Danke – Thank you

Danke (meaning thank you) is probably the word I said most in the last few months to all the colleagues that were engaged in the cake baking project and Christmas celebration day at the “Kids and Youth Village Seckach.”

It all started in the summer when my colleagues from Hungary told us about the cake contest in Budapest. We thought we could do something similar and decided to donate the money to the Kids and Youth Village Seckach, home to 180 kids in need from three to 18 years in age. We called the head of the social institution, shared our ideas and already started some planning. By that time we did not dream of how big this project would become.

Then I started to walk around our Sulzbach office and ask for bakers. The feedback was great! In total, 120 colleagues baked, decorated or tinkered. Everything was sold on Thursday afternoons in the Sulzbach office building.  We came up with the ideas of autumn decoration, Halloween, beach party and Christmas. A colleague from our engineered materials business also organized spatulas made out of Vectra® and we had one Cake Day with the new engineered materials design oven. All these efforts made our cake donations even more successful. 

We heard there were real cake baking parties at some colleague’s homes that had really tasty cakes every week. I remember the first time I organized a cake baking party I was so excited and a bit afraid that we would not attract many people. But then every Thursday in the cantina we would hear: “Hey, meet you at the cake bake party later,” and communicator messages increased with the same message. We had nice afternoons to meet and exchange with Sulzbach colleagues and all for a good cause.

With the core team we started to think about the activity day. We found so many helpful hands in the whole organization and the Christmas Day we spent there was beyond all expectations.

We arrived with two vans and cars with 16 employees to spend the day with a full Christmas celebration. We folded Origami with the kids, made scoubidoo bracelets, learned about our colleagues trip to the Arctic, practiced to become a tennis star, felt excitement by playing Bingo, did a webcache, experienced engineering skills via Lego technic, created T-shirts and bags, made beautiful magazine files with table napkins, decorated candle holders and enjoyed the beautiful painted faces and self-made cookies.

Then Santa came and the kids looked starry-eyed at the 120 presents we prepared. One little boy told us that this was one of the best days in his life. The atmosphere with the happy children was inspiring. We have never seen so many kids helping each other; they were role models for collaboration. We could feel the good result of professional and caring education in the Seckach Kids and Youth Village.

Enthusiastically, we finished the day with a party when our Celanese Band “Crossroads” played a live concert and we danced with the kids!

Celanese Sulzbach colleagues donated 18 fully packed boxes with great toys and 2.000€ from the Cake Bake Project; Celanese doubled this amount to a total of 4.000€! (5.500 USD)

Nearly all colleagues from Sulzbach were involved in donating cakes, toys, time and money.

Danke … Thank you all in Sulzbach and Seckach!

With tremendous support from Sulzbach employees, our Cake Bake became the biggest employee driven project among all Celanese offices in Germany. In particular, I would like to thank: Dieter Gronbach (Head of the institution), Thomas Erl (Project Manager from Seckach), Core Team: Ingrid Wenzel, Ingrid Mollath, Carla Beck, Isolde Später, Frenze Taut, Christian Doderer, Marta Tejerina,  Anna Casado,  Shereen Khan Extended team: Gerald Heinrich, Thorsten Zedel, Torsten Krüger, Stefan Bach Weisbrod, Stefan Vorberg, Gina Juhasz, Anna-Maria Peter, Denise Weber, Ulrike Hemberger, Cornelia Stephan, Bonnie Schulz, Eric Folz, Frank Kretzschmar, Thilo Vaahs, Petra Burrell

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About the author


Nicole Lagemann is EU Scheduling lead for the engineered materials business. She passionately drove this project and likes to play Bingo.

There are 7 comments. Add yours.

  1. Frenze says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing this Nicole. It was amazing to see how this project became bigger and bigger because so many people wanted to help. I also have been in Seckach that day, it was very special. Merry Christmas everyone!

  2. Bethany Trapp says:

    What an amazing and inspiring story to remind us all of what the holidays are truly about! Hugs to everyone who was a part of this and thank you so much for sharing! My mother in law grew up in a situation such as this children”s home and has told me many times about wishing for a day like this. You are all truly inspiring!!! Merry Christmas and God bless!

  3. Ingrid Mollath says:

    Just want to add my thanks to all the colleagues who bought my handmade cards, stars, little bags and boxes during the Thursday afternoons which made 10 % of the above mentioned 2000 € for the Cake Baking Project.

    The day at the Seckach Kids & Youth Village was an experience and a lot of fun.

  4. Mark Rohr says:

    What a fantastic way to share the holiday spirit with children in need. It’s inspirational for all of us at Celanese and it really looks like everyone involved had allot of fun. Merry Christmas

  5. Maria Ciliberti says:

    Nicole, what a great story.

    I was traveling a lot the last months and was only able to go to one of the Thursday “Bake Sales” in the Sulzbach building. I enjoyed buying some snacks, a Vectra spatula (they really are fantastic!) and talking to colleagues. However, until I read your blog, I had no idea that this was part of a MUCH bigger project.

    WOW! Hats off to you and the team.

    I can imagine the impact you all had on the kids. “Totally awesome”.

    Thank YOU, Nicole….Danke schoen, Nicole,

    for your time…fuer ihren Arbeit.
    (hopefully that was correct…lol).

    Super job!

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