In a selfish world, where everything is measured in money, every small thing that we do for others can be very important – says Bishop József Steinbach, head patron of the Szeretethíd (Bridge of Love) program. It is the 7th time that the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid is organising the Reformed volunteer days of the Carpathian Basin. On the 16th of May more than 16 000 volunteers will be active on the Szeretethíd to help those living near it. Many artists have joined this initiative, including Dóra Szinetár and Andrea Szulák actresses, and Péter Gerendás Liszt Ferenc Award winning artist.
Voluntarily or on command
At the opening ceremony held at the Bethesda children’s hospital István Bogárdi Szabó, pastoral president of the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary said that those who volunteer are not always considered normal by the so-called normal society.
“It would be great to reach a level, where those goodhearted people who find something to do by themselves are considered normal by society. The thousands of volunteers at this year’s Szeretethíd are teaching the Hungarian society that normal human existence begins when a person finds something to do for others voluntarily, maybe even something that they wouldn’t do with joy if it was commanded.”
Faith and activity
Dóra Szinetár, Jászai Mari award winning actress, the other head patron of Szeretethíd, called volunteer days holiday, because as she said: giving is good.
“If one volunteers, what they get in exchange is the joy. I just realised what Szeretethíd really means. Helping isn’t easy, and you cannot always help well, even if you want to. Szeretethíd is the perfect chance if you have the motivation, to guide you and to make sure that your help goes to a place where it’s actually needed. “
Little bridges every day
For this year’s Szeretethíd more than 16 000 people have registered and have worked at 250 different places throughout the Carpathian Basin. Sándor Pál, principal of the Board of Trustees at the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid said: it’s good to see that there are more and more who are supporting this initiative.
“The point of these volunteer days is not to have a two day long event, but to make the volition to help others ours, and be a part of our everyday lives. We have to build the little bridges every day” – he noted.
Sándor Pál also emphasized that we cannot remain passive even when we feel the humanitarian catastrophe approaching from the Trans-Carpathia region. The Charity organisation helps those in need throughout the whole Carpathian Basin.