Action speaks louder than words
Mikko is proud to be an official ambassador of the Finnish charity Brother Christmas.
“It is a though, but on the other hand also a very rewarding, job. Having a person like Mikko onboard opens new doors and possibilities and hopefully it will inspire other sportspersons to do what Mikko is doing. Working with Mikko and as a team will enable us to do many fantastic good deeds for children and hopefully also bring more resources and skills to our work."
- Brother Christmas
Brother Christmas is a private charity initiative that was initiated in December 2015. The purpose is to help underprivileged people in need and to assist them in reaching their dreams and goals, all over Finland. The mission is to visualize that actions are bigger than words. To help anyone to do good for and together with his or her peers, to give hope and to inspire others to be involved in good initiatives.
During 2016 Brother Christmas helped 3,500 persons and realized hundreds of dreams. For example, he has donated food, paid sports activity fees for children in financially struggling families, donated furniture and publicly highlighted and awarded people who are doing good things for their respective communities. He has also arranged and hosted events for children, physically disabled and families with financial challenges, or any other challenge that affects their family. During Christmas, Brother Christmas donated a complete Christmas family party, with Christmas food and presents, to 100 families in Finland. Families who otherwise would not have been able to enjoy a “normal” Christmas.
Brother Christmas is also very keen to highlight the fact that support, kindness and solidarity is not a material thing. The time and effort put into caring about our peers is the most important thing.
Brother Christmas is financed through voluntary donations from private individuals, companies and other entities. Brother Christmas has also setup the program “100 good deeds” which is part of the official Finland 100 Program as Finland is celebrating 100 years of independence in 2017.
In his projects, Brother Christmas’ vision is to create a bridge between people in need of help and people who want to help. His goal is to be available, accessible and be able to help whenever an actual need arises, no matter what age, gender, race or religion. Brother Christmas is contacted by a large amount of people every day that are in need of help.
“I admire Ari’s, or rather Brother Christmas’, unselfish work. When I was thinking of what I wanted to support, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be associated with someone who not only helps with relief work in difficult situation, but that also creates a positive vibe and spirit. That embodies what Brother Christmas is doing - he has become an idol of mine."
- Mikko Ilonen
Brother Christmas has received a lot of attention in media and was awarded “Charity of the year” in 2016. Ari Koponen, the physical person behind Brother Christmas, was also invited as the President’s guest at the Finnish President’s independence party 2016.
Brother Christmas is Mikko’s choice of charity as he admires the work that Brother Christmas is doing. Mikko wants to contribute in the ways that he can to increase the awareness of people and organizations doing good in the society and also hopefully inspire others to get involved in (any) good initiatives.
“I was thrilled when Mikko contacted us, asking if he could be associated with what I am doing. I have been following Mikko´s career for a long time and I really admire him as a player and as a person. Our work has received a lot of attention lately including being invited to the Presidential Independence Party in past December. This inspires me to do more good things on a bigger scale and to offer help where it is needed.”
- Ari Koponen, a.k.a. Brother Christmas
Mikko, as Ari, is a father himself and children’s issues are close to Mikko’s heart. The number of children that are victims, because children are always victims, of inequality, alienation or in any other need of help are always too high, regardless the actual number. We should never accept inequality or alienation. Especially amongst children as they, collectively, are our future and by denying a child a good start to life, we are contributing to a negative spiral and ruining future success stories.
Mikko is an idol and role model in his field and capacity. Brother Christmas is Mikko’s idol and by teaming up together they hope to create opportunities for children and young people to achieve their dreams and to support them through difficult times to their best abilities.
They also want to inspire others, children as well a adults, to become role models themselves. We can all be that just by being a good friend and to do good deeds for each other and thereby create and nurse a positive spiral.
In short, Mikko will;
- assist Brother Christmas in arranging activities aimed at children and young people
- to his best abilities try to be a role model and to influence others to also be role models
- use his influence and assist Brother Christmas in the fund raising