A gift for every child

December support for children in need

According to the American consultancy firm California Environmental Associates, the Postcode Lotteries are 7th in the top 20 maritime philanthropic funders for the period 2010-2016.

For families experiencing financial hardship, December can be hugely stressful. This year it has become an even bigger problem due to the cost of living crisis. Funding raised by players of the Postcode Lotteries is helping support families in need and children growing up in poverty.

Photo: Kinderfonds supports children growing up in poverty with a December gift

Nicole (47), a mum of six from the Netherlands, found herself facing financial difficulties after her husband passed away unexpectedly four years ago. Working a 30 hour a week as disability care coordinator and with sole caring responsibilities for her children, Nicole got into debt. “We have to live on 100 euros a week. I became very creative with finding affordable food, but with six children my budget is gone half way through the week.”

“I can breathe again”
Rising food and energy costs are straining families’ budgets making it harder to afford household essentials. In six months’ time, Nicole will have paid off her debts although her financial struggles will remain. “Costs of groceries, housing, energy, health insurance and day-care keep rising, but my salary is not increasing proportionally. All around me I see people getting into financial trouble.”

“Fortunately, a local charity gives us a weekly food box so I can prepare healthy daily meals,” says Nicole. As well as this, her children receive a contribution from Nationaal Fonds Kinderhulp (Children’s Aid), a Dutch charity that supports children and young people growing up in poverty. With its help Nicole can buy clothing and December gifts for the children. “It has ensured that my children are not left out. Kids want to be like the other kids in the class. Thanks to all the support I can offer them good food, warm clothes and gifts. Now I can sleep and breathe again.”

Financial assistance
Kinderhulp is a Dutch charity supporting children and young adults who grow up in poverty. Social workers or youth workers, who know which children and families need additional support, can apply for financial assistance to buy clothing, room furnishings, a bicycle, pay for study costs or swimming lessons.

In 2021, Kinderhulp received over €3.4 million from VriendenLoterij and Nationale Postcode Loterij – players have supported the charity since 1999. Postcode Lotteries in Great Britain, Sweden and Germany also support good causes that help children in need.

60% rise in requests
In 2021, Kinderhulp was able to help 117,584 children. The number of applications has increased by sixty percent in four years and they currently receive ninety applications a day. "We have never experienced such an increase. More and more families are struggling financially and need help," says Irene Boersma on behalf of Kinderhulp.

As many as one in 12 children and adolescents up to the age of 21 in the Netherlands grows up in poverty. "Children make the best of it, but growing up with financial problems has a deep impact. We believe that every child deserves a carefree childhood," Irene adds.

A stressful month
December can be stressful for families experiencing poverty. Due to rising costs of energy and living expenses this year is extra challenging. With the ‘Give them warmth’ campaign, Kinderhulp is drawing attention to those families who are in need of warm clothing.

The economic crisis is also having an impact on charity donations, Kinderhulp notes. "Unfortunately, donations are not rising as fast as requests for help. Still, we do everything we can to be able to help as many children as possible. We will possibly allocate a little less per child, and we keep campaigning to raise funds. The support of the Postcode Loterij is very welcome. Thanks to the lottery, we can make children happy with December presents, a warm coat, a laptop for school, a day out or a bicycle."