Bosch Japan hosted its annual charity event "Saint Nikolaus is coming to town!" to support some 300 children at three day-care centers (one for children with special needs) in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Prefecture on 4 December 2015. Bosch, the leading supplier of technology and services, has held the event every year in December since the Eastern Japan Earthquake as part of its ongoing relief activities in the city.

Themed after "Saint Nikolaus Day" traditionally celebrated on 6 December in Europe, where Saint Nikolaus, the "German Santa Claus", brings gifts to children who behaved well all year. Bosch Japan former president Herbert Hemming who retired in March, 2015 hands out gifts to children. Dressed in a Saint Nikolaus costume, he visits three day-care centers in Higashimatsushima, including the Ono nursery located in a container housing unit donated by Bosch Japan.

Keeping true to his promise that he would return if the children remained good, Mr. Hemming came over all the way from Germany to visit the three day-care centers this year, where he received a loud and cheerful welcome from the eagerly waiting children. Mr. Hemming and two volunteers from Bosch Japan dressed as a servant and an angel sang Jingle Bells together with the children and then handed out a gift of traditional German wooden toys and sweets along with a hand-written card to each child.

"This is the fifth time we have held this event," said Mr. Hemming. "There has been a clear commitment of Bosch to offer a long-term and sustainable support for Higashimatsushima and its people. It is therefore a duty and a honor for me to personally support the 5th "Saint Nikolaus is coming to town!" event. Furthermore we made so many friends in Higashimatsushima that it was an outstanding pleasure to see each other, in particular the smiling and excited faces of the kids." Prior to the visit of the day-care centers, Hemming also visited Mr. Hideo Abe, the mayor of Higashimatsushima. "We are extremely grateful to Mr. Hemming for visiting Higashimatsushima once again this year since 2011 although he has been retired in March, 2015. We hope to continue fostering the tight-knit relationship between Higashimatsushima and Bosch in the future" stated Mr. Abe as he handed an official letter of appreciation to Hemming.

The individually handwritten cards, each with a unique, heartfelt message, and the wrapping of the gifts and other preparations were carried out with the cooperation of around 50 Bosch Japan employee volunteers and their families.

Relief efforts in Higashimatsushima to continue
In the spirit of the company's founder Robert Bosch, the Bosch Group remains committed to voluntary social service around the world. Bosch designated Higashimatsushima as a focus area for earthquake relief activities, which have been ongoing since 2011. Bosch Japan will continue to do as much as we can to assist relief efforts in Higashimatsushima in 2016.

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