On 13th December 2016 in Victoria Hotel in Amsterdam, we held an annual Christmas Drinks Networking event for Polish Professional Women in the Netherlands. This year it was not only about networking but also about supporting great initiative.
This year we wanted to make this gathering memorable and special not only for members of PPW. Before the event itself we called-to-action. We’ve asked all members of PPW joining the event to become a Santa Claus for those who are less fortunate and bring food with them. “The most beautiful gift is the one you can give.” All the food was donated to Amsterdam Food Bank (Voedselbank).
During our meeting we’ve had an opportunity to speak to Marie-Lou Florisson, Consultant Distribution Points from Amsterdam, who could tell us more about this initiative and her work.
We touched on various topics during our conversation, i.e. the ways Food Bank works, how they connect with various organisations to bring their message across and ensure the flow of food supplies. Moreover, we’ve chatted about the Food Bank’s needs and how it works as a whole. You can read more about Voedselbank below.
The second part of the X-mas drinks was more entertaining. We prepared two surprises for the members of the Polish Professional Women, which turned out to be a great success.
Our second guest was Karolina Rosocka, who in the last 6 years has been signing authentic folk songs, otherwise also known as backyard songs. Those songs were sung by country people to, among others, express their emotions and create social bonds.
However, during this time of a year Karolina taught us how to sing old folk carols.
We were all very eager and excited to participate!
For those who are interested in learning more about the folk songs, please get in touch with Karolina.
Folk songs are taught in Polish schools in the Netherlands, and also there is a singing group in Amsterdam.
The second surprise was prepared by Agnieszka Urbanska, who has been a Polish Professional Women’ member for over a year. She prepared for us repertoire of traditional Christmas carols which was accompanied by her playing piano. It was truly amazing experience for all of us. We all felt Christmas being just around the corner.
We thank both, Agnieszka and Karolina, for making it possible!
For those unfamiliar with the Food Bank concept, it is an organisation, that strives to provide weekly, healthy and varied food to people who, simply, struggle to make ends meet. The Food Bank fights poverty and serves as a link between food surpluses on the one hand and poverty on the other. There are 4,500 food parcels being distributed per week and around 90,000 per year.
We asked Marie-Lou whether the Food Bank works with various organizations supporting women’s right and she told us “we work with different clubs, however, Polish Professional Women is the first national ladies’ club we have worked with in 2016.”
Marie-Lou noticed the social aspect the Food Bank provides for its clientele; i.e. there are communities that help each other and before collecting their packages, people can drink coffee and talk about anything. It is great to see that these places are not only for getting just the food but also enable people, in a tough situation, to gather up and support each other with learning new skills or just simply by being there for them.
Marie-Lou has expressed her and the Food Bank’s gratitude for Polish Professional Women's involvement, collecting the food and raising some money.
We talked about the Food Bank’s needs and Marie-Lou told us that there are three things that the Food Bank needs:
- food supplies
The organization is always looking for volunteers to help with collecting, sorting, packing, distributing the food packages. In Amsterdam alone, there are over 400 people of good will who help with that but helping over 3,500 families is a lot to take care of, hence the need for volunteers is great. Food is the main currency, so long shelf life food items are the most sought-after but, really, any food is welcome. Money is also needed, as this will help to pay for food packages, donating as little as €3,50 enables to fill one package. So every bit helps! Let’s make sure to assist in any way we can.
Marie-Lou stated that, it is important to support the Food Bank not only once a year (before Xmas is very popular since people feel the need to share) but especially during the so-called “quiet period,” for example during the summer.
Our next meeting will take place on January 12th in Art'otel, designer hotel located in the heart of Amsterdam.
It is an open event, we invite all women to join us and network in New Year.
Visit the page to find out more information and confirm your attendance >>>