For 13 years in our country the New Year has been associated with Coca‑Cola Hellenic Christmas Caravan which has recently finished its impressive journey. From December 16 to January 12 the red Coca‑Cola trucks made over 190 stops in 64 cities of Russia. Almost 2000 employees of the Company took an active part in the project organizing festive celebrations for 38 800 Russian citizens.

The project for the first time was launched in 2001on the initiative of one of the Coca‑Cola Hellenic employees. In the beginning the Christmas Caravan was a pure charity project. The employees had dressed-up in Santa Claus suits, prepared presents for children from orphanages and visited kids in the red Coca‑Cola trucks, organizing holiday parties for them.

At present the project has turned into a large-scale one; Coca‑Cola Hellenic employees organized festivities in the city squares for the residents like, for instance, they did in Yekaterinburg where the Christmas Caravan made a stop at the main New Year Tree of the city and attracted attention of the local citizens skating at the skating rink and riding the ice slides. The citizens of Yekaterinburg participated in entertainment program with great relish! On the New Year Eve in Saint Petersburg the Christmas Caravan was running along the main squares and central streets of the city, facilitating the holiday cheer in the Northern capital. Our Caravan was eagerly waited for and greeted by the Company’s clients, students of the biggest universities and just by people who were passing by in such cities and towns as Nizhny Novgorod, Tolyatti, Samara, Ufa, Orenburg, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, Perm, Vladikavkaz, Anapa and others. All people happily waved us hands and smiled in a moment having believed in a fairy tale.

This year Coca‑Cola Hellenic employees have organized master-classes on postcards designing and decorating for the children from the patronized orphanages. Together with kids our employees were creating the New Year snowfalls and making Christmas angels, writing “letters into the future” to themselves in 10 years time; the children were dreaming about who they wanted to become in future and how they imagined themselves in 10 years. Specially, for the orphanage children from the Children’s Home “Solnyshko” (“sun”) from the Filimonki village (Moscow region) the employees organized a journey to the Ded Moroz’s estate in Kuzminki where everybody was greeted by fascinating contests and competitions. And of course everybody received presents.

This year the Christmas Caravan visited in total 126 child welfare institutions: orphanages, boarding schools and hospitals. 7665 children received presents and souvenirs from Santa Claus and Coca‑Cola Hellenic. 1950 employees of the Company from Moscow, Southern, North-Western, Central, Ural, Siberian and the Far East regions took part in organization of the projects buying gifts to the children and personally visiting them in the orphanages and during various municipal festive celebrations. Many employees who had taken part in the event for the first time decided to depart again into a magic journey next year.

Ulyana Shirokolav, Assistant of the Regional General Manager in Siberia and the Far East: “This is my first Christmas Caravan and I am sure I will always remember it. The happiness in the eyes of children, smiles on their faces, the holiday cheer in the air – it is impossible to forget! Christmas Caravan for me is an opportunity to make the world slightly better and kinder”.

One of the top-managers of Coca‑Cola Hellenic who started his career in the Company as a truck driver during the period of the Christmas Caravan drives on his own the corporate red Coca‑Cola truck decorated with garlands of bright bulbs and delivers presents into orphanages.

“I am taking part in this project for the second time, - says Olesya Nikolova, Purchases Department Specialist from the town of Orel. - This year we congratulated the children from Mtzensk orphanage. The kids vied with each other in telling poems, singing songs and dancing in a ring. I was deeply touched to see sparkling from happiness eyes of the children and was thrilled to be the part of the event. Each of us is able to fulfill someone’s wish and even a dream.”

This year children from orphan houses addressed their letters to Santa Claus with wishes that had already become traditional: girls asked for the dolls and boys for the modern gadgets. Many children asked for the sport equipment like skates, skiing suits and trainers. It is explained by the fact that sport and Sochi 2014 Games became the most discussed theme of the Christmas Caravan this time.

By the way, employees from the Legal Department, central office of Coca‑Cola Hellenic in Moscow, have chosen from all letters to Father Frost a letter of the teenager - 12–year-old Roman from the Children’s Home No2 and made one common present - a sport bicycle.

“Organization of the Christmas Caravan is now a good tradition of our Company: it brings a thrill of a holiday into the life of our partners, clients, customers and children from the orphan houses; putting on the suits of the fairy tale characters we turn for a while into the real heroes ourselves”, - said Evgenia Mogileva, communications manager at Coca‑Cola Hellenic in Russia, summarizing the project results of the season 2013-2014.

Video report you can see here:

Photo report is available in the official photo-bank of the Company: