Christmas is a time of year that’s associated with giving, and from different corners of the world, the teams at Bosch Rexroth are well and truly channeling the feeling of festive goodwill. This year, whether it’s Christmas Wish Trees in Germany or Toys for Tots in the USA, you can see how some of our teams are getting involved in Christmas children’s charity initiatives, making sure children less fortunate have something magical to open this festive season.
Four years since Bosch Rexroth’s Augsfeld, Schweinfurt and Volkach manufacturing plants first got involved in 2019, the incredibly popular Christmas Wish Trees campaign has become a bit of a tradition across these locations. The idea is that each employee can grant the Christmas wish of a disadvantaged child in their area. Working with local schools or the district authorities, a team of volunteers at each site starts planning early in the year to make sure the whole process runs smoothly and children get their wishes in time before Christmas.
A special gift to make a child’s Christmas magical
Christmas trees start to appear on all three sites during the festive run up to the big day. They’re festooned with cards, each with the wish of a child written inside, along with their age. Wishes can be anything. Games, books, movie vouchers, watches, dolls, soccer balls, puzzles and warm clothing have all been on the children’s wish lists. There have been some more unusual requests, however. A member of the organizing team recalls a little girl has wished for special purple boots, and another little boy wished for a cuddly bear, which ultimately turned out to be one and a half meters tall, and thus taller than he was!
To keep things fair, all gifts must be within a certain price range. Once an employee has chosen their card from the tree, they buy the gift and wrap it up for Christmas, often with a special Christmas card included for the child as well. The gifts are then collected just before Christmas and sent out to the district authorities and to the local schools, which then distribute them to the respective children.
A new Christmas tradition
The Christmas Wish Trees campaign is going from strength to strength each year. When it began in 2019, the trees had 50 wish cards. Now each site regularly has between 80-100 wish cards garlanding their trees. The popularity is apparent, with the cards quickly being claimed each year. If for any reason a card doesn’t find a 'sponsor', then the management of the site commits to fulfill the wish on the card, but this backup measure has never been needed.
We’re sure 2022 is going to be just as popular a year for the Christmas Wish Trees, and many more children are going to have their wishes fulfilled.
This generosity of spirit isn’t just found in our German sites, it reaches around the world. At Bosch Rexroth in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the team have been collecting new and unwrapped toys in the months leading up to Christmas, as part of the local U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. For over ten years, the team have collected their gifts and given them out to disadvantaged children in the local community, making sure they have something special to open on Christmas Day.
All employees are invited to take part in this popular program, piling their gifts up in the main areas of each building. The local campaign coordinator from the U.S. Marine Corps then arranges to have the toys picked up just before Christmas. With the support of local social welfare agencies, church groups, and other local community agencies, they make sure each toy is sent out to less fortunate children in the community.
A wonderful way to sprinkle festive joy
The Toys for Tots program has been an integral part of Christmas for Bosch Rexroth in Bethlehem. Over the 62 years of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million children in need. The team at Bosch Rexroth find it a simple way to spread some Christmas joy during the holiday season, and many like working with a local organization that they know is going to make a small but vital difference to a child’s Christmas.
Deena Linn, Bethlehem, USA