Christmas Angels for the lonely holidays
Many elderly people live alone and receive very few visitors. The dark days of December can feel particularly lonely, with everyone spending the holidays with their friends and family. To help overcome their social isolation, ABN AMRO Foundation has been running its Christmas Angels programme since 2004.
Our colleagues bring Christmas trees to lonely senior citizens. Together they decorate the tree and have a chat while sharing a cup of coffee or tea. Every year, we gladden the hearts of over 2,500 elderly people with a small Christmas tree.
Foundation Volunteer Lennard de Koning
IT Services Portfolio Controller
“It’s a real privilege to contribute to such a great initiative. The people we meet really appreciate the attention they receive. It takes only a few hours of our time, but they’ve been looking forward for weeks or months to the afternoon when we’ll be stopping by with Christmas decorations and chocolate. This personal attention is really important: many of them don’t have friends or family that come and visit. Our team have already agreed that we’ll do this again next year!’
Foundation Volunteer Branko Driessen
Senior Process Manager
“Eight of us visited De Rietvink, a care home in Amsterdam. The residents were waiting for us in the common room when we arrived. We had a lot of fun decorating their trees and putting them in their rooms, and there was plenty of time for a chat. We heard the most wonderful stories about the old days, when everything was different or better. We learned about many, many years of marriage and grandchildren that live far away. It slowly dawned on us that loneliness takes on many guises: from not having a spouse to not seeing your children and grandchildren all that often, however many there are. I’m happy we brought a glimmer of light in those otherwise dark days of December.”
Foundation Volunteer Cheryl Korn
Borrowing, Savings and Insurance Advisor
‘Er zijn veel ouderen die geen bezoek van familieleden krijgen. Omdat die te druk zijn, of er misschien niet (meer) zijn. Het is zo fijn om die ouderen wat aandacht te geven, juist in deze tijd van het jaar. Een mooi boompje, lichtjes, iets lekkers bij de thee. Maar vooral de gesprekken vinden ze fijn. Een supermooi initiatief!’