Background, Our commitment

Sorting for a good cause

Solidarity fills the room at the Swiss Red Cross in Wabern, as 79 people at “2 x Christmas” sort donated goods. For them, helping is a must. They just do it – exactly like the many celebrities joining in with the volunteers today.

Stefan Kern

Rich Content Section

Several people sort goods into shopping baskets and parcels

Excited conversations and happy laughter ring through the halls at the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) in Wabern. Outside, the January fog still hangs low in the sky, but inside, the room slowly fills with warmth. People wrapped up in thick winter clothes exchange greetings and enjoy a hot cup of coffee to give them strength for the day ahead. There’s an atmosphere of community and collaboration as lots of people from the widest range of backgrounds come together for a common cause.

SRC building in Wabern
Helping is second nature at the SRC center in Wabern near Bern.

When the essentials are all-important

“2 x Christmas” was set up in 1997 by Swiss Post and the Swiss Red Cross (today, SRG SSR and Coop are also involved). The goal is to help alleviate the suffering of people living in poverty in Switzerland by providing non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products. The essentials are all-important. People can drop off urgently needed goods free of charge in Swiss Post branches and branches with partners. As a logistics partner, Swiss Post transports the donated goods parcels free of charge to the SRC’s warehouse. The campaign runs from 24 December until 11 January.

Kim Haldemann is responsible for the campaign at Swiss Post. Why is 2 x Christmas a matter so close to her heart? “In Switzerland, there are many people who don’t have access to essentials. They often find themselves lacking even the most basic things, and the best gifts are those that meet their day-to-day needs. Personal hygiene products such as toothpaste in particular, and even food, are a big financial strain for people living in poverty. The “2 x Christmas” campaign is all about relieving the financial strain on these people, and offering support in their day-to-day lives. Donating essential items means people have a bit more left over to enjoy a social life. Children can go on a school trip again and elderly people in poverty can afford a small gift for their grandchildren. It’s wonderful,” says Haldemann.

Goods in a box
When the essentials are all-important

In the service of solidarity

Meanwhile, sorting continues routinely in Wabern. The processes are smooth and well-established. The sorting day with support from famous faces is a particular highlight of the campaign and shows the huge support of the community. This year, an impressive number of celebrities from various walks of public life have gathered in the SRC center in Wabern. Models, athletes, influencers, actors, musicians and many more are doing their bit for the good cause together with the volunteers.

A woman checks a food item
Checked – and approved. Still-edible food with expired sell-by dates are donated for immediate use at the “Schweizer Tafel” food bank. Unfortunately, food that’s no longer fit for eating has to be separated out.

Here, items given in at Swiss Post branches by generous donors are carefully packed into shopping baskets. Their shelf-life is checked to ensure they can subsequently be given to senior citizens’ homes, women’s shelters, asylum organizations, church congregations and more. In some cantons, goods are distributed directly to people living in poverty. Overall, in the Canton of Zurich alone, over 11,000 people receive this support – either indirectly via welfare institutions or directly from the cantonal sections of the Swiss Red Cross.

A woman brings parcels to a car on a pallet scooter
Most goods reach people living in poverty via welfare institutions – like here at a distribution campaign. Rolf Eisenegger, President of the Nachbarschaftshilfe Kreis 9 organization in the city of Zurich (right), loads his car with heavy parcels that will make the everyday lives of many people somewhat easier.
A woman hands over a full bag to another woman
Direct donation via a cantonal section of the SRC.
Andy Egli and Manuela Frey

Helping for the first time on this sorting day is model Manuela Frey, who has supported the campaign for many years as a donor: “My mother used to say: ‘Manuela, you mustn’t take it for granted that you have so many presents under the tree.’ So even back then, we used to make parcels to support people living in poverty. Today, I’m also helping out in person.”

Andy Egli is another eager participant. What does it mean to him to be here today? “I feel a duty to help people in need in Switzerland,” replies the football expert as he disappears again behind a pile of parcels.

Manuela Frey (right) has donated regularly to 2 x Christmas since her childhood. This year she’s also helping out like Andy Egli (left).

Mujinga Kambundji and Christian Stucki

What do the many volunteers in Wabern really like about the campaign? We asked former Swiss wrestling champion Christian Stucki: “You can give people a little bit of happiness. The campaign relieves the strain on the budgets of people living in poverty, which means they might be able to afford things again.”

For the ambassadors of the Swiss Red Cross, Christian Stucki and Mujinga Kambundji (track and field athlete), helping is second nature.

Naomi Lareine

Also among the helpers is Naomi Lareine. Like Frey and Stucki, the singer is an ambassador for the SRC. And which items do the stars think are a must in their own donation boxes? For R&B musician Noemi Lareine, it’s “make-up remover wipes, body lotion, a toothbrush and toothpaste”.

Thomas Baur

Alongside well-known personalities, Thomas Baur, Deputy CEO of Swiss Post and Head of PostalNetwork also helps with packing. What does 2 x Christmas mean for Swiss Post? “For Swiss Post, the campaign is a passion project. It’s a contribution to society. 2 x Christmas benefits from our competencies: we are represented throughout Switzerland, close to people – and even collect the parcels right from donors’ front doors.”

2 x Christmas is a labour of love, not only for Swiss Post but also for its employees, such as Thomas Baur, Deputy CEO of Swiss Post and Head of PostalNetwork (right). Here together with Philipp Wyss, CEO of Coop (left).

Rich Content Section

Have a donated goods parcel collected from your home

Slowly, the day draws to a close. While some are opening the last parcels, others are already hanging up their aprons. Before they go home, Thomas Zeltner, President of the Swiss Red Cross, offers another few words of thanks to the many volunteers. But the campaign isn’t over yet. Donated goods parcels can be dropped off free of charge until 11 January 2024. Parcels can be brought to a branch or a branch with partner. There’s no need for an address label. With 2 x Christmas, helping has never been so easy.

And if you don’t have the time or opportunity to visit a branch, you can simply have your parcel picked up from your home free of charge with pick@home. A personal collection time can be arranged online at

A parcel carrier collects a customer’s parcel at her front door
Swiss Post collects from your home too. Simply arrange your very own collection time online at

What can I put in the parcel?

Please only put non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products in your parcel, for example:

  • Cosmetic products such as baby hygiene products and hygiene products made of paper or cotton wool
  • Dental hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.)
  • Food in tubes, bags/pouches or Tetra Paks (e.g. mayonnaise, mustard, potato rösti in a bag, sauces in Tetra Paks, soup pouches, etc.)
  • Tins and jars (e.g. tinned ravioli, fruit, vegetables, etc.)
  • Flour, rice
  • Oil and vinegar
  • All breakfast items such as jam, honey, muesli, oats, cocoa powder, etc.

The best before date of the products should be at least the end of June 2024. More information at

Donate an online parcel instead

Instead of putting together your own parcel, you can also donate an online parcel at You select a gift or amount that you’d like to donate. The online donations will help people living in poverty in Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova get through the tough winter months. Last year around 54,050 parcels were donated to people living in poverty in Switzerland, and donations of 343,000 francs were made online to help people in Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina through the winter.

Rich Content Section

written by

Stefan Kern