Boxes full of MH17 toys donated to the Geef een knuffel foundation (Picture: Facebook/Stichting Geef een knuffel) - Credit: Boxes full of MH17 toys donated to the Geef een knuffel foundation (Picture: Facebook/Stichting Geef een knuffel)
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 16:07
MH17 stuffed animals donated to sick kids' foundation
The relatives of MH17 victims have decided to donate the many, many stuffed animals left at various memorial sites after the MH17 disaster to the foundation Geef een knuffel - Give a toy in English. All these toys will now find their way to a new home with a sick child, AD reports. The foundation received dozens of boxes containing at least 2 thousand soft toys. These toys were left at the Eindhoven airbase, on Schiphol Airport and in front of the Generaal van Oudheusden barracks by people wanting to show respect and express their condolences after the disaster that claimed 298 lives in eastern Ukraine on July 17th last year. The Geef een knuffel foundation is the initiative of Laura and Martijn Westerbrink a young couple from Overijssel. According to the foundation's website, it grew out of an intended to be once off event during which the couple sold books at the Olster market in 2010 and donated the proceeds to the NCFS, an organization that supports people with cystic fibrosis. The foundation eventually also started selling CS stuffed animals to raise money for NCFS. At one point Martijn's grandmother asked whether she could buy two soft toys and have them sent to children in the hospital. And so a second part to the foundation was born. So far about 6,500 soft toys have found their way to provide support and a bit of happiness to a sick child. This will also be the destination for the MH17 toys. The foundation does not know which children will receive the donated stuffed toys yet. "We will think about it", Laura said to the AD. "This is not the type of decision you just make." Making a decision was also hard for the Stichting Vliegramp MH17, board member Evert van Zijtveld told the newspaper. The relatives did not know what to do with all the toys. "For us it was soon clear that it is important that the toys continue to exist. They symbolize the sorrow and disbelief among relatives and people in society. But also the support that we have experienced. By giving them to the foundation they will continue to offer support."