Together for the people in the most difficult times – how the Hungarian Red Cross helps during the crisis situation due to coronavirus

Coca‑Cola supports the organization, and you too can join the supporters of the Red Cross!

Coronavirus radically changed the life of every individual, company and institution. Charity organizations also had to react to the situation quickly. Those who already were in a difficult position have now become even more vulnerable, and some communities that up until now were not directly endangered require greater support. The almost 140 year-old Hungarian Red Cross has adapted and continues to adapt its work to the new circumstances, receiving help from several other sides.

Like everyone, the Hungarian Red Cross too had to face significant challenges due to the coronavirus, our everyday life has changed both in terms of how the organization works as well as how we perform our tasks. Following the announcement of the emergency, the number of our blood donation events has dropped notably, and replacing them is an extraordinary challenge for the organization. In the changed social and economic situation, our social care system is also under enormous strain, the demand for our institutional and residential assistance services and programs has increased, while it is very important to pay attention to the protection and health of our clients, volunteers and employees.

Gábor Nagy Deputy Director General of the Hungarian Red Cross

Helping communities often starts with providing relevant information. It is important that the messages serving the health and safety of individuals and the society as a whole reach as many people as possible.

In addition to providing information and give help to those in need, it is just as important to note that blood donations continue to be organized by the Hungarian Red Cross during the crisis, in compliance with safety regulations of course. Blood donors are always needed and will continue to be needed during the epidemic as well. Whoever gives blood supports the Hungarian healthcare in one of the most direct ways. The organization also strives to keep communicating the importance of blood donation during the time of the epidemic.

Realizing all this, The Coca‑Cola Company Hungary decided that from the beginning of April it will donate the social media channels and other advertising spaces of its brands to the Hungarian Red Cross – whose work the company had been helping for the past decade. Through the “Ad to Aid” initiative, these spaces will display messages related to limiting the spread of the virus, or other information of public interest, be it current information, blood donation or general health related messaging. These messages have already been appearing on Coca‑Cola, Cappy, FUZETEA, Fanta and Kinley Facebook pages in posts, to help as many people as possible – physically as well as mentally – pull through these difficult times.

Many people are asking how they could contribute to the work of the Hungarian Red Cross, supporting those in need. “The most efficient help in the present situation is a financial donation, which sponsors can send us through our webpage’s online donation surface of our website or by transferring to our bank account. We can then simply transfer funds to our county organizations, thus our employees can compile aid kits or purchase tools according to local needs throughout the country. We support people and families in difficult situations mainly by providing durable food, toiletries and detergents, and we help the work of the National Ambulance Service in several parts of the country with meals, transportation and body temperature measurement at border crossings” - said Diána Török, head of corporate relations and donation management for the organization. Contributions related to blood donation, volunteering, sharing information materials from credible sources are also very useful. Empathy is also key, especially paying attention to seniors and their communities, like posting the “Where are you going?” posters initiated by the Hungarian Red Cross and Coca‑Cola, and making offers to help via the poster campaign - in addition to actual financial donations

To expand the financial sources, the organization recently applied for a grant to The Coca‑Cola Foundation, the company’s global foundation, and a few days ago the grant was awarded. This opens up an opportunity for cooperation and support on a much greater scope.

The grant of 200,000 dollars (approximately 65 million HUF) received through the application contributes to several areas. Part of the amount will be spent on supporting the above mentioned people and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic situation: residents at the 10 Temporary Family Shelters and the 75 homeless care institution and service operated by the Hungarian Red Cross, and elderly people, families that became unemployed, and people under quarantine. Support is mainly provided by distributing food, hygiene and cleaning kits nationwide, and offering psycho-social help, on a wider scale compared to the activities that had been started already, reaching out to more affected people.

Furthermore, the support from the company’s foundation also makes it possible to widen the collaboration with the National Ambulance Service and other medical institutions, this includes for example transporting test samples to labs, and providing food and beverages to the ambulance staff.

In addition, Coca‑Cola has donated close to 8,000 bottles of mineral water, juice, and soft drinks to the Red Cross this year, with the organization distributing most of these to families hit by unemployment due to pandemic situation, quarantined people, and the elderly in Budapest and 4 counties.

“Coca‑Cola supports us in multiple ways. The grant from the company’s global foundation provides resources for months to purchase, distribute, transport and store the donations, to replace our worn-out tools, and fund the human resources we need to be able to do our job. Thanks to the “Ad to Aid” collaboration, our messages can reach an even wider audience, and more people can learn about our activities. With the help of Coca‑Cola’s resources and professional team we have more energy to focus on efforts such as promoting blood donation or social help. And through the community of Coca‑Cola, even those who until now haven't known much about the Red Cross can learn about our work.” - added Zoltán Somody, Head of Communications of the Hungarian Red Cross.

More information on the work of the Hungarian Red Cross and how you can help: and