Christmas soup: fundraising for the Order of Malta in Lithuania
Also this year the Order of Malta’s Christmas fundraising initiative was a great success. On 5 and 6 December field kitchens were set up in the main squares in Vilnius and another fourteen towns with over 5000 Christmas soups sold. The aim was to collect funds for the Order of Malta’s Lithuanian volunteers Corps ‘Maltos Ordino Pagalbos Tarnyba’ work with the weaker population groups, and especially the old, but also to make the public more aware of the everyday problems of the poor and the elderly.
The Lithuanian government, municipal administrations, armed forces and businesses are supporting this initiative of the Order’s volunteers Corps and its 400 young volunteers.
Head of State Dalia Grybauskaitė launched the first field kitchen in Vilnius. Welcomed by the Order’s Ambassador to Lithuania, Douglas Saurma-Jeltsch, she expressed her gratitude and invited everyone to contribute to this praiseworthy initiative for those in need.
Numerous entertainment, sports and political celebrities helped to distribute the meals, enlivening the fundraising event. The initiative, now in its fourth year, ended with a three-hour concert with 200 performers, broadcast live on the first channel of the public TV. During the event the public could contribute by sending SMS.
The ‘Maltos Ordino Pagalbos Tarnyba’ operates throughout the year in 22 Lithuanian towns. It can mobilize 430 volunteers and an organization of hundreds of members who distribute food, clothing and medicines to disadvantaged elderly people and who are involved in numerous social and educational programmes for children from poor families.