Help for Ukraine
With the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last Thursday and the war connected with it, we received an increasing number of requests for rental buses. Private persons, associations or companies called us with the intention to pick up refugees from the Polish-Ukrainian border and bring them to Germany. We then joined the initiative of Alexander Thieme, managing director of Thieme GmbH - a widely known car dealer in Northern Germany - at the weekend. The goal was to bring as many people as possible to Lower Saxony with as many buses as possible.
Transfer trips logically consist of one empty run. So we had the idea to fill the buses with relief supplies on the way there. The social media appeal on Sunday evening was followed by a huge echo of solidarity. The willingness to donate simply pushed us to our logistical limits on Monday and Tuesday. Actually, only tradesmen were addressed, but many private individuals also spontaneously came by with donations of clothing, hygiene items, blankets, food, drinks, etc. The rush was so great that we were unable to keep up with it and unfortunately we had to turn away donations. After 2 coaches were packed to the brim, we decided to load another Sprinter with trailer, which should also come along. But even that was not enough. Another truck had to come on Wednesday to bring the remaining donations separately to Poland.
A big thank you to all donors from Lüchow-Dannenberg and Uelzen for the many relief supplies.
On Tuesday evening, 5 Irro and 8 Autohaus Thieme employees set off in two coaches, each with a two-driver crew, via Magdeburg, Dresden and Wroclaw to Krakow. Our team also included people who speak Polish, Ukrainian and Russian. This made communication on site much easier. Halfway there, we also welcomed German Hip Hop Musician Massiv from Berlin on board with his cameraman. Massiv has relatives in Ukraine and immediately took the initiative when he heard about the action.
After almost 12 hours of driving, our convoy reached Krakow, Poland, where we were allowed to hand over the donated aid to local helpers and aid organizations at 2 collection points. In Krakow we also met three more buses of another Polish Bus Partner.
Another three hours later we reached our preliminary destination Przemysl just before the border town Medyka. Here our riders first had to take their mandatory break of 9 hours and most importantly sleep. The rest of the team got an overview of the situation on the ground and made contact with helpers and refugees.
In the course of the afternoon, the three buses of our Bus Partner could leave and bring people to safety to Warsaw and Berlin. Around 9 p.m. three more buses of another Bus Partner from Krakow arrived. In the course of the evening we managed to fill up all the remaining 5 buses and to travel with them to Warsaw, Berlin and Hamburg. People got off the buses at central collection points and went to relatives, friends or aid organizations.
Our drivers and the buses arrived back in Lüchow on Thursday afternoon well kept. Our partner companies also arrived well at their depots in Poland.
We are very happy to be able to make a small contribution with this action to the support of the people fleeing from war in Ukraine. We would like to thank all the helpers and companies who donated.