It’s Wednesday, January 5th, 2022. For the first time, I participate in the annual Three Kings Collection, and I become Kašpar for the next three hours. Together with Jarmila and Honza, we put on costumes and head off to Vinohradská street in Prague.
After a few minutes, my shyness disappears and I dare to approach the passers-by with the well-known Czech song “My tři králové jdeme k vám”. Is there a chance people will stop and listen? Are people in the mood for listening to carolers at the time of the covid? I ask myself in my thoughts. They are. They stop, listen to the song, and contribute to the money box. „I haven’t heard that carol in a long time,“ says one of the first contributors with a smile, putting the banknote into the money box.
„I’m sorry, I’m unemployed, and I’m just going for a job interview,“ a woman explains why she cannot contribute. We understand and we promise to keep our fingers crossed for the interview to turn out to be a success so that her job search is a thing of the past. „How much should I contribute?“ asks another contributor who has stopped by our trio. The amount is voluntary, we answer. Like everyone else, we offer him a calendar, a candy, or a sticker with the inscription K + M + B + 2022, as a thank-you.
Just before entering the Czech Radio building, a man with a violin case put a banknote into the money box. Within a few minutes, he was back with us, saying that he doesn’t want to miss out on our song and that he strongly believes in the importance of collections like this one. He also added one more banknote into the money box.
Within three hours, dozens of people with different stories of their own stopped by. There was a gentleman who couldn’t contribute because he was facing property distraint. We wish him good luck, hopefully, the project called Merciful Summer could be helpful for him too.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Caritas Czech Republic for allowing me to spend three hours in such good company and for a good cause. That we could exchange a few words with various interesting people we met in the streets of Prague where we would otherwise just pass by each other. That we conjured a smile on some people’s faces. I appreciate everyone who contributed to the collection. It’s evening already but I’m still thinking about the lady who was in a hurry to be on time for the job interview. Has she succeeded? I hope she has.
I realized that the Three Kings collection is not just about raising money but also about getting to know each other better. Well, see you next year!
Author: Štěpánka Dreslerová
Photo: Andrea Filičková
„One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed.“ (Proverbs 19:17)
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