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Surval News: Charity volunteering for Cartons du Coeur

05 November 2019

This Saturday, a group of Surval students braved the stormy November weather to get out of cosy beds to journey to the Montreux Coop supermarket in order to volunteer for Cartons du Coeur (boxes from the heart).

As members of the public come into the supermarket to do their shopping, a Cartons du Coeur volunteer will ask them if they would like to support Cartons du Coeur. If the person says yes, then they are given a checklist of suggested items that they can buy, such as food or toiletries. The person then chooses at least one item to buy for Cartons du Coeur when doing their shopping; when they leave the supermarket, they give the Cartons du Coeur items to the volunteers. The volunteers then put together boxes of these important life necessities, which are then delivered to local people in need.

Cartons du Coeur takes place in many supermarkets in the area, and requires many volunteers. Surval Montreux have been supporting this charity for many years now; you can read Charlotte’s speech from last year’s Graduation on her experience of being a long-term volunteer for Cartons du Coeur here

Charities Coordinator Mme Spigarelli shared her delight at the success of this most recent Cartons du Coeur volunteering session: “I was very proud to work with the eight students who volunteered because demonstrated not only collaborative skills, but also resilience and consistent motivation throughout the day. I was positively impressed by their communicative skills in French as they approached the Coop customers and invited them do buy some extra goods for Cartons du Coeur. Our students' enthusiasm was highly appreciated by the other volunteers and by several customers who stopped by to tell me how positive and smiley were the girls. I believe that our students are particularly engaged with this organisation since they get the chance to deliver themselves the ‘boxes of the heart’ to the local families every two weeks, so that they see the huge impact their work has on these people's lives.”

The Cartons du Coeur organisers wrote to their volunteers afterwards to thank them and make them aware of the success of their efforts: “Vendredi et samedi vous avez été fantastiques lors notre collecte de marchandise des cartons du cœur. Vous avez été 193 personnes à collaborer à notre opération pour ... 312 cases de travail (30 chauffeurs, 76 dans les Coop, 98 dans les Migros, 26 à Manor et 82 au local pour le tri).

“Grâce à votre immense travail, nous avons récolté finalement 18,8 tonnes de marchandise, à parts égales sur vendredi et samedi, contre 15 tonnes l’an dernier et 17 tonnes en 2017. Ce chiffre est un record absolu pour notre antenne. Si l’on estime les dons à 2 kg pour un ménage de 2 personnes, il y a donc 18'800 donateurs, soit 20 % de la population de la région. Cela représente un soutien absolument extraordinaire à notre action, justifie l’effort énorme consenti par vous pour ce ramassage, et nous permet de continuer notre action auprès des plus démunis de la région dans les meilleures conditions.

“Chacun de vous il y a contribué par son enthousiasme, son engagement et sa motivation, que ce que ce soit dans les magasins comme chauffeur transporteur ou comme trieur au local.”

“On Friday and Saturday you were fantastic when we collected our ‘boxes from the heart’. You were 193 people collaborating in our operation: 30 drivers, 76 in Coop, 98 in Migros, 26 in Manor and 82 in the local sorting area.

“Thanks to your immense work, we collected a total of 18.8 tons of merchandise, equally on Friday and Saturday, against 15 tons last year and 17 tons in 2017. This figure is an absolute record for our antenna. If donations are estimated at 2 kg for a household of 2, there are 18,800 donors, or 20% of the population of the region. This represents an absolutely extraordinary support of our organisation, illustrating the huge effort made by you for this collection, and allows us to continue our work with the poorest in the region in the best conditions.

“Each of you has contributed with enthusiasm, commitment and motivation, whether in stores as a driver carrier or as a sorter locally.”

Surval are extremely proud of our Charity Club volunteers for being part of this record-breaking Cartons du Coeur collection.

Read on to discover what the girls had to say…

"I volunteer because I really enjoy being part of good causes that help people in need. One of the highlights for me was that the majority of the people demonstrated an interest in donating and when they arrived with bags full of food for Cartons du Coeur, it was really nice. At first I felt weird and uncomfortable because some of the people ignored us as we offered them the flyers for the Cartons du Coeur items, but then there were also people that really wanted to help and donate. These people’s generosity felt heart-warming and this really motivated me. It made me think that it is important to always help when we have the opportunity." - Natalia (Swiss Gap, Mexico)

"Carton du Coeur was a really informative and awesome experience for me because I saw the impact and the result of what we can achieve as a community when everyone contributes their grain of sand. Even if people donate a pasta box that costs 1 CHF and takes no time at all to buy, they are doing a huge change to the world. I realized how we can achieve really big things if we all work together." - Vivi (FY, Mexico)

"I volunteer regularly for Cartons du Coeur because it changes people’s lives; we are helping people by giving boxes with life necessities in. I have been many times to CDC and I am committed as I love helping – I always have charity near my heart  and I will always help whenever I can." - Charlotte (G11, UK)

"I volunteered for Cartons du Coeur because I like the idea of helping people. I had never heard of Cartons du Coeur so I thought it would be nice to try something new – especially if it’s for a good cause. The highlights of the day were when people were thanking us for doing Cartons du Coeur and seeing how many people were being enthusiastic and happy about donating and contributing for such a good cause." - Ale (Swiss Gap, Mexico)

"The highlight to me of volunteering for Cartons du Coeur is the people who are so kind and caring! On Saturday, one person donated a whole shopping trolley full of home goods; another asked us to help him choose baby products because he had no clue what to buy but really wanted to contribute. It was a bit challenging to speak French to people we don’t know, especially natives; yet, it was so rewarding to see their smiles when they understand us and appreciate our effort. And yes, we did get a lot of rejections, but we also got a lot of positive responses that totally outweighed the negative. It was a fantastic experience that showed us how sweet and generous people can be and that taught us to be tolerant towards everyone. The important thing is to continue doing what you are doing no matter what and you will find people who will support you; so that, together, you are unstoppable in achieving your goals." - Nastya (G12, Russia)