Since Monday, the Raoul-Barrière stadium has been hosting a collection of donations for Ukrainians. A hundred people participated in this outpouring of generosity launched by the town hall of Béziers.
“Thank you for mobilizing like this!” launches a lady just out of her vehicle. on this Tuesday, March 1, in the parking lot of the Raoul-Barrière stadium, in Béziers. Inside his trunk are trunks of warm clothes, bags full of blankets and a few basic necessities.
Two volunteers are busy receiving the donation for the Ukrainians. This solidarity collection, an initiative of the town hall of Béziers, was launched on Monday 28 February. The device was thought of as a drive, the cars parade under a barnum, the donors deposit their donations on a table then leave. Some stop, leave their contact details and take the opportunity to discuss the international situation. René, in his seventies, is one of them.
“My daughter-in-law is from Ukraine, her family is still there and refuses to leave the country. I have been there before and there is a real spirit of sharing there. If there was a banana left, there cut her to pieces for everyone! It’s okay to give that back today”, he confides. The emotion also wins over an insurance professional who came to drop off some business during her lunch break. “I live alone with my daughter and I have a small income but the cause touches me. Above all, I think that it is with small things that we manage to do great things”, she believes.
Behind the barnum, the work does not stop. Several small rooms serve as sorting centres. The products are divided into categories: food, everyday life or care. “For the moment, we have three and a half palettes of clothes, that’s what is given the most”explains one of the volunteers.
A large part of the volunteers are agents of the town hall. There are a few exceptions. One of them notably offers his help within the framework of works of general interest. “It’s war over there, some don’t eat. I know a little about the hassle so it motivates me even more to lend a hand”. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., then from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., there are about ten volunteers per time slot.
Staff that seem insufficient given the amount of donations. “There are people who offer to help but it is not always easy to have your children looked after during the holidays”, believes Isabelle Gorse, Atsem, herself on vacation. For her, taking part in the effort sounded obvious, “Giving your time for this cause is really the least you can do”.
Strengthening the team will be all the more necessary if collection intensifies. “There are many associations and small villages that come to find out how to organize collections on their side and then bring them back here”, points out Isabelle Gorse. The Ukraine-Béziers solidarity operation is scheduled until Sunday. A date ready to be postponed, depending on the success of the initiative.