400 Father Christmases in Neutraubling

Gingerbread in September, an Advent calendar in October, a Christmas tree in November – the Christmas preparations no longer begin only on the 1st Advent weekend. For adults, the run-up to Christmas often means hectic present-buying and a plan for “how to survive Christmas”, whereas for the children it mainly signifies one thing: soon there’s going to be presents! An almost imperative ritual here is writing a wish list. For the kids, it still further enhances the anticipation of the Christmas festival, while for the parents it’s a helpful guideline to buying presents.

Since today, a huge Christmas tree has been standing in Krones’ reception hall at Neutraubling, adorned with red and silver balls, and lots of small wish slips. All this is part of a Christmastime campaign unprecedented in Krones’ history. Caroline Herbst, Head of Sales Marketing, is the initiator of this project and explains what’s involved.

A Christmas tree in November – quite an unusual sight for Germany. So why is there already a Christmas tree in the reception hall at Neutraubling?

Charity campaigns in the run-up to Christmas are nothing new, of course. Whether it’s donations in money or in kind – the options for doing good are many and various.
This year, there’s a Christmas initiative at Krones too. For the first time, our staff have an opportunity to proactively shape a project of this kind. Around 200 children from children’s homes in the county were allowed to fill in two wish slips. Since today, these wishes have been hanging on a Christmas tree in Krones’ reception hall in Neutraubling. Every employee who wants to get involved can take a slip from the tree and make the gift wish inscribed on it come true.

201411JE02_0008There are lots of charity campaigns around at Christmastime. What gave you the idea of erecting a Christmas tree full of wish slips at Krones?

Krones is not the first company, of course, to have launched a charitable project of this nature. I borrowed the idea from my brother’s employer in North Rhine-Westphalia. The feedback from his colleagues there on the Christmas initiative has been uniformly enthusiastic. All of them are highly motivated, and delighted to be able to give so much pleasure for so little effort. But the children, too, are ecstatic about the parcels under the Christmas tree, and of course grateful that Father Christmas has not forgotten them.

I immediately thought: “That’s the sort of thing Krones should be doing!” A project team liaised with the Regensburg County Youth Office to get in touch with the homes. Here, too, the initiative was warmly received. There’s never been a charitable project like this before in Regensburg County.
We deliberately decided to support children’s homes here in the surrounding region, because the pleasure is probably greater when specific wishes are actually granted.

A project like this can’t be carried out by one person alone. Was it difficult to gain supporters for this initiative?

No, not at all! Everyone I talked to about the idea was immediately in favour. Our Executive Board Chairman Volker Kronseder was enthusiastic too.
Since September, we’ve been organising the Christmas tree, designing wish slips, and distributing these in the children’s homes. So right from the start there have been plenty of helping hands involved in the initiative. This enthusiasm shows that we here at Krones are one big family, and can depend on each other. So what could be more natural than to do something for others and get involved in a good cause? After all, everyone knows: giving is the greatest pleasure there is.

What are your hopes for this Christmas initiative?

Sparkling eyes of happy children will conjure up a smile on anyone’s face! When the kids rejoice in their presents and realise that someone is thinking of them, then that’s bound to fill the giver’s heart with joy and satisfaction. So I hope that my own euphoria will also be felt by my colleagues as well, and that there will be plenty of Father Christmases among the Krones staff in Neutraubling.