Dreamland focuses on raising awareness about child poverty this Saint Nicholas season with Het Kinderarmoedefonds and Arc-en-Ciel (child poverty funds) and launches donation campaign
Toy specialist Dreamland is framing this year's Saint Nicholas story in a campaign against child poverty. Research shows that 1 in 5 Belgian children live in poverty. Dreamland wants to use extra resources to make Saint Nicholas more accessible for all Belgian children and brings a positive message with a new campaign, “A magical Saint Nicholas for every child”, starting today. The toy specialist is set to distribute €75,000 in toy vouchers. With the help of Het Kinderarmoedefonds in Flanders and Arc-en-Ciel in Brussels and Wallonia, Dreamland will distribute the donations to local organisations, which will be in charge of distributing the vouchers to vulnerable families. Customers can also make a donation for underprivileged families.
The catchy campaign “Every child deserves a magical Saint Nicholas” is launched today
Dreamland, Colruyt Group’s toy specialist, has been actively focusing on fun for the whole family for years, and does not intend to shy away from any themes and issues. After a campaign that focused on gender neutrality in 2019, Dreamland wants to create more awareness about the topic of child poverty during the upcoming Saint Nicholas period. Especially around that time, a huge gap appears when it comes to buying gifts: not every child receives the presents on their Saint Nicholas wish list just like that.
First of all, Dreamland will get to work with an initial sum of €75,000 in the form of toy vouchers. To further enhance this financial support, Dreamland is also launching a donation campaign to which customers can contribute. This campaign will be launched on radio and television today. With the help of Het Kinderarmoedefonds in Flanders and Arc-en-Ciel in Brussels and Wallonia, Dreamland will distribute the donations to local organisations, which will be in charge of distributing the vouchers to vulnerable families.
Not obvious to receive gifts from a Saint Nicholas wish list
Although Saint Nicholas is an excellent time to shower children with gifts, many Belgian children still cannot tick all the boxes next to the items on their Saint Nicholas wish list. Knowing that 1 in 5 children live in poverty, celebrating Saint Nicholas is not an obvious thing to do in all Belgian living rooms. Research also shows that playing is crucial for a child's development. It equips them with the skills needed to find their place in society, such as emotional intelligence, creativity and problem-solving. ‘Having enough playing opportunities' is also one of the 17 pillars to measure deprivation in children.
“It is in our DNA to focus on fun and play for the whole family. We want every family – and by extension every child – to enjoy a magical Saint Nicholas. Being able to play enough, with the right toys, is therefore a basic right for every child. Based on this ideology, we assume our social role and want to support families whose financial situation makes family fun a bit harder to achieve. We want to make the average consumer aware that Saint Nicholas presents are not obvious for everyone, without undermining an existing positive story”, says Dieter Struye, General Manager Non-Food at Colruyt Group.
Moreover, as the market leader in Belgium, the broad network of Dreamland customers provides good leverage to set up solidarity actions. During the campaign, every customer can give some extra money to Het Kinderarmoedefonds (in Flanders) or Arc-en-Ciel (in Brussels and Wallonia). This can be done either by donating €1 when paying for purchases at the cash register, or by making a free donation via the Dreamland website.
“For parents from underprivileged families, giving a Saint Nicholas gift from the child’s wish list is a difficult wish to fulfil. The Child Poverty Fund focuses on innovative projects, in which research institutions monitor the effect and measure results. By working with these organisations and distributing cheques, we can be sure that the money will actually be used for toys. It is also an opportunity for parents to buy their child the gift he or she really wants. In this way, we create a beautiful connection between parents and their children there, too. We are therefore delighted that Dreamland is making this action happen”, says Noël Slangen, chairman of Het Kinderarmoedefonds.
Taking on a social role
Dreamland not only wants to try and make a difference during this period, as a toy specialist it regularly supports charities for children. Het Kinderarmoedefonds and Arc-en-Ciel have also been able to count on Dreamland's support for some time. In 2020, Dreamland, in cooperation with Torfs, donated another large shipment of toys to Arc-en-Ciel and Het Kinderarmoedefonds. The aim was to provide the necessary distraction for children in poverty during the corona crisis. During the crisis, Dreamland also distributed 600 tablets to more than 70 residential care centres and institutions for special youth care.
This year, a collection campaign for reusable school bags was organised again, with the proceeds being donated to The Child Poverty Fund. On the French-speaking side, Dreamland regularly gives school supplies to Arc-en-Ciel. “At Dreamland we are more than happy to join in the ‘step by step’ story, Colruyt Group's sustainability concept. It is about consciously choosing and acting, step by step, every day. We support many initiatives in the group for a safe, respectful and liveable environment and want to continue to set an example”, Struye concludes.
Donations are welcome via www.dreamland.be/doneer. The action will close on 28 November 2021.
 Source: Unicef
DreamLand is the store for family and seasonal fun, offering an extensive range of indoor and outdoor toys (including the own Dreamland brand), exterior furniture, school supplies, multimedia and gaming products, furnishings for children's rooms, books and comics, and much more besides. It has been a subsidiary of Colruyt Group since 1994. DreamLand aims to inspire children and their families to have more fun together through play – after all, ‘Playing makes everything better’. And our staff and stores definitely bring that concept to life, with fun experiences every week coupled with guaranteed lowest prices from the toy specialist. As well as the webshop, DreamLand currently has 46 stores and employs more than 800 people.