How did you get into charity work and to founding Apuna Ry?
My mother and grandmother have always been involved in charity work. Thats the way I was raised and to me this is what one does, you help those in need. When my own children’s clothes got small, I was looking for ways to give to charity. A friend and I arranged an event where people donated clothes and toys, and where families in need could come and get what they needed.
The interest was very big from both sides, but we also learned that the biggest need is actually food and hygiene articles. Through our Facebook group, we came in contact with families and started handing out gift cards to grocery stores. This was the start of Apuna Ry, as we needed to register us a organisation to be able to legally raise money. Through our Facebook group I met Merja, who actually was one of the people we helped, and now Merja I and share the administration and hands on work with Apuna Ry.
How do you help the families?
We buy food, offer clothes, pay for birthday parties, hobbies, rents and even medicine is some cases. We also have companies who provide their services, such as dentist check-ups and hairdresser appointments, to the families.
The families contact us by email or through Facebook and we assess every case and how urgent the need is. The most requests for help come during the nights, and often you can sense the panic the parents feel. If someone really needs help, we never say no. We have learned to recognise those in real need.
A working mother of two, how do you find the time?
I don’t watch TV :). Everyone chooses what they do in their spare time, I choose to help. The truth is, I am very structured in what I do. I travel for work, but can also order grocery bags from anywhere in the world.
Why is this work important to you?
In my opinion, no matter what kind of family a child is born into, everyone has the right to a happy childhood. It’s every adult’s responsibility to care for our children.
How has charity work impacted you personally?
It has opened my eyes. There really are people who are poor and desperately need help. I have realised that things aren’t as great in our country as one would believe. I am happy when someone asks for help; I’m more worried about those who don’t.
I try to teach my children that there is nothing wrong to enjoy what they have in life as long as they remember not to take it for granted and that you can always help others. My grandpa used to say, that if someone is on the bottom and begging, then you need to help.
This Christmas we are partnering with Finnish charity Apuna Ry, who supports Finnish families in need. Until December 15th we are donating 10 euros for each sold Full Core Set to Apuna Ry. Help us help families in need.
Read more about Apuna Ry and how you too can help those in need here.