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  • Writer's picturePascal Kuba

Upcoming collecting campaign for Ukraine, with broad support from economy, sport and culture

Updated: May 31, 2023



Start of material donation on 2nd and 3rd of June in the Zeughaus Pfäffikon SZ - Celebrities get involved


In the first two weeks of June, some very familiar faces will put themselves at the service of a humanitarian collection in kind for people with special needs in Ukraine, together with a group of charitable associations and a large number of volunteers.


On Saturday, 3 June 2023, for example, the singer Linda Fäh, who comes from the region, and the ice hockey host Jann Billeter, will start the event by helping to collect donations at the Pfäffikon armoury. The organisers are also supported - as they were in a previous campaign in January - by a handsome number of social organisations, clubs and companies.


The following week, more than a hundred volunteers and one or two "surprise guests" will help to accept donations in kind in the St. Jakobshalle | Basel, which holds more than 12,000 spectators. As well as at the BGZ in Uznach a week later.


The individual collections will take place on the following days:


  • Pfäffikon SZ, Zeughaus: Friday, 02.06.2023, 14:00-18:00 and Saturday, 03.06.2023, 09:00-14:00

  • Basel, St. Jakobshalle: Friday, 09.06.2023, 14:00-20:00 and Saturday, 10.06.2023, 09:00-14:00

  • Uznach SG, BGZ, Oberer Stadtgraben 6: Friday, 16.06.2023, 14:00-18:00 and Saturday, 17.06.2023, 09:00-13:00


Domestic refugees in Ukraine need all the support they can get


"Imagine the population of the canton of Zurich growing by about 170,000 people in an instant, i.e. by about 11% ... This is roughly equivalent to the level of domestic refugees that the Khmelnitskyi region in central Ukraine alone has taken in. 140,000 displaced people per 1.25 million inhabitants. Enormous numbers of people, far from home, their jobs and schools. People from all backgrounds, young or old, healthy or infirm" says Thomas Wähling from Lachen, one of the organisers of the action and founder of the volunteer network „lachen-hilft.ch“. Paediatrician Jürg C. Streuli, who will again be involved with his aid organisation Hilfswerk Ukraine Schweiz from the canton of St. Gallen, adds: "Even though a lot of aid is already flowing into Ukraine and all the international aid organisations are on the ground - it is impossible for anyone to cope with the effects of this war inside Ukraine without further help. The needs are beyond everyone's strength - our contribution is above all to bring very targeted and agile aid to where it is concretely needed".


Collections targeted to effective needs


The organisers work with NGOs based in Ukraine who research what is needed where and in what quantity - and then ensure the distribution of humanitarian goods on the ground, such as with regional teams from Caritas Ukraine.


Because of this transparency, numerous companies are once again participating in the collections, such as HOCHDORF Swiss Nutrition AG, Constri AG, Brainstormers, Antistress AG - Burgerstein Vitamine, Streuli Pharma AG or Weidmann. They are joined by a large number of social institutions and associations, well-known personalities from business, sport and music, and the many volunteers who are all committed to this humanitarian action. An unbelievable amount of solidarity in action ...


After humanitarian aid for the earthquake victims in Turkey, forces are once again combined


Andrey Maltsev, who with his association Switlo has been working for the integration of Ukrainians in Switzerland since the beginning of the war and regularly organises transports with relief goods, points out the purely humanitarian goals of the collections. "In May, some of us spontaneously helped a group of doctors - great people from the Zurich region, initiated with a lot of commitment by the doctor Hülya Gülmez – to consolidate the medical supplies collected with the help of the Verband Zürcher Krankenhäuser in Switzerland so that they could then be flown to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey. Now we will join forces again to help the people in Ukraine," says the former coach of the Swiss national wrestling team, who comes from Zaporizhzhya.


Focus on particularly affected people in need


This time, the collections focus mainly on the needs of particularly affected domestic refugees - on mothers with small children, on schools and boarding schools for orphans. On foster homes and homes for people with disabilities. And to those who, for age or other reasons, have not been able to flee the regions near the front, where the supply chains do not always properly reach the elderly and homeless in particular.

"We can only ever contribute small drops to a vast quantity of hot stones," adds Thomas Wähling, "but our solidarity helps to enable people to continue living with some dignity during the war and, for example, to provide children and young people with the material they urgently need for their education. Just showing people that you are "not alone" helps enormously."


Khmelnitskyi Philharmonic spontaneously offers free concert for children and young people - local musicians respond


For this reason, musicians from Switzerland will also send "musical greetings" on their way - an idea that came about when the Khmelnitskyi Philharmonic Orchestra heard about the collections and spontaneously offered a free concert for children and young people displaced within the country. Whereupon the togetherness also finds its expression on a musical level. In addition to the urgently needed "hard" donations in kind - small gestures "from person to person". Just like the unpretentious attentions that some athletes have already made available to us and which are then sent along to the children as neutrally wrapped gifts - a jersey, a cap, maybe even a ball. Or a colouring book and crayons, a soft toy for the little ones ... things that are distributed to the children and young people at the end of the concert. All small things, but every time a moment of joy for children who otherwise don't really have much to laugh about.


Many small gestures as an expression of enormous compassion for people suffering - as Janina Martig, from Basel, who is part of the organising team, has now repeatedly shown with her „Christmas-Truck-Tour“ for children living in poverty.


Where the organisers still need help...


1) Support in the logistical management of the already foreseeable large donation volumes. Already in January, more than twice the actual donation target had been collected - a total of five trucks with aid were sent to Ukraine. In addition to the collection points "around the Zurich Obersee", the region of Basel with its 500,000 inhabitants has now been added to the list. Therefore we are grateful for:


  • Monetary donations to cover material and transport costs, by bank transfer or Twint with the note "Lachen hilft!" to the Switlo donation account. Donation receipts can be issued.

  • We are also very happy to talk to other sponsors who would like to get involved. Please contact Thomas Wählingin via comment or DM. Mail is also possible: info@lachen-hilft.ch


2) People who would like to help out on site with the collections - a "I will be there on ... in ..." as a comment on our Instagram channel would be fantastic. We will then contact you to arrange everything.


3) Musicians and athletes who would like to get involved with us by sending small "musical greetings" or gestures that we can present to the children and young people as a gift on the occasion of the concert in Khmelnitskyi. Please contact Thomas Wählingin via comment or DM!

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