The students of Hajós Alfréd school in Zugló joined the +1 sandwich project this autumn. Once a month they will be also collecting donations for the homeless. With one occasion already behind them, the results are quite impressive: along with 150 sandwiches and 10 kgs of fruit, 100 (!) kgs of durable goods have been collected by the children. The mother of 7-year-old Hetti, Rella found out about the Bike Maffia first and started the movement in the school. An inspiring story straight from the main organizer – have a read!

Mom, let’s get them dinner!

With my kindergarten-aged daughter we go through the BVSC underpass several times a week, when we are going home from sports class. Sometimes in nice mild weather, other times it’s so cold, that we are freezing under our winter coats. A homeless man was always there: he was either sleeping on his worn-out mattress or reading a book in the semi-darkness. It was terrible to think about the contrast: we soon get home to our cozy and warm home, where we can sit around the table together to have dinner, meanwhile he has to do something that is incomprehensible to me: try to get through another day alone. 

“Why is he not going home? Does he live here? Then what does he eat?” – enquired my then six-year-old daughter. We started to talk with him: why did he end up on the street? How can we help him? What can we do for him?

“Mommy let’s get him dinner!” – said my daughter with self-evident conviction in her voice, and I felt a bit ashamed, that I didn’t think about that first. After that first time of talking to the man, we made a sandwich, a bottle of tea and packed an apple before every sports class. On the way back home my daughter ran to the homeless man living in the underpass and gave him our little package. Since then she started her first year in the Hajós Alfréd bilingual primary school, and I became a member of the PTA along with another mom. The first thing I did was to find information about how can the school help the homeless, in a similar way that we did with my daughter. 

I firmly believe that it’s not our task to solve the complicated problem of homelessness, but it’s our duty to help in any way we can. I didn’t have to search very long: I found the Budapest Bike Maffia, so I suggested joining the +1 sandwich program on the first PTA. The principal, the school board and the parents agreed straight away. After a few e-mails, a couple of phone calls, and a very unique poster, we have already finished collecting the first round of donations.

The poster was made by the seven-year-old Hetti (with some parental help)

Since then several parents and teachers thanked me for organising the project. I think I was just the link between a caring organisation and the many students, teachers and parents, who wanted to do something!

After the first occasion, we can clearly see that people like to give and want to do something for other people if they get help to do so. The Budapest Bike Maffia provided that help to us. The whole project shows, that a lot of times to be able to do big things you have to start with very small ones. 

Sometimes we feel like, that what we do is only a drop in the ocean. But without that drop the ocean would remain shallower. – Mother Teresa

The first time the Hajós school collected 150 sandwiches, 10 kg of fruit and 100 kg of durable goods for those in need. We can’t wait for the next occasion! Thank you Budapest Bike Maffia, for helping us to help. 

A huge THANK YOU to Rella and to the whole school, a big high five! 🙂