In 2007, Nicolien Jorritsma from Hoorn took the initiative to collect gifts in four places in Hoorn, literally under the Christmas tree, for children from families affiliated with the Food Bank West-Friesland. The project grew together with other women, partners of members of the West Friesland Junior Chamber.
Dozens of Christmas trees were added across West Friesland, and later children from families at the food banks in Alkmaar and Langedijk were also made happy thanks to donations from individuals and businesses. In the past two years, the campaign has been entirely online due to corona, but Puur For Kids even scored a higher reach and turnover via the ‘webshop’.
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This year it is still possible to donate online or buy gift cards for children, but the Christmas trees are also returning. From December 6, they can be found at around 66 locations in West Friesland, Alkmaar, Heerhugowaard and Schagen. There are tickets in the trees for a boy or girl in a certain age category. Anyone who wants to can take a ticket, buy a gift and put it under the tree. The gifts will be collected on 16 December for distribution just before Christmas. Gift vouchers can be ordered for children over 12 years old via www.puurforkids.nl
Afke Velink, who does PR, recently had a conversation with the people behind the Food Bank in Hoorn and knows that the need is increasing. Due to the increased prices and inflation, more and more people have to rely on this facility. “The stories are really moving.”
The fund is not limited to registrations from the Food Bank. Families just above the income limit are also eligible through the care providers who know these families and who can make a special application. For example, last year they were able to give 200 extra children (in addition to 350 through the food banks) gifts.
Meanwhile, Puur For Kids has expanded its activities with laptops, the ‘school bag’ and the ‘gym bag’. “There is more demand than just around Christmas. That is why we have set up several projects for children from families who are not financially well off.”
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For example, the foundation has recently made laptops available to children from the target group, which can be requested from schools, administrators, social workers or other care providers. The aim is to prevent delays in learning. The laptops, with the Squla learning package, are paid for from donations from companies, among others. Earlier this year, this project received a handsome injection of money from the data giant Google, which was good for 150 Chromebooks.
The ‘school bag’ for children entering secondary school is a backpack with all the necessary school equipment, from notebooks and a triangle to a compass and a calculator. Stumpel contributes here, but also private individuals. Last year they received more than 8,000 euros from RSG Enkhuizen from the project ‘Economics in operation’. This year, 130 filled school bags were distributed.
Next year, the ‘moving bag’ will be added, for 6 to 15-year-olds. This idea is still in development, but it involves various attributes of sports, such as a skipping rope, a ball and rackets. Donation money has now been reserved for 200 of these bags.
As if that were not enough, the board of the Puur For Kids foundation, consisting of Miranda Boots, Afke Velink, Bianca Elfrink, Nicolien Jorritsma, Leonie Walburg, Gaby Alberts, Christine Samsom and Desiree Veenis, is thinking of expanding the area of work. . If possible to a much larger part of North Holland.
Isn’t Velink afraid that it will drown out the board members? “Don’t underestimate us. During the Christmas season it’s busy anyway, but a lot of inquiries come in via the website. It has to be managed. We work with project groups. There are one or two of us on each project and also in matters such as sponsorship and contact with food banks and schools. We do that together with organizations like food banks and aid workers. And we know what we’re doing it for. You want to see a smile like that from a child more often, don’t you?”
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