Johanniter Austria and Germany distribute 55,000 aid packages to poor people

Ingo Lammert - Dusseldorf, Germany, 12. February 2018

Austrian volunteers support their German colleagues at the Carnival in Neuss, Dusseldorf and Cologne

The teams of the Johanniter Christmas Trucks have returned from their journey to the poorest regions of South-Eastern Europe. Between Christmas and New Year’s, volunteers from our Austrian and German JOIN members distributed a total of 55,000 aid packages in Romania, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and - for the first time - Ukraine, to socially deprived families, orphans, people with disabilities, Roma families, poor kitchen visitors and many more.

A truck is prepared in Vienna

"It has been very touching and it is incredibly nice to see how much the children and their parents enjoy the aid packages. In many villages there is bitter poverty and especially in winter, the food is urgently needed", said volunteer Denis Weber, who personally handed over the aid packages in the north of Romania in the area of Bistritz.

Volunteers hand out aid packages to a small girl

The Christmas Truck campaign was launched in 1994 by Johanniter Germany. This year, for the first time, volunteers of Johanniter Austria also participated. People in Germany and Austria were assembling aid packages with urgently needed food, hygiene items and children’s toys. The packages were then distributed after Christmas to needy people in South-Eastern Europe. The trucks were provided free of charge by the shipping companies, whose drivers offered voluntary and safe transport. The Johanniter volunteers were supported by long-standing partner organizations in the different countries.