The joint #wärmewinter campaign by Eurodiaconia members, the Evangelical Church in Germany and Diakonie Germany , was recently awarded the German Prize for Online Communication (DPOK) 2023 in the category of “Campaign with a Small Budget.” This recognition highlights the campaign’s efforts in supporting individuals affected by rising energy and food prices during the winter season. 

In response to escalating energy and living costs, Diakonie and the Evangelical Church in Germany joined forces to launch the #wärmewinter initiative last autumn. The campaign aimed to create an atmosphere of warmth, compassion, and support for individuals in need, while also providing them with crucial assistance and information about their rights. Numerous church communities and diaconal institutions across Germany opened their doors under the heartwarming banner of the #WarmWinter campaign. 

The DPOK, a prestigious digital award in the German-speaking region, honored the remarkable #wärmewinter campaign during a ceremony in Berlin on June 30. Among over 500 applications, this participation speaks to the campaign’s impact and the passion driving it. 

Annette Kurschus, Chairperson of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), expressed gratitude to the dedicated volunteers who played a pivotal role in the campaign’s success. She emphasized that this award not only recognizes their unwavering commitment but also acknowledges the countless lives they have touched and supported. Kurschus reaffirmed the Church’s dedication to aiding those in need and advocating for the voices that often go unheard. Ulrich Lilie, President of Diakonie Germany, praised the campaign’s creativity in offering diverse forms of support and solidarity. 

The scope of the WarmWinter campaign is inspiring, with an extensive network of support addressing various social hardships. Initiatives such as heartwarming parent-child cafes in Bremen, cozy “night cafes” in Dresden, nourishing hot soup in Hanau, and indispensable energy counseling in Munich have touched the lives of many. It’s worth noting that several initiatives received additional funding through church tax revenue from the energy price allowance, highlighting the regional churches’ commitment to assisting those affected by energy poverty. 

As dedicated members of Eurodiaconia, the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and Diakonie Germany are committed to combatting social challenges and fostering greater cohesion within society. The #wärmewinter campaign serves as a testament to their collective efforts in creating a more compassionate and inclusive world for all.