I gave this Serious Request presentation during my monthly Information Exchange class at the A&FRC. While 2016’s Serious Request will be in Breda, this article is here to explain the yearly event that you will likely still hear about on the radio.
A Dutch tradition starts today right in our backyard. You may have already heard about Serious Request on the radio station, 3FM (90.9 or 103.9 locally). Way back in 2004, the national radio station decided to fulfill their company goal of philanthropy by teaming up with the Red Cross and holding a nationwide drive. During the week before Christmas, 24 hours a day, 3 of their DJs would always be available to take song requests for a donation towards the Red Cross. They called this week Serious Request. The DJs are readily accessible in a glass house for the entire week and subsist on a a liquid diet during this time. Dutch citizens, especially in the local area, have been raising money, and events leading up to this week have been going on at least since this summer.
The event has grown over the years. There are now many side events that are also running during the week in Heerlen, from demonstrations of 3-D printing, a food truck alley, a Wishmas tree, Christmas market and much more. Serious Request is held in a different city each year, so this is a great chance to experience the national tradition without a long drive.
This year’s theme is “Keep Them Going”. The money raised during this event will go towards Red Cross efforts to ensure children education and training in war-torn countries. You can find out more about the efforts at the Serious Request website. You can also follow them on Facebook.