Yes, it’s been a tough year here. But tell that to the residents of Aleppo.
Helping them and refugees in many other areas is the focus of this year’s NRK telethon, with Longyearbyen as usual offering a month of local events leading up to the televised auction Oct. 23. Anne Lise Sandvik, head of this year’s local effort, said she doesn’t think local large-scale layoffs and economic downturn will affect this year’s giving.
“You guess it’s going to be be approximately the same as always,” she said.
Svalbard has for many years been by far the most generous per-capita donor in Norway, contributing 620 kroner per resident compared to the nationwide average of 36.64 kroner.
This year’s schedule is largely similar to previous years. The following are the dates for events (times will be listed as they become known):
• Oct. 10: Dinner made and served by children at Polarflokken kindergarten.
• Oct. 13: Dinner made and served by children at Kullungen kindergarten.
• Oct. 15: Car wash at The Governor of Svalbard’s service garage.
• Oct. 15-16: Rummage sale at The University Centre in Svalbard.
• Oct 16.: Open house at The Governor of Svalbard’s residence.
• Oct. 20: Dinner, craft sales, games and performances by Longyearbyen School students.
• Oct. 21: Concert featuring Henning Sommero at Svalbard Church.
• Oct. 23: Door-to-door collections by local youths and local auction at the Radisson Polar Blue Hotel.
In addition, tickets for a lottery drawing after the auction are being sold most days at the entrance of Svalbardbuttiken.