Oma's Soep is the Netherlands' best-known brand for delicious, fresh soups and meals based on grandmothers' recipes. By using its sales for social impact, Oma's Soep fights loneliness and celebrates life with the elderly in the Netherlands. On Oma’s Soep day, we visit an oma (grandmother) or an opa (grandfather) in Amsterdam who are in need of some company. In pairs we accompany them over lunch with a tasty bowl of soup, have a chat, play bingo and/or take a short walk outside. Ella Van Helvoirt, Account Executive, is responsible for the organisation of this wonderful day. Find out more about her experience putting this event together and what it means to her.
Why do we choose to volunteer with Oma’s Soep?
I love oma’s and opa’s and when I found out that almost half of the elderly in the Netherlands regularly feel lonely, my heart broke a little. There are more than 1.4 million elderly people living here and frankly, no one should feel this way. When I heard about the Oma Soep foundation, I was eager to support their cause to fight loneliness among the elderly. When I discussed this with my colleagues, many of them felt the same and also wanted to help. In 2022, we were able to volunteer two afternoons with Oma’s Soep and we hope to schedule more volunteer days in 2023.
Creating a positive impact on society through meaningful actions is part of our Edelman DNA as a responsible global citizen. The Action Builds Community commitment is even written into our Citizenship Report here. I think the partnership with the Oma’s Soep foundation is a great example of our commitment.
What do you like most about the experience?
When visiting grandmas and grandpas, you are not 100% sure what to expect. Personally, I really enjoyed giving colleagues a chance to step outside their comfort zone. Some were a little nervous about visiting the elderly, but I loved how everyone felt a strong connection with the people they visited. Most colleagues came back with great stories and a few lucky ones even found out more about their future when a grandmother read their palms!
Are there more volunteering activities you would like to organize/join?
Yes, definitely! We have a good relationship with Oma’s Soep, and we will probably organize more of these days, because unfortunately loneliness is not solved in a day. But there are many more ways to positively impact society, and we are always looking for new ways to fulfill our citizenship and community commitment.