The main project
Okay so let’s give a small recap of this amazing project started: A few months ago, my girlfriend was assigned a school project to help single underage asylum seekers. These young adults between the ages 15 and 18 are in the procedure to stay in the Netherlands. Each month these asylum seekers get a small amount of money for food, a roof over their head and guidance if needed. These youngsters go to school inside of the asylum seekers home, and besides that, they sleep all day due to boredom. To improve the sleeping rhythm of these people my girlfriend and their project group developed a reward system, in which the youngsters are motivated to organize and participate in projects and group activities. By participating in the system, they are rewarded with points, and these points can then be traded in for rewards such as snacks, soap, clothing, etc.
But to actually have a reward system you are going to need some rewards. And to get these rewards they were going to need sponsors.
Now, this is the moment where I came in; While overhearing the project and the struggle they had getting sponsors, I decided to join forces and help them to find sponsors or products that could be used as rewards.
Working in the product promotion industry I have access to some useful contacts which I decided to put to good use. So that’s what I did, after emailing and cold calling some of these companies I ended up at Oreo, the company everyone knows for their delicious wonder filled cookies. They told me they would love to be part of this and were even willing to give away even more cookies than I planned on asking. So much actually, that it would be too much for just the asylum seeker home and the project it was for. Now I was left with a choice; taking just a part of what they were offering, or more interestingly try to find a way to make more people happy.
Obviously, I chose the second part. I started calling and looking around for other people who deserved some delicious cookies and happiness. And I sure did find them! The first people I found were from another asylum seeker group, which consisted of multiple asylum seeker homes.
But now having other places to donate the cookies to left me with another struggle: Transport.
Since the first place and the other asylum seeker home group were separated I was going to need some transport trucks, and big ones! Knowing how big of a challenge this was going to be I decided to ask Oreo for one last favor.
Everything good comes in threes
After sending an email to Oreo, asking for help something unexpected happened: They read the email in which I explained what I was trying to do with all the cookies and they got very excited! They told me they would not only be more to be happy to help with the transport between the two places. But they were also willing to donate even more cookies, around 200,000 to be precise!
And on top of it all, they were willing to arrange all the transport, if I could find people who could really use it. I was so happy with this development that I didn’t know how fast I should say yes! With this amazing news, I started looking for more organizations who helped people in Need. After calling and emailing different organizations I ended up with two: The Foodbank of Eindhoven and The Foodbank of Utrecht. Both organizations were super happy with the news and were more than happy to receive the donation.
A few days later I finished planning everything and made sure the right people were in place. Together with my girlfriend and her project group I went to help at the original asylum seeker home to organize the delivery. Through the phone I had spoken to many people who were very happy with the cookies but seeing the smiles on the faces of all those people was extra special.
This project and it’s successful ending was a truly amazing experience and something to never forget!
A sweet aftertaste
A few weeks later I got the news that a local supermarket had seen the delivery truck at one of the asylum seeker homes and made a visit to find out what it was all about. After the organization had explained this project and the donation of all these Oreo’s.
Upon hearing this news the Supermarket got very excited and decided to participate in this project and help by donating products.
This positive movement is the reason why I decided to type this article, I hope that people and companies get inspired by my project and decide to also help good causes by donating products to charity and people who actually need it.