A life-long relationship with SOS Children's Villages
My name is Regine Frost. I was born in 1944, just two days after D-Day, in the picturesque Rems Valley in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
This is my story about my lifelong connection to SOS Children’s Villages – one that began when I was a little girl in Germany and continues to this very day through my donations to this wonderful cause.
My grandfather came from humble origins, leaving school at age 14 and working his way up to become a well-known architect, founding his own office. Both of his sons (my uncles) became architects, and his daughter (my mother) played an essential role in the administrative part of the office.
I remember quite well, in the mid-50s, a sudden buzz in the house because a big project was going to be built close by on one of the hilltops near the village of Oberberken. A certain Mr. Hermann Gmeiner had been visiting quite often and, as you may know, he founded SOS Children’s Villages after witnessing the suffering of so many orphaned children after World War II. Indeed, another SOS-Village was to be built.
Every so often, I would accompany my uncle to the SOS construction site, but the highlight was a celebration mid-way through the building process called Richtfest (topping out ceremony). In this celebration, a young birch tree was erected on top of the still uncovered roof with many bandanas hung on it in all colours. Speeches and blessings were given from the rooftop, and an emptied glass of wine was thrown on the ground for good luck. Traditional food, wine, and mineral water were served, and more good cheers were given. And I even got to keep one of the bandanas.
Regine Frost's mother and uncle at the SOS Richtfest.
This whole exciting episode was my initial introduction to the concept of SOS Children’s Villages. I got in touch quite literally! And it made, and still makes, perfect sense to me, having had my own experience with an unconventional upbringing as far as family is concerned – that it really takes a village to raise a child. In my case, my village consisted of my mom, grandparents, the office staff making toys for me, clients, craftspeople, and shopkeepers spoiling me with little treats, and the postman taking me on his rounds to deliver parcels – especially at Christmas time.
And as life often goes, after many twists and turns, I have now been living in Canada for over 30 years – and am now the last of the family.
But the memories are very much alive, and I am particularly happy to have reconnected with SOS Children's Villages. I’m even more happy to have the means to support this great organization with donations and a gift in my will.
I know that you will agree that it is sad that the need for safe homes for children is bigger than ever. But I am absolutely convinced that there is no better way to fully embrace life than by helping a child. I invite you to join me as a legacy donor to SOS Children’s Villages and feel the same sense of satisfaction and purpose that making this gift has given me. It will be the gift of my lifetime. Together, we can help generations of vulnerable children find the stability of a forever home. This beautiful organization can and should be a part of all our legacies.