Bowspirit Kids want to help sick and traumatised children and teenagers deal with the foul that life has played to them. To do this, they want to buy an older passenger ferry and convert it into a “floating playroom”.
“Our young guests, some of whom have simply gone through hell, should experience something very special on board … they should live again”, says founder Michael Speckenbach (49). “We want to give the missing childhood back to them a bit and strengthen their backs so that they self-confidently leave our ship again in the knowledge that ‘Something has happened to me. That wasn’t nice, but it was right.’ And so they should start into a hopefully healthy future.”
Who as an entrepreneur has the idea “Oh no, another organisation that annoys me with glossy brochures and begging letters”, looks (still) a little short-sighted at the project, Speckenbach and Ingo Kock (65), member of the Board of Trustees, are convinced.
“At first I thought my long-time friend Michael’s idea to take care of injured children’s souls in the form of a residential trip on board a ferry with trained medical care was a crazy one”, admits Ingo Kock, who is the managing partner of logistics service provider Güterkraftverkehr Hamburg-Holstein GmbH, honestly. “However, the more I heard about his ideas via phone calls as well as when we met up in person, I recognised the potential, and decided to contribute my part to this project. Through my many years of working with apprentices from all walks of life and all parts of the world, I have learnt that many of them struggle considerably – with more than just day-to-day issues and problems. This is exactly why I as entrepreneur believe the key to freeing these souls lies in early intervention!”
Even if it literally belongs to the “game of life” that everyone has to carry their parcel, some parcels are just so misshapen that it is good if someone shows me in good time how to carry them best, so that they do not hinder me on my further path in life.
Ultimately, it is also about working together to ensure that in the long run fewer young people with bulky parcels end up in companies and cost much more money there than the support of Bowspirit Kids will ever cost.
“We are a small but powerful team and want to stay that way. We won’t spend any resources on mass mailings to the waste paper baskets of the executive floors”, Kock and Speckenbach agree. “As well as from our private supporters, we hope that entrepreneurs with heart and mind will take the initiative in bringing their individual talents into our project.”
In addition to the opportunity to support the Bowspirit Kids with a classic donation, there are a number of campaigns that combine the fun of a campaign with the joy of helping.
The formats “The world’s largest floating pinboard” and “12 times 12” are particularly suitable for entrepreneurs. As they are business sponsorships with return service these are not subject to tax restrictions on donations and can be claimed as operating expenses.
“The world’s largest floating pinboard” is initially created as a virtual pinboard on the internet. Each entry on the virtual pinboard is transferred to the sides of the real ship by means of a printed foil if the campaign is successful. All pinboard entries remain on the ship’s sides for at least twelve months and thus travel around the world.
In the format “12 times 12”, the entrepreneur supports Bowspirit Kids for twelve months with a freely chosen “Twelve” from his/her field of activity, e.g. 12 Cents for every Euro-pallet moved in a forwarding company, one Euro for every twelfth guest of a leisure spa or 12 Euros for every vehicle sold in a car dealership. There are hardly any limits to the creativity of the supporters – only a “Twelve” must appear in the contribution.
The format is accompanied by appropriate public relations work and a special logo with which the participating companies can show their social commitment.
The Lübeck port community and their guests from home and abroad have already shown the way: One third of the traditional so-called plate collection during the annual Shipbroker’s Dinner, organised by the Lübecker Schiffsmakler und Schiffsagenten e.V. association at the Lübecker Schiffergesellschaft restaurant on the second Friday in February, was gratefully donated to Bowspirit Kids this year.
The Bowspirit Kids Group was founded in spring 2018 in Lübeck, Germany. Our activities focus on the creation of a maritime holiday and recreation camp that will give sick and traumatised children and their siblings – often called the “shadow children” – the opportunity to have fun and take a recreation from the illness. To this aim, we want to take advantage of the mobility of a passenger ferry to be able to operate outside of the base location in order to present the Bowspirit Kids Group and its work worldwide and to initiate further projects based on the guiding theme of a “recreation from illness”.
The group has two companies – the non-profit company Bowspirit Kids gemeinnützige GmbH (www.bowspirit-kids.org) and the commercially managed Bowspirit Management GmbH (www.bowspirit-management.com), which are intertwined under company law in such a way that the profits generated cannot be distributed to shareholders, but are directed towards the overarching charitable objective.
The Bowspirit Kids Group intends not to base its activities solely on classical donations, but also to raise financial resources through social events and business sponsorships. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the campaign “The world’s largest floating pinboard” was launched as kick-off event.