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Story by Swiss Solidarity September 29th, 2016

From the demolition skip to Kabul

We repeatedly receive donations with wonderful or strange stories behind them. Once a stamp dealer told us that two men had come by his shop in order to sell old stamps. They claimed that they had found them in a skip further down the road. The suspicious stamp dealer went to have a look himself and found a postcard that had had an extraordinary journey.

It had been posted in Geneva to an address in Kabul. But the recipient in Afghanistan’s capital city had been untraceable, and so weeks later the postcard came back to the sender. On its return trip the card had been stamped by post and customs no less than 16 times.

As several prospective buyers seemed interested in the odd postcard in his shop window, the stamp dealer decided to put it up for auction. An enthusiast acquired the unique specimen for CHF 22,300! The stamp dealer knew that he didn’t want to keep the money and he contacted us with the request to do some good in Kabul.

And that’s how a discarded old postcard ended up helping sick children in Kabul.


Gabi’s large donation

Especially on fundraising days, when the wave of solidarity sweeps across the whole of Switzerland, many children phone us with very touching stories.

Like six-year old Gabi, who wanted to make a donation. She and her family had the idea of weighing the family members and donating the weight in francs.

The family members weighed themselves after dinner: 188 kilograms. But because Gabi wanted the donation to be as large as possible, she cleverly pointed out that the dog also belonged to the family. And so they donated a total of CHF 192.50!


Is that allowed?

The giggling lady on the phone at first didn’t really want to let us know what kind of a donation she and her colleagues wanted to make. She finally plucked up the courage and declared that if we broadcast it on the radio, they would donate the whole of the night’s proceeds.

A very generous offer! But the call came from a brothel and radio advertising for quick encounters for the benefit of people in need is indeed a bit borderline.

But seeing as it was past 10 pm, children were in bed and it was ultimately for a good cause, we turned a blind eye – or played deaf – and supported the ladies in their fundraising effort. And we received the donation…


An interrupted interview

In 2012 we raised funds for the victims of the Syria conflict. It is common practice for a federal councillor, often the president of the Confederation, to launch the fundraising day.

In 2012 this was Eveline Widmer Schlumpf. SRF SSR was conducting an exclusive interview with her as the phone in front of her rang. She abruptly interrupted the radio journalist, stating that she was there to work and had to answer a phone call.

The caller was probably just as stunned to be speaking to the country’s president as the journalist was over having the interview interrupted!