Mission: grounds maintenance – STIHL lends a hand at an SOS Children’s Village

Equipped with powerful cordless tools, the STIHL “special task force” joined forces to get the SOS Children’s Village Black Forest ready for winter. And all kinds of STIHL tools were in use when it came time to tackle the grass, trees and shrubs.

“Are you from the fire brigade?” the children at the SOS Children’s Village Black Forest in Sulzburg, Germany, asked when six STIHL employees showed up in their village last autumn. It was an easy mistake to make: equipped with high-visibility safety clothing and a wide range of chain saws, clearing saws, hedge trimmers, blowers, pole pruners and a shredder, the STIHL employees made an official impression indeed. Their mission? Grounds maintenance for a good cause.

STIHL supports SOS Children’s Village

STIHL’s long tradition of commitment

All of the staff at STIHL have made a difference in recent years by donating time and money to various SOS Children’s Villages projects in crisis-affected regions. In August 2014, companies and employees donated almost 22,000 euros to three Children’s Villages in the Balkans to help victims of the region’s 100-year flood.

Volunteers and special paid leave: project in the Black Forest

The idea of lending a hand to support SOS Children’s Villages in the German state of Baden-Württemberg came about during a visit by representatives of the organisation to STIHL. Naturally, the focus was on STIHL tools and their applications, from trimming hedges to felling trees and mowing meadows. The first volunteers were quick to sign up, and the company gave the employees special paid leave to support their activities. In October 2014, six employees set off to the SOS Children’s Village Black Forest, where help was most urgently needed.

41,000 square meters and plenty to do

The SOS Children’s Village Black Forest is the second oldest of its kind in Germany. Founded in 1958 in the town of Sulzburg, located near Freiburg, the village is constantly home to 50 to 60 children. The site consists of various houses and buildings that are arranged like a lovingly planned village. In addition to open spaces, there are playgrounds, lawns, paths, trees, hedges and shrubs spread out over an area of 41,000 square meters. That gave the volunteers plenty to do, such as trimming trees and shrubs, spreading bark mulch and getting the entire site ready for winter.

STIHL supports SOS Children’s Village

Lending a hand was worth it

“When we heard that STIHL was going to come and help us, we didn’t lift a finger all year”, an employee at the village maintenance department, said with a wink, explaining the weeds and untrimmed hedges. By pulling together, the volunteers managed to get a lot done. They thinned bushes, felled certain trees and cut back hedges to help make sure that the village’s paths and open spaces receive more light during the approaching winter season.

STIHL supports SOS Children’s Village

STIHL cordless tools keep noise down

To keep noise pollution to a minimum, the volunteers relied on powerful STIHL cordless tools. In the end, the team from STIHL and the SOS Children’s Village employees agreed: the outcome was a valuable contribution to the environment of the kids at the SOS Children’s Village Black Forest. And a second visit from STIHL is not out of the question. After all, trees and hedges grow back.

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