Moments of Happiness – Christmas: Stories that touch the heart

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Whether human or animal – the Christmas season has a certain portion of wonder, warmth and joy ready for everyone, as these stories show.

For the fifth year in a row, the theater hall of the parish of Stadlau is used as a heating room in winter. One of a total of 39 in all of Vienna, more than ever before. But the need is greater than ever before. The “Krone” was visiting the warm room. The manager Kurt Roth takes care of the “guests” together with 28 helping hands. Because not only heat is donated, but also a hot meal.

Have a place for everyone
40 to 50 servings every Tuesday. “It’s like sitting in a restaurant here,” one visitor enthuses. She has been coming here for three years, but in the beginning it was quite difficult for her. “I didn’t know what people I would meet here and how I would be treated,” said the 48-year-old. But now she feels comfortable, meeting her friends here to chat.

Visitors are also given clothes, especially clean socks and underwear. Once a month a hairdresser comes by and cuts your hair for free. “Free legal advice is also available,” says Kurt Roth. The audience is quite mixed. “80 percent of our guests are regulars,” says the manager. Among them are some homeless people, people who spend the night in emergency shelters, but also some who have their own apartment. “Some of them have an apartment, but they don’t have enough money for food and heating,” says Manfred, a helper. And then there are those who come here so that they are not home alone. “Loneliness is a big problem for us, many enjoy the social exchange in our room,” says the volunteer. Brigitte is also happy with company. “Luckily I can still heat my apartment, but I like the pleasant atmosphere here,” says the 84-year-old.

One thing is certain: no one is turned away, sometimes there can be short waiting times, but everyone still has a place in the warmth.

christmas angel
Since 2012, the association “MUT Weihnachtsengel” has been organizing a festival for children who have to spend Christmas in a crisis shelter due to difficult living conditions. The Christmas angels are employees of participating companies or individuals who collect and pack the wishes written by the children. MUT employees take the personal packages to the crisis shelter, where the Christmas presents are then handed over to the children at a small party.

This year a total of 190 children were surprised with personal gifts. 29 adolescents in the Viennese Benedictus residence, 19 children in the housing projects of the St. Elisabeth Foundation, 58 small residents in the women’s shelters, 26 in two Kolping Muki houses and 20 small children were happy with a collection gift (gymnastics / play corner) in the MuKi House of Caritas Socialis. 19 young residents of the housing support of the association were also able to look forward to their personal Christmas surprise.

Ea glimmer of hope in difficult times
Florina Walch, head of housing assistance for the Christmas angel campaign: “It has a long tradition with us and has grown further over the years. Fulfilling a heart’s desire is even more important, especially for children who don’t have an easy life. ”

“Rocky” finds family
Mixed breed male “Rocky” came to the animal shelter in Vösendorf on December 23, 2012, exactly one day before Christmas ten years ago. The dog was only twelve months old at the time. His owner gave up the young four-legged friend because he couldn’t get along with the second dog in the family. The male had problems with other congeners from the start. Nobody knows exactly why.

From loving caregiver to loving family
The zookeepers, dog trainers, and care sponsors at the animal shelter cared for “Rockys” and trained diligently with him. Over the years he became calmer, but also older. The chance of a ‘forever home’ became increasingly smaller over time. Rocky spent ten years at the shelter. But this year it has to be that time. For a young couple, it was love at first sight. Which was probably mutual. Because just before Christmas that year, “Rocky” said goodbye to his beloved caretaker to spend the first of many holidays with his new family.

Source: Krone

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