Thousands in the star’s native Rhineland region were affected by the natural disaster and life is still far from returning to normal for many
Chelsea star Kai Havertz has donated €200,000 to the Red Cross in order to aid victims of widespread flooding in Germany in recent weeks.
The 22-year-old has been shocked by the images coming back from the country, with the player’s own Rhineland region especially hard hit over the course of July.
As well as the cash donation, he is also pursuing other fund-raising initiatives as the disaster continues to affect families weeks after the event.
What was said?
Havertz first became aware of the situation during a phone call with his father following Germany’s exit from Euro 2020, having been told that they had experienced days of heavy rainfall.
“To be honest I didn’t take what he said seriously because sometimes that happens,” he explained to the BBC. “But then he sent us the videos and pictures.
“It was horrible. You could see everything was flooded, cars were floating around, there were people in the water. It was hard because I lived maybe 20 minutes away from where it happened. I mean, I grew up there.”
“Maybe everybody has already forgotten. My family lives in the area and we know that there are so many homeless people. They lost everything and they don’t have a place to sleep, or there are houses without electricity and people that don’t have food or clothes.
“So I think right now it’s still a good time to help. Still they have a lot of problems.”
The playmaker has contributed with a sizeable donation, and also devised a plan to make 100 pairs of boots to be sold for auction in order to raise funds.
Havertz will wear a pair on Sunday against Arsenal, when Chelsea will seek their second consecutive Premier League victory to the start of the season.
The bigger picture
While roughly a dozen European countries were affected by flooding in July, caused by intense storms and precipitation, Germany took the biggest blow.
No less than 184 of the 230 deaths confirmed across the continent occurred there, making it the worst natural disaster in the nation for almost 60 years.
Among those fatalities, 135 were recorded in Rhineland-Palatinate (all of whom were in the district of Ahrweiler), 47 in North Rhine-Westphalia – which includes Havertz’s hometown of Aachen – and two in Bavaria.
In addition, 200,000 properties in the North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate regions were left without electricity as a result of the flooding.
Even now, more than a month after the disaster, the German Red Cross continues to serve more than 10,000 meals a day to residents without power or water nationwide.