Piles of coats and other winter clothes are waiting here for people who are less fortunate. For the fifth year, the foundation Samen voor Eindhoven collected warm coats with the action ‘give a coat and warm a heart’.
“In this city, too, we have children with small, ill-fitting shoes. There are families in Eindhoven living below the poverty line,” says Marbritta van Boldrik of Samen voor Eindhoven. “We want everyone in Eindhoven to be winter-proof. Last time we collected 2000 coats. This time, we already have 2200.”
A blue coat
Kamal Charrha is busy searching among the piles of coats. He fled Morocco and has been living in the Netherlands for three months. He has found a dark blue coat. “I am extremely happy with all the people who have helped,” he says, beaming. “Now everyone has a warm coat. That’s nice. Especially now that it’s going to get colder and colder. If such initiatives didn’t exist people would be left out in the cold because they can’t afford it.”
Segen Andom from Eritrea also succeeded well. “I found three coats. They are very good, beautiful, sturdy coats. Sometimes I buy my own clothes, but I don’t have much money. So I’m really happy with these coats.”
The 2200 coats were collected from several large organizations in Eindhoven, such as DELA and the High Tech Campus. In addition to people being able to pick out their own clothes, they are also distributed to nine charities in Eindhoven: Kledingbank, Dress for Succes, Ervaring die Staat, Inloophuis ‘t Hemeltje, Leger des Heils, NEOS, GGzE and clothing exchange studio #Awesome.
Heart for coffee
This year, they shall pin hearts to the coats. The hearts are worth two free cups of coffee or tea at a number of Eindhoven coffee shops. Foundation Awesome from Tongelre makes the hearts and the Poverty Fund sponsors it. “We want to literally give people something extra warm with this gesture,” Van Boldrik says. “For many people, it’s normal, to get a coffee at a coffee shop, but for these people it’s difficult. That’s why we now have these hearts. Then they can get a coffee and that can already be an outing. Even if we make a handful of people happy, then this mission is already successful.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.