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Don't be social, do social! | 06 maart 2018

Wessel Driessen was nominated for the Trendspotting & Innovation Award | February 2018!

Read his blog about the Dutch organisation Do Social whose goal it is to give the elderly 'the best year of their life'.

Let's take care of our elderly people

The amount of elderly people is steadily growing in the Netherlands, or anywhere in western Europe for that matter. More and more people are too old to work or even to live on their own at all. This phenomenon creates a bigger and bigger need for care for the elderly. Retirement homes are overstuffed and understaffed, while government budgets don't increase nearly as fast as the need for money does. This means that the nurses and social workers only have just enough time to make sure all basic needs are met. Anything that exceeds these needs is simply too costly and time-consuming to undertake. The elderly often feel lonely and forgotten. Society treats them like a burden, while they were the ones who got us where we are right now. 

Do Social

Do Social is a Dutch organisation whose goal it is to give the elderly 'the best year of their life'. They acknowledge the fact that the homes are in dire financial need but instead of just focusing on meeting those basic needs, they focus on the well-being of the elderly. They organize field trips and other fun things for them and try to organize visits of family members. Though of course they try to generate funds to do things like that, their biggest strength is their 'Social Stockpile'. The stockpile is a website on which people can offer their products and services for free to be used by projects involving the elderly, but also other social initiatives.

Social Stockpile

The way it works is very simple. Let's say you just painted your house but still have a few buckets of paint left. You put the paint on the Social Stockpile and a few days later, Oakviews, a home for the elderly, is looking for materials to use in their renovation of the living room in their facility. Easy, fast and very valuable for Oakviews. Another way to contribute is to put your time on the website. You just fill in the dates that you'd like to spend some time helping the community and anyone that is looking for volunteers will be able to contact you to help you on those days. The thought is that everyone has some things at home, or just has some time on his has, that could better be used by others, specifically the elderly in this case.

This concept could be interesting to hotels as well. Maybe your conference rooms are not selling well? Just put one of them on the Social Stockpile to be used by social initiatives. More people will be seeing your conference rooms and you'll be seen as a good Samaritan for helping a good cause. You could even let some of your full time employees help out with a good cause when the workload is too small for the team. 

Do Social is an initiative of alumnus Pim Pelser (F-2005).  

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