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Wheelbarrows, Shovels and the Christmas Spirit

December 23, 2015
About the author Christian HolzschuhChristian Holzschuh
Marketing & Communications

Some of you may have heard about the „Pay-it-Forward principle“. Several AOE employees were able to personally experience the impact of this idea on December 22 during their charity visit to Vitos Teilhabe. The concept is simple: Whoever is the recipient of a good deed, “pays” this generosity forward so that the world becomes a better place.

The children and youths, who are residents of this youth-help organization, put the principle into practice. The occasion was a charity action, initiated by employees of AOE during the Christmas season. Two days before Christmas Eve some of them brought the presents to Idstein. Weeks before the kids and teens created individual wish lists. The wishes (which were specifically for the residential groups instead of individuals) ranged from DVDs and beauty sets to a waterpark visit all the way to a Blu-ray player, X-Box controllers and gardening tools.

The Vitos Kalmenhof home council (selected spokespersons of the kids and youths as well as the home council consultant) decided in advance which types of presents to choose and how they would be distributed.


The charity action was not the first one this year. During the fall, AOE employees gave generously to refugees who made the long and difficult journey to Europe from Syria, Afghanistan or countries from the African continent.

The employees are guided by the actively practiced corporate culture at AOE; every single person takes personal responsibility for the common good.

What’s the deal with the wheelbarrow

One of the residential groups – with the fitting name of “Apple Garden” – made a wish list including a wheelbarrow, spade and shovel, in order to provide their fellow residents of all groups at Kalmenhof with a treat.

Which brings us to the Pay-it-Forward principle. The kids and teens of Vitos Kalmenhof not only didn’t choose presents directly for themselves – but for their respective groups – they also strengthened the communal spirit of everyone by the type of wishes they had. In the hope that this Christmas spirit will accompany you during 2016, all of us here at AOE wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ursula Schachschneider

Ursula Schachschneider

Children’s shining eyes give you moments of joy – something money can’t buy and something that is worth its weight in gold."

AOE Christmas Charity 2015