Wittenborg Volunteers Team up with JCI Apeldoorn to Surprise Elderly with Goody Bags
Student volunteers from Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences helped to bring some holiday cheer to the elderly in Apeldoorn – many of whom find themselves homebound and often alone over the festive season – even more so this year with new COVID-19-restrictions announced a week ago by the Dutch government.
This is the second year Wittenborg has joined forces with the organisers of the initiative, Junior Chamber International's (JCI) Apeldoorn chapter, to spread goodwill. Last year, a Christmas lunch was organised at Wittenborg's Spoorstraat location with students, JCI members and many elderly from Apeldoorn sat together for a meal.
Due to the restrictions, the outreach effort had to be slimmed down this year, but luckily the enthusiasm did not. JCI is a network organisation for people up to 40 years old in Apeldoorn who have a social or economic bond with the region and who want to work on their personal development. It currently has 25 members.
Armed with holiday music, goody bags and some eatables, students divided in groups with JCI members visiting about 24 homes over the weekend. One student, Sophia Norenko, even brought along a ukulele to play traditional Christmas tunes.
According to Wittenborg's Communications and Events Coordinator Nadia Zaman, who also took part in the initiative, they were welcomed with a lot of gratitude and happiness at each door they knocked on. "It was also very meaningful to all of us participating to see how happy they were to have us there," Zaman said.
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press