Christmas is a time for sharing happiness. That's why we organise events to help as many people as possible celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Here’s the inside story from one of them: the Coca‑Cola Christmas Caravan.
On 14 January the famous Coca‑Cola Christmas Caravan will finish its tremendous journey across Russia: it will have covered 20,000 km and visited 67 cities, from Vladivostok to Saint-Petersburg.
The convoy of Coca‑Cola trucks is always warmly welcomed by the locals, but the real purpose of the Christmas Caravan is to help those who need it the most.
The Caravan wouldn't be possible without the drivers. Meet Damir Nasibullin, who's in charge of bringing the festivities to the Bashkiria region. He works in the Ufa office as a regional transportation supervisor but, for the last 10 years, as New Year approaches, he gets back in the driving seat, puts on his Santa’s cap and sets off.
Damir shares his story of good deeds, responsibility and New Year miracles
"I joined the Coca‑Cola system in 1997 as a delivery driver. When the first Christmas Caravan came to Ufa in 2006, I took part. Today truck driving isn't part of my everyday job, but I'm happy to get back behind the wheel of the Christmas Caravan truck and drive every New Year.
"Driving this Christmas truck I feel like I'm part of something big and good. Everyone has right to believe in miracles, especially when New Year is coming, and especially kids – and that’s what matters! Arriving at the orphanages or at the special needs school I can see the kids are happy to see us; they've really been waiting for us and have prepared for the meeting!
"To become a Christmas Caravan driver you have to pass a very strict selection process. Many of our drivers want to join, so we choose the best of the best among them. Accident-free history of driving is as important as driving experience. As for me, I've been driving for 37 years.
"In addition, the drivers are in charge of the truck’s special look: invariably clean whatever the weather, with all lights on and loud music for the entire route! It’s about bringing the holiday spirit to everyone who sees the Christmas Caravan on the road.
"On our way we often cruise the main streets and stop at New Year fairs in the central town squares. Indeed, the locals are looking out for us too. Onlookers wave, drivers honk and give way… The Coca‑Cola Christmas Caravan has already become a feature of the New Year. It’s hugely rewarding to see my job making people happy, inspiring a better future.
- 2,000 volunteers
- 12,000 children
- €5,000 raised
"I am proud that this year more than 2,000 volunteers from our company took part in the Christmas Caravan, helping more than 12,000 kids from over 110 social institutions and charity funds all over the country. Our colleagues visited children in schools, hospitals and rehabilitation centres, sharing warmth, presenting gifts prepared with love and providing training and “edutainment” workshops on career guidance. The kids’ genuine joy and smiles are the best reward.
"This year people could also could take part in the Christmas Caravan by making purchases through specially organised online and offline charity fairs. Overall we collected about 5,000 Euros, and our company doubled this sum! This donation will help to buy children with immune disorders the medicines they need for recovery."
Every one of us can do something good, it doesn't take much. And the more you give the more you get in return. Damir Nasibullin, Christmas Caravan driver