Our Inspiring Story
The idea for an Aid Caravan to Greece began with a simple Facebook post on 29 August 2015. Within just a month, the Aid Caravan Foundation was founded in Haarlem on 30 September 2015. The amount of supplies donated was so overwhelming, we had to temporarily suspend collecting, so we could concentrate on actually organising the transport to where everything was needed most.
During those first 32 days, 400 volunteers joined Aid Caravan to Greece and we set up collection, sorting and storage facilities at 70 locations in the Netherlands (and Belgium) and accumulated around 1,500 cubic meters of goods. This included all kinds of clothes, 2,000 full toiletry bags and backpacks filled with toys by primary school students and their parents at various locations in the Netherlands.
All this was destined for our partners in Greece with whom we closely collaborate: local volunteering initiatives in Kilkis, Kos, Lesbos, Leros, Chios, Piraeus and Athens. We did not only offer them our goods but also helped in whatever other ways we could, so local volunteers could spend their time in the most productive way possible. One of the reasons we decided to co-operate with Greek volunteering organisations was to also help ease the burden on the Greeks who are facing this crisis. In this way, we maximise the positive impact we have on all those in the affected regions. Our organisation mutually benefits from this co-operation as our aid supplies reach refugees faster and more efficiently, because Greek volunteer organisations have better access to local infrastructure.
To date, over 10,000 people have donated goods and money and all of us at the organisation are touched by such generosity. What started as a personal project by founder Erika Mauritz, has grown into a foundation that has been able to work in a fast, flexible and efficient way because of its connections with Greek volunteer groups that have been helping refugees
With the help of all the wonderful people
Our latest mission
Aid Caravan to Greece volunteers will spend Christmas 2018 with local volunteers and refugees in Greece. As always, we will distribute fruits and vegetables, which have become luxury products in this ongoing crisis. A crisis made worse by the hopelessness that refugees feel by not seeing any change in their circumstances in the near future. We heard that things are so bad now, that some children have made attempts to kill themselves. While we wait for political action in this matter, people are dying of cold and sickness caused by the dreadful conditions they find themselves in.
Enough is Enough. We are going again, will you help us?
• We need donations to buy food in Greece and to pay to transport the warm coats, shoes, medicine and all the other goods we have collected; and still more volunteers are needed too.
It is possible to donate money all winter long, to provide refugees with food and clothing. People who cannot volunteer but want to help, can do so by donating on behalf of the Aid Caravan foundation. We are an ANBI approved organisation, therefore any donation is tax deductible. All the money raised will be used locally to buy basic goods for the refugees and to cover the costs of transportation and organisation. Unlike other organisations, nobody in our foundation gets paid a salary (only basic expenses are covered). This means more of the money raised (95%) goes directly to achieving our goals in Greece.
Account name: Stichting Hulpkaravaan – Country: The Netherlands
IBAN: NL82TRIO0391079379 BIC: TRIONL2U
Bitcoin donations are welcome on our crowd fund page:
I would personally like to wish everyone a joyful Christmas with family and friends that involves connection sharing and love. My special wish for humanity is the hope that when we come together at Christmas, we remember how privileged we are; simply to live in a safe place and have what we need and spare a thought for those who are not so lucky.
I think it is also important, especially at this time of year, for those of us who have the available time and means, to demonstrate our love and compassion for those in need, by doing whatever we can to help. After all, everyone else is our brother and sister in the big family we call humanity.
Founder, Aid Caravan to Greece / Chairman, Aid Caravan Foundation