First there were the governing bodies, with President Rui Costa, the President of the Board of Directors of the General Assembly, Fernando Seara, joined by the Technical Director Luisão. This Wednesday, it was promised that the team would join the We Stand With Ukraine initiative. André Almeida and Vertonghen, two of the captains, were two of the volunteers, as were Gonçalo Ramos, Paulo Bernardo and Tomás Araújo. The five volunteered to help with the action of Fundação Benfica and SIC Esperança, in coordination with the Ukrainian authorities. Several faces of the channel, such as presenters Carolina Patrocínio and Cláudia Borges, or actress Bárbara Lourenço were under the tent set up in the parking lot of Estádio da Luz.
The five players brought merchandise and were received by Benfica Foundation coordinator Jorge Miranda. After being briefed on the organization of operations, Vertonghen, André Almeida, Gonçalo Ramos, Paulo Bernardo and Tomás Araújo put on their t-shirts and got to work.
Among dozens of volunteers (75 per day, according to Benfica), the players helped sort through various products, mostly health and hygiene, as well as non-perishable food. All were packed, labeled and placed in correctly identified boxes, in Portuguese, English and Ukrainian.
The campaign started in 120 points across the country, between five Casas do Benfica, twenty football schools, five official club stores and twenty social solidarity institutions. The initiative has already filled four TIR trucks and is in the process of filling the fifth truck. Each carries 24 tons, so we are talking about nearly 100 tons of humanitarian aid.
Photos: Rui Raimundo/ASF