Germany international Kai Havertz has donated a reported sum of 200,000 euros to the Red Cross in order to help victims of widespread flooding in Germany.
The 22-year-old expressed shock at the images coming back from his motherland, specifically his own Rhineland region on the major receiving end in July.
The attacker is also pursuing other fundraising initiatives, alongside the cash donation, as the disaster continues to affect families weeks after the event.
The former Bayer Leverkusen forward became aware of the worrying situation, as he was told they were witnessing heavy rainfall, during a phone call with his father after Die Mannschaft’s exit from Euro 2020.
The playmaker told BBC: “To be honest I didn’t take what he said seriously because sometimes that happens 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.”
Havertz has contributed with a sizeable donation, and also created 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, as Chelsea will seek their second consecutive Premier League victory to the start of the season.
While roughly a dozen European countries were affected by flooding in July, due to intense storms and precipitation, Germany was the most affected.
No less than 184 of the 230 deaths confirmed across Europe 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.
Also, 200,000 properties in the North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate regions were left without electricity as a result of the flooding.
Right 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 water or power nationwide.
Story by Sammy Wejinya