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A charity auction was held on Thursday to help COVID orphans, with all the proceeds from the fashion show’s clothing collection auction being donated to the István Regőczi Foundation.

Judit Varga, Minister of Justice, the main patron of the charity evening, reminded us that we have experienced how fragile life is: parents, grandparents, friends, colleagues have been taken away by the epidemic, and besides the losses, a tragic phrase has become part of everyday life: COVID orphans. Currently in Hungary, nearly a thousand children have lost one or both parents.

The minister added: “We Hungarians have proven time and again that we are able to help very quickly and effectively in the event of a problem.” The initiative was followed by a broad social coalition, with many organizations and individuals joining the initiative during the summer.

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“You cannot always do what you have to do, but you must always do what you can,” she quoted Gábor Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania. This principle guided the life of Father István Regőczi, the eponym of the foundation, who helped and protected orphaned children for decades despite the persecutions of the communist dictatorship, she added.

“Today, we are not here to celebrate, but to do our philanthropic and patriotic duty, and to join forces to help those who need it most. We trust that when these children grow up, they will remember their country as a helping hand that gave real support in times of need. We Hungarians have always believed in the power of love and solidarity,”

said Judit Varga.

The clothes collections for the charity evening were created by fashion designers Katalin Hampel and Dorina Kovácsné Dobor. The clothes were made in Katalin Hampel’s fashion salon in Váci Street, Budapest.

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The István Regőczi Foundation was set up by President János Áder and his wife, Anita Herczegh, who was also present at Thursday’s event, with the aim of providing long-term, personalized care for children who lost one or both parents during the pandemic. The foundation aims to provide the support that can provide a solution until the child reaches adulthood or graduates, starts working, and is able to look after themselves.

Featured image: Designer Katalin Hampel’s collection at the fashion show of the fundraising charity event for Covid orphans at the Stefánia Palace – Honvéd Cultural Centre in Budapest, 23 September 2021. Photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI