Dashing for Diakonia

Since the winter of 2015, employees from WE’s Munich office have stepped up in many ways to support diakonia. Diakonia is a charitable organization dedicated to creating jobs for people in difficult situations or with disabilities. The aim is to strengthen people and provide them with vocational guidance, qualifications and training by running a network of second hand warehouses, a décor company. They also supply refugees with a fresh set of clothes upon their arrival in Munich.

Our WE Munich office began their relationship with diakonia by volunteering to sort, organize and fold some of the 80 tons of donated clothing at the biggest refugee shelter in Munich: the Bayernkaserne. They have also hosted donation drives for blankets, towels, toys and winter shoes for children. The team even took their developing partnership with diakonia to a new level by providing pro bono marketing communication services. A storytelling workshop was organized to brainstorm what characterized all of what diakonia has to offer, what core value connected them all, and how that could be tied into a mission statement. To top it all off, how to portray all of that on their homepage and social media platforms. A session of emotional and engaging stories proved to be very inspiring for both parties. “After only two hours of the workshop, Katja Pfeifer [the head of marketing] looked at our outline of the mission statement and said: “This is already so much more than I expected from the workshop.” -Senior Account Manager, Munich. Diakonia certainly expressed that the workshop helped them to see their communication challenges much clearer and that they took a lot of inspiration out of it. The Munich WE employees left diakonia feeling confident that they had provided them with the tools to tell their powerful stories to a much broader audience, but also like there was more that they could do to help.

Knowing that fundraising is at the heart of every non-profit organization, the Munich team was motivated to utilize the WE Athletic Sponsorship program to support diakonia even further. Six employees, ranging from account director to intern, all registered to participate in the annual B2RUN: a 6km charity run through the Olympic Stadium in Munich with over 30,000 participants from 1,400 companies. For each employee participating, WE would donate $50 to diakonia. The rain took a day off while the sun shined down on participants, which may have been motivation enough for some people, but our employees had their own motivation. After some dedicated training and a disciplined schedule of healthy meals, the team proudly crossed the finish line feeling accomplished, not only for completing the 6km, but for raising money to support diakonia and the refugee relief efforts. WE calls that a win-win.