Good Samaritans drive 3K teddy bears to Ukraine refugee children

The Teddy Busz has remaining the station.

A team of 4 Englishmen has started their journey to deliver 3,000 teddy bears, children’s clothing and other supplies — and ideally some smiles — to refugee little ones in Ukraine.

David Fricker, 40, a coach driver from Somerset, was on family vacation in Hungary when Russia invaded Ukraine in late February but “couldn’t stand by when volunteers ended up urgently required.”

Fricker headed down to the Nyugati railway station and joined other volunteers creating foodstuff and toiletry packages and sorting garments donations with the Hungarian Reformed Church Support charity.

“The issue which upset me most at the railway station was seeing the children arriving with nothing extra than their schoolbag,” Fricker told Jam Push.

David Fricker, 40,  Mike Sherston, 42, Neil Sansam, 41, and Adam Smith, 38,  stand in front of the 54 passenger van they are driving to the Ukrainian border.
David Fricker (from remaining), 40 Mike Sherston, 42 Neil Sansam, 41 and Adam Smith, 38, started their journey to the Ukrainian border on Sunday, March 13.
Jam Push/TeddyBusz
The men reached out to friends and family to collect donations of toys, clothes and other supplies for Ukrainian refugee children.
The men achieved out to buddies and relatives to gather donations of toys, apparel and other supplies for Ukrainian refugee young children.
Jam Press/TeddyBusz

“Yet the light-weight on their faces from the few totally free teddy bears we could give them would melt the coldest heart,” he explained.

The scene at the prepare station brought Fricker to tears — but it also gave him an thought.

“I experienced to occur dwelling to resume function but was impacted by what I saw and required to do one thing far more to assistance,” he discussed.

Fricker went back again to the Uk and started reaching out to mates, telling them he wished to carry the children from Ukraine additional than just fundamental requirements. In truth, he desired to deliver them “joy and comfort” in the furry form of a teddy bear.

Two furry teddy bears have handwritten notes of encouragement from other children tied around their necks.
Fricker was motivated to carry teddy bears to the younger refugees immediately after seeing them entering Hungary with only a university backpack.
Jam Push/TeddyBusz
A handwritten note tied to one of the donated teddy bears.
Fricker wanted the teddy bears to come with handwritten notes to remind the Ukrainian youngsters that men and women all close to the world are sending them love.
Jam Push/TeddyBusz

“I also preferred to have each individual bear with a label of like and assistance published by local children,” the prepare driver said.

He explained that trucks were being in small offer, as they were being necessary for transporting medicines and other important provides there. But soon after achieving out to good friends and colleagues in the transportation field, he was able to get ahold of a 53-seater bus and a number of fellow teddy bear deliverers, who all took 10 days of unpaid leave to journey to and from Hungary.

Fricker was been joined by Mike Sherston, 42, who also performs as a coach driver Neil Sansam, 41, a telecoms engineer and Adam Smith, 38, who functions as a Nationwide Health and fitness Service training coordinator.

With each other they had been in a position to accumulate an believed 3,000 teddy bears, along with other toys and supplies, such as children’s outfits donated by good friends, spouse and children, corporations, area universities and the community.

One of the men delivering the teddy bears sit on the bus surrounded by the stuffed animals
The four Englishmen took 10 times of unpaid go away to journey to the Hungary/Ukraine border amid the war.
Jam Push/TeddyBusz
Teddy bears fill the seats of the 54 passenger bus
Thousands of teddy bears and other children’s provides had been collected in just 10 times to support the children.
Jam Push/TeddyBusz

The Teddy Busz project has also been given guidance and sponsorships from organizations which includes Brittany Ferries, Waitrose and TK Maxx. They are also continuing to fund-elevate through their Fb website page and program to donate any remaining cash.

“I’ve been absolutely confused by messages of like and support, type sponsorship and donations of bears,” Fricker said.

“We’ve probably had about 6,000 goods to sift, kind and pack in itemized, grouped deals for customs and distribution functions,” he stated.

The challenge arrived jointly incredibly quickly, and the Teddy Busz set off for Hungary on March 13, just 10 days after Fricker experienced the idea.

Two teddy bears sit on the dashboard
The Teddy Busz arrived at the Záhony railway station on Thursday.
Jam Push/TeddyBusz
Thousands of teddy bears are stacked next to the bus
Fricker and the other men hope the toys and materials will convey smiles to the younger refugees’ faces.
Jam Press/TeddyBusz

As of Thursday, March 17, according to an update on Fb, the group was at the moment at the Záhony railway station in Hungary on the border of Ukraine. The males hoped to produce the merchandise to the influx of refugees that working day.

They approach to function as “a cellular warehouse,” hand-offering the aid to prevent acquiring in the way of shipping and delivery vans with other vital materials.

“We hope to achieve some reassurance for those people kids who’ve still left every thing behind that they are not by itself in the entire world, that men and women all above the entire world are contemplating of them, and sending the love that kids will need in these instances.”