At Amazon, we want to give back to the communities where we operate. All Austrian Amazon locations regularly support local charities and non-profit organisations in the form of volunteer work and monetary donations. Below is an overview of some initiatives:
One month of logistics costs for the food bank of Vienna
Not far from Amazon's distribution center in Vienna's Liesing district, on the grounds of the wholesale market, is the food bank Wiener Tafel. This is where unwanted food is collected from wholesalers, supermarkets and street markets, and is then distributed to social service agencies. The food bank distributes about 50 tons of food per month. That's about 100,000 meals. However, collecting food donations and then delivering them to distribution points around the city is time-consuming. Inflation in recent months has not only caused an increase in the number of people in need, but has also dramatically increased costs - fuel, vehicles and staff alone cost around €10,000 per month.
"As a logistics company, we know how important it is to have a functioning supply chain. That's why we want to help the food bank provide food for people during the holidays,” said Robert Cech, Site Lead of the Amazon Distribution Center in Liesing.
Amazon is donating €12,000 to help the food bank continue its important work. Alexandra Gruber, General Manager of Wiener Tafel, is delighted with the support: "At the moment, we are particularly dependent on donations to cover rising costs. Whether it's money or goods, we're grateful for any help. In addition, Amazon has started to support the food bank in the area of logistics, taking care of the transport of donated goods.
Back-to-school: school backpacks for a good cause
According to the cost of school study, commissioned by the Chamber of Labour, parents in Carinthia spent an average of €1,780 on their children's schooling in the year of 2020-2021. Basic materials such as exercise books alone accounted for €163. To support refugees and children in need, the Amazon distribution center in Klagenfurt packed 250 backpacks as part of the "Back to School" campaign and, with the help of social organisation Diakonie de La Tour, handed them out to socially disadvantaged students from the immediate neighbourhood.
“School supplies and backpacks are basic necessities for any student, but unfortunately they are not always granted. That's why we're glad to provide these backpacks to several children, giving them everything they need to learn,” said Hansjörg Szepannek, spokesperson of Diakonie de La Tour.
For Jordan Kremnitzer, site manager at the Amazon distribution center in Klagenfurt, "Back to School" is a project close to his heart: "Regardless of their parents' background or income, all children and young people have the right to an education. Unfortunately, students from financially disadvantaged families don’t always have the same access to education. That's why at Amazon we’re making a conscious effort to help disadvantaged students in Klagenfurt succeed at school. During the "Back to School" campaign, Amazon volunteers at 27 warehouse locations in Germany filled more than 8,000 backpacks with pens, pencil cases, lunchboxes and other school supplies and handed them over to local charities.
Meet and Code: How we are helping to get kids excited about coding and programming
In the area of digital education, Amazon is a local partner of the Europe-wide Meet and Code initiative, which promotes coding workshops and courses for kids. Amazon provided a budget of €19,500 for the Meet and Code initiative in Austria.to provide financial support to local organisations.
The students programmed their own patterns and fonts, and had them embroidered onto cotton bags. A second workshop focused on implementing ideas for a more sustainable future using Lego WeDo construction kits in a workshop called "Climate Change Meets Robotics". This resulted in electric trucks, a garbage sorting robot, and even an electric vehicle that can travel on land and water. Barbara Joncret-Schwarzenbacher from the Future Learning Lab (FLL) describes the workshops: "In our work at FLL, it is very important to us to give children and teachers access to programming and digital technologies, as this is the only way to stimulate the spirit of discovery and creativity while removing the fear of "failure". For her, the enthusiasm of the children participating is sometimes the best part of her job: "It’s always a pleasure to see how proud the students are of their self-programmed and designed works at the end of a workshop.”
"I really enjoyed programming with Lego. I learnt how to programme a machine to do what you want. I thought that was great," said Lena, age 14, a participant of the workshop.
The results of all the workshops sponsored in Austria show that Meet and Code helps exactly where needed; one third of the participating students come from socially disadvantaged families, about 40 percent are of a migrant background, and another 40 percent of students do not have access to mobile devices at home. For 14-year-old Jhanine, who participated in FLL’s Turtle Stich workshop, the day was special: "Working with the laptop was my favourite moment of the workshop”.
Our team at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) office in Vienna Central Station is also committed to inspiring women to pursue technical careers; for example, as part of the Vienna Daughters' Day, girls were given a playful introduction into the world of cloud computing.
Help for refugees from Ukraine
We want to help where help is urgently needed, with donations and with the help of dedicated volunteers; for example, we donated €50,000 each to the Austrian Red Cross and SOS Children's Villages International for the care of Ukrainian refugees.
Employees at our distribution center in Simmering, Vienna, also recently collected 105kg of winter clothing and handed it over to the Austrian association The Peaceful Sky. The NGO, based in Vienna, has set itself the task of providing essential goods to displaced people from Ukraine.
Find out more about Amazon in Austria here.