WACKER HILFSFONDS (WACKER’s relief fund) is dedicated to providing unbureaucratic, long-term aid, especially in the wake of natural disasters. The fund’s board members and trustees work on a voluntary basis. So far, Wacker Chemie AG has always matched all employee contributions to the fund.
In June 2013, Germany experienced devastating floods that caused economic damage totaling several billion euros. Several WACKER employees were affected by the flooding, as were social institutions in Austria and in the German states of Saxony and Bavaria. WACKER’s relief fund appealed to employees to support affected colleagues. Employees responded in large numbers, donating approximately €52,000, which combined with the employer contribution amounted to €152,000 of available funding. The foundation paid the sum out to 20 flood victims.
Introduced in 2012, the company’s cent-donation program has allowed WACKER’s relief fund to finance an entire 200-student school in Sri Lanka, which welcomed its first senior class in 2014. Relief fund donations also financed a solar installation. The new roof-top technology provides the school in Kosgoda with the means to generate its own electricity, making it independent of shortfalls in the national grid.
The over 4,300 employees who participate in the WACKER relief fund cent-donation program consent to having their monthly salary rounded down to the nearest euro – the difference in cents is then donated to the relief fund. On average, the participating employees donate 50 cents per month. This amount is then matched by the company for a monthly total of over €4,200 and an annual donation of over €50,000.
Thanks a Million!
WACKER’s relief fund reached a milestone exactly one decade after a devastating event: a total of precisely €1,000,161 had been donated to the relief fund over the ten-year period to December 31, 2014.
In December 2004, a tsunami laid waste to vast stretches of land in Asia, with thousands losing their lives or livelihoods. WACKER employees spontaneously donated €100,000, a sum that the Group matched and then augmented by an additional €50,000. Together, this made a total of €250,000 available that could be used for aid projects quickly and with no red tape. This was also when the relief fund was established.
True to the principle of “helping people help themselves,” WACKER’s relief fund has been supporting programs since 2005 that give victims of natural disasters the chance of a better life. WACKER’s relief fund is setting a precedent not only in Sri Lanka, but also in China, Haiti and Pakistan, because the foundation focuses on education for children and young people in the aftermath of natural catastrophes.