[Photo Courtesy of the Inter-European Division]

On World Children's Day (September 20), the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Germany is launching this year's "Children Help Children” initiative. Parcels will be collected throughout Germany and delivered to needy children in Eastern and Southeastern Europe at Christmas time.

Parcel Drive for Needy Children

For over 20 years, children, parents, and grandparents throughout Germany have been packing Christmas parcels for children of poor families in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. The parcels contain toys, painting materials, clothing, exercise books, and often a personal message. With the "Children Help Children” initiative, ADRA wants to ensure that children in Germany develop compassion for their peers in other parts of the world. At the same time, low-income children, in Serbia for example, are helped, according to a press release from ADRA. "Since 2000, we have been able to put a smile on the faces of 678,026 children," said Matthias Münz, ADRA public relations officer.

World Children's Day International

World Children's Day is observed in over 145 countries around the world to draw attention to the special needs of children. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of issues such as child protection, child policy, and, above all, respect for children's rights. Internationally, there is no uniform date. In more than 40 countries, such as China and many Central and Eastern European countries and successor states of the Soviet Union, International Children's Day is celebrated on June 1. In other countries, there are other different dates. In Germany and Austria, World Children's Day is held on September 20, but June 1 is also celebrated as International Children's Day.

"Children Help Children” Initiative

Under the motto "Sharing makes you happy", children are invited to pack a parcel together with their parents and experience the sensation that giving brings and the joy of sharing that makes both the giver and receiver happy. Every year during the Christmas season, children can participate in ADRA's parcel drive and give joy to children in Eastern Europe. And this happens at home as well as in schools and kindergartens.

Each package should be a message to the children: We think of you. We want to make you happy. We mean well, and that is why we fill your parcel with good things and nice gifts. For us, it is an impetus to perceive the need in other parts of our world, learn to share, and take responsibility in action. That's very important to us.

Children's Projects and Educational Work

"Thanks to the parcel drive, children's projects can also be carried out. One parcel can turn into long-term help for children and families," Münz said. Finally, ADRA Germany also set up the area of educational work because everyone can help. It all begins with simply thinking about other people and wanting to understand their life situations.

All information on the Initiative can be found here.

To read the original article, please go here.

This article was originally published on the Inter-European Division’s news site