Coördinator - Stichting Pastorate West Afrikans and Formationcentre SMA
Giving the good: also letting another person have something
It is overwhelming. After our request for toiletries for visitors of Stap Verder, they flooded in. All nine storage boxes are packed with shampoo, shower gel, soap, razor blades, body cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss, washing powder and sanitary towels. That is a completely different situation than a few months ago, when the bottom of the boxes came in sight and we sometimes had to disappoint visitors. Now they can even choose between brands of toothpaste!
The Protestant congregation, the Roman Catholic parish, the Lutheran congregation and the Evangelical Brotherhood had collected these items for us during the last weeks.
It is so encouraging for our visitors! It is not easy for someone who does not have enough money to pay for their daily food, unable to gather money for the rent or to pay the bills, to ask for help. During a conversation with them we often have to disappoint them if help is being asked for paying the rent.
But then you see the relief on their face, when we explain that we can give a reference to the free food packages from the food banks and to the clothing bank, and that we also have toiletries on offer. With that help they can reserve more money for the rent. Some visitors are sometimes surprised by that generosity, but when we tell them that many church members and friends of Stap Verder want to show their involvement this way, they are moved.
And so we are moved when we receive a bag with toiletries and find a store receipt for 25 euros at the bottom. Suddenly you realize that those nine boxes represent an amount of several hundred euros. Many generous donors are willing to spend money to buy not just a piece of soap, but even very nice pieces of soap and good hand creams. And others find good products in their cupboard that were not used before. If you look at the products that are given, you can see that they are selected with care and attention. Thank you for that!
On behalf of our visitors,
Erika Feenstra and Liesbeth Glas