing home are doing much better because of the support, but in other homes there are still catastrophic conditions.
Many Greek citizens have no health insurance; either they can no longer afford the payments or the health insurance companies have gone bankrupt. These people are helped by an outpatient clinic with 60 doctors, nurses, and therapists working on a voluntary basis. This clinic is supported by the campaign as well and urgently needs the help to maintain the medical care in the region.
Father Gabriel is touched and impressed by the help of the people from Franconia. He closed his letter with the lines: "We want to reward you for your generosity. Whenever one of you finds their way to Greece, we would like to invite you to our monastery for us to share our joy and a simple meal with you. The Lord be with you all."
More information here. (Newspaper article “Hilfstransport aus Colmberg ließ die Augen in Kalamata leuchten” [Aid supplies from Colmberg lit up people’s eyes in Kalamata], published in the Fränkische Landeszeitung on March 4, 2014) and here (“Abt Gabriel: ‘Vergelt’s Gott!’” [Abbot Gabriel: “May God reward you!”], on March 5, 2014. In German only.)