Surprising care home employees with gift boxes

Photo credit: Studio040

Employees of care home Savant Sonnehove in Someren who may not be so well off can now get free food and care products from a donated ‘giveaway cupboard’. This was a new initiative, started last week,  from Wilbert Linders of Savant’s client council.

“I read last year that a healthcare institution in Belgium did this,”said Wilbert. “Then I started thinking about this. You have a lot of people who work part-time within Savant and people who are alone. They often have a low income and don’t have it easy in these difficult times. I submitted this idea to the central client council. This included the chairmen of various residential care institutions. They thought this was a good idea.”


It has not been checked in advance whether Savant employees actually need this help. A conscious choice, due to privacy.

“There is nothing else attached to it. Everyone can take what they want from this. It is also not controlled, however, it is reguarly checked to see if there are still enough items available. We have placed the giveaway box at the key cabinets. The employees visit frequently throughout the day. They can then simply put the products in their bag. At first, we wanted to place the cabinet somewhere up in the building. But, then you are in sight of all. That’s not pleasant for people who want to take something from the cabinet.”

Pilot scheme

The cabinet was donated by a chairman from a subdivision of Savant. He heard of the idea and decided to donate such a cabinet. By the end of last week the cabinet had been purchased and filled following a shopping trip. I receive one hundred euros from Savant every year for my volunteer work. I donated this to the initiative. The departing director of Savant then donated 25 euros. It’s a pilot project. I hope it works well. If this works well then we will roll it out further at Savant.”


Anyone who wants to donate something can do so. Even people who don’t work at Savant. There is no set list of products to be purchased. But Wilbert does have a tip on what to donate or purchase. “I’m thinking of food items. These can be quite expensive products. I also would recommend donating care products such as toothpaste and toiletries. Coffee is also one of those products that has become enormously expensive.”

People who prefer to donate money can also choose to do so. There is a crowdfunding campaign running. “From this, I will make sure that the necessary products are purchased. Afterwards, I will then list exactly what and where all the money has been spent on.”

Pass needed

The intention is not to serve financially poor residents of Someren and the surrounding areas. “It’s basically meant for Savant staff,” Wilbert explains. “The cabinet is also not in a place that is easily accessible to outsiders. The door of this room only opens with a pass. Not everyone can just walk in.”

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translated by: Shanthi Ramani

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