Hopefully you had a wonderful Christmas with good food and quality time with loved ones. We at VALA think that Christmas is supposed to be a happy time spent with family and loved ones, stress and worrying shouldn’t have a part in it. Unfortunately this is not the case for all families. Christmas can be a very tough time of the year for many families. We think that every family deserves a Christmas with Christmas food and at least some presents for the children. Luckily in Finland we have this amazing community called jouluapua.fi, which helps companies and individuals find families in need of help during Christmas.
We’ve had different theme months in VALA over the fall (including hobbies, wellbeing and product creation) and now, on December, the subject of the theme month is doing good together. That’s why we decided to jump on board with Jouluapua -charity community.
Jouluapua.fi is a community which connects people during the Christmas time. The goal is to provide a feeling of a warm and happy Christmas to families with financial troubles. The nice thing about the concept is that there are no money donations but instead the donors buy the Christmast food and gifts by themselves and then give them to the families. It’s a wonderful addition to charity work to be able to see the happy faces of the people you help.
First we contacted Jouluapua.fi and told them that we would like to participate in some way. The folks there were very helpful and introduced us to the process. Eventually we got a list of 11 families that we could help. The list included short descriptions of the families, their backgrounds and also their modest wishes for Christmas. It was very touching to read the different background stories of the families. Realizing the amount of struggle and misfortune they have faced really made us feel privileged to be able to help. If not before, at this point we all got very engaged in the project.
All VALA people were invited to join as Santa’s little helpers. Eventually we divided into teams, and each team was in charge of two families. Teams contacted the families and discussed about the wishes and how everything would be organized. Next it was time for execution. We went to buy the presents, tried to find used quality products from recycling shops and contacted our networks to find toys and other gifts in good condition. We also arranged a gift wrapping session at our office! Finally we went for Christmas food shopping together with the families.
All in all joining Jouluapua.fi has been a wonderful, warm experience. It’s relatively easy to organize, everyone can participate and most importantly it brings so much joy to the givers and to the families, VALA Group recommends!
Here’s some comments we got from the families (in Finnish):
Kiitos paljon VALA Group. Todella paljon apua oli teistä! Toivotut lahjat saatiin ja jouluruokaa vielä päälle. Lapset ovat varmasti iloisia ja tyytyväisiä lahjoihinsa.
– Kiitollinen äiti Helsingistä
Kiitos vielä tuhannesti. Tyttö oli aivan häkeltynyt paketeista ja yritti jo arvailla voisiko siellä olla toivottu ponipaita 🙂
– Kiitokset äidiltä ja tyttäreltä Helsingistä
And some figures to the end: