Text: Juliane Gringer
As a “Christmas Trucker” Stefan Giuliani travels to poor regions of Eastern Europe every year to distribute aid packages to the needy. Using a 40-tonne truck from REICHHART Logistik GmbH, he brings food and hygiene products to people for whom these are the most precious gifts.
Sugar, flour, rice and toothpaste: a package of everyday things like these is a great gift for some people. As part of the relief action “Christmas Trucker“, Johanniter brings thousands of donated parcels of food and hygiene products to suffering and needy children, families, senior citizens and people with disabilities in Eastern Europe every year at the end of December. Volunteers drive the shipments by truck to Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine – to small towns and hard-to-reach mountain villages, to soup kitchens, Roma settlements and to regions difficult to access. In five long convoys, the truckers head for around 270 distribution points and present the local people with a small Christmas miracle. One of the truck drivers is Stefan Giuliani from Kötz in Swabia. He became aware of the Christmas truckers about ten years ago through an acquaintance who is involved in the campaign himself: “He showed me photos and told me about his tours. I was immediately determined to take part”.
Passion for truck driving
Stefan Giuliani, who has also been involved in the voluntary fire brigade for 25 years, is happy to help, and he prefers to do it himself. “I am not the type of person who simply donates money and trusts that something good will happen with it,” says the experienced truck driver. He once financed his studies with tours in a truck. “And because I enjoy it so much, I still drive on the side. “He has taken a part-time job as a trucker so that he can still sit in the truck regularly. To join the Christmas truckers, Giuliani needed a vehicle – and that was not easy to find. “For two years I phoned my way from haulage companies to driving schools to providers of driver safety training, but achieved nothing. It seemed hopeless,” he recalls. “Then an acquaintance said she could ask REICHHART Logistik, that was her logistics partner – they were nice and would definitely do that. I didn’t believe it would work, but just a phone call later it was clear: you’re in!