A toy story


At a recent football game in Turkey, fans threw toys, cuddly bears, and scarves onto the pitch as donations to children impacted by the recent earthquakes.


4 minutes and 17 seconds into the game at the Besiktas Vodafone Stadium in Turkey and something remarkable started to happen.

From one side of the ground, toys, teddy bears, scarves and other donations started raining down on to the pitch.

These were being gifted by fans to children impacted by the Turkey-Syria earthquake – a Magnitude 7.8 quake – that struck on 6 February 2023 killing, so far, an estimated 60,000 people. Approximately 50,000 deaths have occurred in Turkey.

Many thousands more have been displaced or made homeless by the quake.

It is estimated that 4.6 million children live in the areas affected by the earthquake and that over 1,000 have been separated from their families as a result of the disaster. Providing not only food and other emergency support to these children but also sources of comfort and love has been vital as the country seeks to recover from the devastation.

Raining bears. Photo credit: Besiktas

Which is why the gesture by fans of the Turkish side Besiktas was so moving.

Choosing a time that coincided with that of the quake, this act not only demonstrated solidarity with the children affected by recognised their need for sources of emotional support and comfort. When we seek to offer compassion, it is so important that this is done in a warm and open tone or behavior. These fans thought about what they might have wanted or needed if they too had been left stranded and alone and recognized their power to offer support.

The event was organized before the Turkish Super League football match between Beşiktaş and Antalyaspor, and was called “This Toy is my Friend” though other translations have been used, “This Toy is for You,” for example.

All of the toys donated will now be sent to victims of the quake by a first-aid truck organized by Besiktas.

A version of this story was originally published by The Good News Network. 


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