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Dania Saporito

Director GDB Product Portfolio

Netherlands, Europe

Poverty

GAIN - SHOEBOX INITIATIVES FOR KIDS

Main aim of the charity

It organizes initiatives to counteract injustice, poverty, impact from war and inequality. The purpose of the shoebox initiative in specific is to release the distress of children living in poverty and to endorse the importance of education . In addition to the shoebox, GAIN organizes other projects such as: Water drilling to allow villages to get this vital element (https://gainhelpt.nu/wat-wij-doen/projecten/waterprojecten/) ; relief by redistributing items essential for the well being and that can be used to boost local entrepreneurial activities (https://gainhelpt.nu/wat-wij-doen/hulpgoederen-op-hun-bestemming/) ; emergency aid when disasters strike (https://gainhelpt.nu/wat-wij-doen/projecten/noodhulp/)

How the employee got involved and why

This is an initiative that has deep roots in our center in Maastricht. Since early 2000 we run this initiative yearly. We stopped in 2019 due to the dismissal of the program with the Edukans , the organization with whom we were cooperating. Covid has definitely put a break due to its constraints: we were happy to resume this year partnering with a new organization, GAIN. The initiative is well received from the SSC Maastricht employees as it is involving them together with the families and does not involve only money collection. In addition, the fact that donation goes to kids and their well-being adds an extra interest. It is always rewarding to watch the pictures and the videos of the kids receiving the boxes. Sometimes we spotted the ones that we did donate! We run the initiative for 2 full months (as late Sept 2022 to Nov 2022)

What work does the employee do for charity

The volunteering activity consists on collecting shoeboxes from shoe shops, decorate them and fill them in with school articles, toiletries and toys. These boxes are then sent to underprivileged kids. In order to maximize the number of boxes completed and be Go-Green by supporting the recycling concept, we launched campaign for collecting second hand toys/cuddles in addition to request of donating money. With the amount collected, we bought all new school and toiletries items. The boxes are wrapped and filled by employees. We had a weekly challenge organized, but then the stand for wrapping the boxes was opened on a daily basis: employees could dedicate their lunch time to this activity.

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