- The presents were distributed during six special events organized in the period from 6-19 of December in Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Constanta and Pitesti
Bucharest, December 20, 2018 – More than 1,200 children in social and foster centers from disadvantaged communities from all regions of the country have received the gifts they wished for Christmas, with the help of the volunteers of the „Letters for Santa Claus” caravan, the most ample volunteering program of the Vodafone Romania Foundation, this year at its ninth edition. The presents were handed to the children during six special events held in Timisoara on the 6th of December, in Cluj-Napoca on the 10th of December, in Iasi on the 13th and 14th of December, in Constana on the 17th of December and in Pitesti on the 19th of December. More than 1,300 volunteers have been involved in this program.
To let Santa know their wishes, the little ones wrote him letters, which were then collected by the caravan team, scanned and uploaded via an application specifically developed for this program, so that they could be read by the volunteers. The „Letters for Santa Claus” caravan has traveled nearly 4,000 km in three weeks to gather the wish-letters sent to Santa by the children, passing through Bucharest and 19 counties of the country – Alba, Arges, Bistrita Nasaud, Buzau, Constanta, Cluj, Focsani , Gorj, Ialomita, Iasi, Ilfov, Mures, Neamt, Salaj, Teleorman, Timis, Tulcea, Valcea and Vaslui.
“I asked Santa to send me a schoolbag, a ball and a pack of sweets. I did not ask for more, because I thought it was my mom who was giving money to Santa to buy me those presents. Santa has brought me a schoolbag full of school supplies and a ball. Thank you, Santa! „, writes Stephen, a 10-year-old boy from Iasi County, in his thank-you letter to Santa Claus.
„I’ve asked Santa to bring me a game of rummy, a Monopoli game and Milka chohlate bars, and he’s brought me much more than that: a toy-pistol, a “Successful Business” game, a scooter, a schoobag full of school stuff, lots of clothes, boots and sweets. I believe it was my guardian angel who told Santa to get me so many presents”, writes in his message Ionut, another 11-year-old boy from Vaslui County.
“I’ve asked Santa to send me a doll with a puppy and I’ve also got clothes and a Monopoli game and many other games; Santa brought me all I had wished for! In addition, he’s also brought me sweets, though I had not asked for them. My message to Santa is that I thank him very much for everything he has brought me and I promise to ask for less next year, becasue I know there are children out there who have asked Santa to bring them presents, but they haven’ got any, simply because Santa cannot possibly reach all children”, writes Denisa, a 9-year-old girl from Iasi County.
The more than 1,300 volunteers involved in this program have worked over 5,400 hours and have personally contributed with nearly 600,000 RON to raise enough money to buy all the presents for the children. With this 2018 edition of the program, the caravan has travelled a total of nearly 18,000 km since its start in 2010.
This year, employees from 12 companies and non-governmental organizations have joined in with the Vodafone Romania Foundation. The donor-partners representing the “Antreprenoriada” project – a project of the Romanian Business Leaders Foundation, Dobre, Tulei & Associates, Lidl Discount and Lidl Digital, McCann Worldgroup Romania, Next Advertising, OTP Bank, Republica.ro, Soprano Design, Tanasescu & Gavrilă, Tucă, Zbârcea & Asociaţii and Yokogawa Europe Solution, arranged that a total of 457 children receive presents for Christmas. Part of the presents were carried free of charge by FAN Courier to the target regions.
Now at its ninth edition, the “Letters for Santa Claus” national program has expanded from year to year through partnerships developed so far with 141 nongovernmental organizations from all over the country, covering more and more underprivilaged communities. Since 2010, the year of its launch, the „Letters for Santa Claus” caravan has reached 4,330 children from underprivileged backgrounds across the country. The total amount of donations collected during all these years by volunteers for the presents offered to children have amounted to approximately 1.5 million lei.
The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental charitable organization, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the Vodafone Romania SA’s business. During its 20 years of activity, Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,104 programs run by 706 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had a total of 2.7 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people, physically, socially or economically disadvantaged. So far, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has invested over 28 million euros in projects run by nonprofit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.