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"Make a Wish" Charity Project: Santa Claus Brought Gifts to Bremen-North


January 6, 2022
They wished for puzzles, soccer balls, Spiderman figures, and even dolls. "Seeing the children receive their presents is always the highlight of the campaign," says Luna Ponelies, a student at Jacobs University in Bremen. "They often can't believe that Santa has actually come and that they get to keep the presents. The children remember exactly what they wished for and are also happy for each other."

Luna Ponelies, President of the Rotaract Club and Gini Adeh, Co-organizer of the project, with the children’s handwritten wish lists. (Source: Jacobs University)

Around 300 children from the daycare centers Am Fillerkamp and Neuenkirchener Weg in Bremen-North had their wishes fulfilled the week before Christmas. "Make a Wish" is the name of the annual wish list campaign organized jointly by the Parents' Association for Psychomotor Development, EPSYMO e. V., Vegesack Marketing, and the Rotaract Club of Jacobs University. On the first Advent weekend, the organizers hung the slips of paper with the children's wishes on Christmas trees in the Vegesack community and on campus.

Luna Ponelies, President of the Rotaract Club, the youth organization of the international Rotary movement, is now in her third year of involvement with the charity project. "You can see directly from the children's reactions what you've worked for. That's great," says the psychology major. The time commitment, which falls during exam time at the university, is intense. The wish lists have to be hung up, an overview of wishes kept and matched, and the gifts distributed.

Whether it's a blood drive, donating clothes for refugees or "Make a Wish," Jacobs University's Rotaract Club sponsors a whole range of projects. "I think it's nice to support actions that connect the university with the local community," says Luna, explaining her involvement. "Make a Wish," however, also brings students to volunteer together. The Rotaract Club has a good dozen active members; the Christmas campaign is supported by others, such as fundraising runs like "Run for Make a Wish" or donations from student concerts like "Piano to Forte."

A special “thank you” goes out to everyone who provided a gift and lovingly wrapped it. Many citizens from Vegesack have been supporting the campaign throughout the years and wait for the wish lists every holiday season.