in | 30 Nov 2017

How To Give Back in December

The holidays are a time where we can warm up the coldest of days to a jubilation of ‘gezelligheid’ and togetherness. It is what lights up these dark months. Winter might not be your favourite season, but often the festivities are what makes it worthwhile.
To some, however, this is an especially challenging time, and not just because of the weather. It's as if Sinterklaas or Santa skips them. They don’t have the privilege to get together to read poems and unpack Sinterklaas’ presents, to dance around a beautiful christmas tree to then dive underneath it, or to sit at a long table to enjoy an abundance of soulful food. There are people to whom those cold winter days, remain the cold winter days.
From where you stand, you can hymn the holiday spirit to people who otherwise don't really get to hear it. Think inside and outside your community, because naughty or nice, big or small, no one should feel left out this time of the year. The smallest selfless acts can already help Sinterklaas and Santa out. Here are a few ways to give back this winter.

Holiday Food Packaging at De Voedselbank
Might be hard to believe, but one out of eight kids in Holland grows up in poverty, as in  they go to school without breakfast and have nacho chips for dinner. This 100% volunteer-based organisation works against this kind of poverty by also working against  food-waste. Voedselbank Amsterdam is one of our partners too, we help them by donating juices every month, making sure people who live under poverty level still can get their dose of health and vitamins. You can help by volunteering and packing or distributing Holiday Food Packages, or simply by donating or adopting a Holiday food package for a family.
Find more info and subscribe to volunteer or donate here. 


Collecting presents with De Sinterklaasbank
Even though the good old guy might look like he’s got it all together, he just is not able to fill each and every shoe. How do explain that to your kids? Every year, Sinterklaasbank collects money through donations and activities, to make sure kids that would otherwise end up with an empty shoe, don’t. They get to make their own wish list, and pick from the Sinterklaasbank Gift Guide they receive before Pakjesavond arrives.  
Find more info and donate here.


Celebrating First Christmas Day at the Dominicuskerk
On the first day of Christmas, the Dominicuskerk transforms to an open house. Everyone is welcome, so especially those who don’t have a home or a family to celebrate christmas with. It’s an all day party, with music, food, drinks, games and activities, continuing until midnight, with a dance.
Find more info and subscribe to volunteer here.


Find your kind of volunteering through NederlandCares
These options listed above are only three examples of the many things we can do for others over the holidays. If you feel like you can spare a few hours, NederlandCares is a very useful website to find an activity that exactly fits your schedule. You can select your city, the date you have in mind, and a list of options will show up that you can easily subscribe to. It can go from serving food in a soup kitchen, having a walk with the elderly, wrapping up food packages at the Voedselbank or spending time with refugees.
Find more info and subscribe to volunteer here.