We all have or once had a grandmother and grandfather. And we, too, one day, will become seniors. Old age awaits all of us, as well as maybe loneliness, maybe emptiness. In the Czech Republic, there are hundreds of thousands of retired people who are alone in flats or facilities. For many of them, Christmas is not a time of happiness and joy because they have not received a gift or even just a visit and the Christmas experience in years. Thanks to the project Jesus's Grandchildren, that is now changing.
Olga Štejbarová is the woman behind the project
The project Jesus's Grandchildren was created two years ago at the instigation of journalist Olga Štrejbarová. She reminded the public of the fact that although the global brands of soft drinks show us in pre-Christmas commercials that Christmas is a holiday of joy and happiness, many people spend it in solitude and sadness without a single gift for years. With the help of friends, Olga was able to fulfill the wishes of over 600 grandmothers and grandparents in old people‘s homes and other establishments.
This year, a month before Christmas, 15 thousand wishes have already been fulfilled and over two million crowns have been raised through Slevomat! This proves that even though the Czechs say they are envious and perhaps prudent, that they do not want migrants in their country, they are still good people.
The Czechs are generous
The unfulfilled wishes of lonely seniors can still become reality, and homes can still sign up for the project of Jesus's Grandchildren. All they need to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The willingness to help others, empathy, generosity, in short, good deeds, are overcoming themselves. We have already currently fulfilled the same amount of wishes as last year for the entire duration of the project, and we are definitely not finished. We are looking forward to further new wishes," said Martin Ondráček, editor-in-chief of Czech Radio News and Journalism and project manager of Jesus's Grandchildren.
Usually they are small things like cosmetics, sweets, games, clothes or books. But a lot of Jesus's Grandchildren also have a bigger wish like a computer, a television or a wheelchair. Many of these were financed from the fundraiser on Slevomat.
An experience worth gold
However, seniors are often very lonely, so they wish for experiences. Whether it's a visit to the pope or a meeting with Karel Gott, or trips to locations they remember from their childhood, to see friends, or sightseeing. According to the director of the center of complex care in Benátky nad Jizerou, Jesus's Grandchildren have changed their lives of the elderly. The delivery of gifts is a huge dose of emotions.
She recalls, for example, a 12-hour pig sticking which took place last year, that is, during the first year of Jesus's Grandchildren. "There was a huge number of people involved, it was a symphony and an unforgettable experience," the director recalled in an interview for Radiožurnál. It was such a great experience that they will repeat it this year. "One client wanted the pig sticking, entered it into the database – and got it. We already have a donor, a performer and we are very excited," she said.
You can become a Jesus‘s grandchild, too. It's simple, just go to the project website, choose one of the thousands of lonely seniors' wishes and fulfill it. Go ahead!