Johanniter Christmas Truck

In 2019, Giving Getaway supported the Johanniter Christmas Truck campaign, one of many projects and programmes of this organization.

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For the Love of Life

Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. is a voluntary humanitarian organization that was established in 1952. Under the slogan “For the love of life” more than 21,000 employees and 37,000 active volunteers in Germany play their part in contributing to make this world a better place by focusing on people in need. The “Johanniter Christmas Truck Campaign” is only one of many projects this organization is responsible for – but it’s a very special one! Let us take a look at some facts about the Christmas Truck Campaign.

26th year in a row, 5 countries and 270 distribution points

Since the first trip in 1993 many things have changed. It all began with 15 people who organized the whole project and brought 4,000 packages to Romania in five trucks, with two accompanying vehicles. Now, 26 years later, all these numbers exploded – but nonetheless humanitarian aid is still needed. In 2018 136 people in 44 trucks plus one truck in January with additional delivery collected and distributed 57,552 packages in five different countries! Overall 1,4 million items and 140,000 euros have been donated in 2018 to support this project – numbers that will hopefully be exceeded in 2019.
In 2019 five convoys will approach about 270 distribution points in Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. In many cases the route leads to secluded small towns and villages which are difficult to access. Long before the day of departure Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. and local aid agencies jointly decide who needs their help. The beneficiaries are for example socially disadvantaged families and families with a large number of children, children in schools and children‘s homes, young people with a disability, elderly people, those who attend soup kitchens and families from parish communities.

Package contents: food, hygiene products and on children's gift

In order to ensure that all packages are of approximately the same value the organization compiled a standardized packing list which they steadily improved over the last 26 years. In cooperation with their partners in the target countries Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. wants to make sure that the packages are geared to the needs of the beneficiaries and that a fair distribution is guaranteed. The packing list is as follows: ​
  • 1 children‘s gift
  • 2 kg sugar
  • 3 kg flour
  • 1 kg rice
  • 1 kg pasta
  • 2 l cooking oil in plastic bottles
  • 3 packs of soluble multivitamin tablets
  • 3 packets of biscuits
  • 5 bars of chocolate
  • 500 g cocoa powder
  • 2 bottles of shower gels
  • 1 tube/pot of hand cream
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • 2 tubes of toothpaste

Giving Getaway assembled one package for every completed questionnaire

The Christmas Charity Campaign took place between the 26th of November and 13th of December. For every questionnaire that has been completed during this period, Giving Getaway assembled one package and brought it to the collecting point from “Die Johanniter” in Holzminden (Germany). All in all, 12 packages with an overall value of 320€ had been assembled and delivered, not least because of the generous donations of engaging supporters like Marzena. ​
As this meant that I had to buy in large quantities (such as 75 bars of chocolate and 36kg of flour) I decided to buy the required foods and hygiene products wholesale. After that, the packaging process began for which I got my whole family involved. While my brother provided the cartons, my sister’s family including my two nephews and my niece helped me to assemble the packages.
In the time the older kids and I bought beautiful children’s gifts (a coloring book, a huge set of coloring pencils and a pencil sharpener), my sister and the youngest helper in the group packed up the other items. After gift-wrapping the packages, we finalized the packaging process with a photo in front of their beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The perfect end of a joint action for the good cause!
I delivered the packages the next day to the collecting point of “Die Johanniter” in Holzminden 85 km away. As if this wasn’t enough, I spontaneously decided to donate a little bit of extra money to the municipality by speeding on my way back home, you are welcome Holzminden! Anyway, a huge thanks to everyone who participated! Every single one of you helped me to realize the first charity campaign by Giving Getaway. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

Another record-breaking year: Figures and facts about the campaign in 2019

In total, 64,440 packages were brought by 154 drivers and co-drivers in 51 trucks to Albania, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Moldova – 6,888 packages, 18 helpers and 6 trucks more than last year! ​
A big compliment to everyone who was involved in the Johanniter Christmas Truck Campaign in 2019 and of course a big thank you to everyone who participated in the donation campaign by Giving Getaway. News like this are the clear proof that more and more people care about making this world a better place.

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