Wilma Koster and her daughter Mariska collect toys in the weeks before Sinterklaas. It is intended for children whose parents do not have that much to spend. They get a nice Sinterklaas, with presents. “We didn’t have that much money in the past, so I know what it’s like,” Wilma says.

    Written by

    Marielle Bijlmakers

    Mother and daughter have been playing assistant Santa Claus for four years and it is still going very well. “Last year we made 85 children happy. The presents were piled up in my bedroom”, Wilma laughs.

    “She wanted to make other children happy.”

    The idea came from daughter Mariska in 2018. “She wanted to make other children happy and she succeeds,” says Wilma. “The first year we still did it in our own neighborhood in Breda. We used our own network via Facebook and hung up notes in the supermarket.” It is now getting bigger and better organized, with its own Facebook page.

    “Sometimes people give up on themselves and with some families it goes through social work.” They also know where to find the e-mail addresses of the helpers. Mother and daughter bring the toys to the families themselves. Because they don’t have a car, they depend on public transport and on friends who want to drive them around.

    “We get so many nice reactions.”

    The action is time consuming. They start as early as September and are very busy. “Last year the entire kitchen was full, it was piled up everywhere,” Wilma laughs. “Evening after night we are busy packing and taking everything away, but it’s worth it. We get so many nice reactions.”

    A lot of toys are needed to help so many children. Mother and daughter therefore appeal to collect all kinds of things. Toys that are clean, whole and complete are welcome. Wrapping paper, tape and sweets are also always welcome.

    The promotion is intended for children from Breda and the surrounding area, so families from Etten-Leur or Oosterhout can also register. If you have children up to 12 years old and you are not well off, you can send an email to Wilma and Mariska. Also if you want to donate toys, you can email to [email protected] Then Wilma and Mariska make sure it ends up in the right place.