It is still almost dark when the 40 children, who come to fill the Luise Habermaass Children’s House every day with their loud voices and laughter, put on their thick jackets, shoes, hats and gloves so that they can go outside in temperatures of -2 degrees Celsius. They don’t usually go out at 8 am, but today everything is different. Today, a big truck from the “Johanniter Weihnachtstrucker” (Johanniter Christmas Truckers) association is coming to visit them!
The Johanniters have been involved with the Christmas Trucker campaign since 1993. People in Germany make up aid packages with urgently-needed basic foodstuffs, toiletries and a small children’s toy for needy children and their families in Eastern Europe.
Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, volunteer drivers take the parcels to Albania, Bosnia, Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria and personally hand them over there – these people give up their Christmas holidays to do something positive. Last year alone, 48 semi-trailers set off.
They have been collecting a big pile of parcels up until today at the children’s house, and now they are going to be picked up, right on time at 8.00 a.m.. Of course, everyone wants to help load the heavy parcels and send them on their way. “These gifts will be delivered to Albania,” says the volunteer truck driver. “Once we get there, we all meet up at a central meeting point, then in smaller vehicles we drive out to a number of villages in rural areas to hand out the gifts.”
“Bye-bye and have a good trip!”
After all the heavy parcels have been loaded into the truck, it sets off for the next collection point. Most of the children are still too young to understand how important each of the 60,000 or so packages is for another child in the world. But they all wave cheerily to the driver, the big truck and the presents and wish them all a good journey from the bottom of their hearts.
Further information and collection points can be found at: