how it started for the GWHS Foundation. Fishing is a very nice hobby, but just like any other hobby it costs money: rods; mills; bait and accessories are not free. There are anglers who can hardly afford this. Especially for the financially less fortunate, Berry Eikelenberg founded the 'Gratis Weggeefhoek Hengelsport Spullen'. SPEECH WATER The idea for the Gratis Weggefhoek Hengelsport Spullen (GWHS) originated in August 2014. "One of my fishing friends was in debt restructuring. To make matters worse, his mills broke down and then it is difficult to fish for carp. To help him with a cheap or free set of 2nd hand, I then posted a call on Facebook", says Berry Eikelenberg. His scepticism 'nobody reacts to that anyway' was belied. "Not much later we were able to pick up a nice set of used mills for free in Maastricht." SPONSORS: Because there are quite a few Free Giveaway Corner pages on Facebook for furniture and children's toys, For example, Eikelenberg started a similar page for fishing gear together with Roland Creusen. A month later, the (private) Facebook group already had more than 3,000 members (2014). "I was shocked by that: it indicates that a large group of people are in a difficult position financially." Together with fishing friends, he therefore went looking for sponsors to give away fishing gear. Most companies initially reacted cautiously, but after a boilie company decided to donate bags of boilies, things took off. "After that, we quickly found about 25 companies willing to sponsor some fishing gear or bait from time to time." PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS Visitors to the Facebook page also took the initiative themselves. "Private individuals started to offer fishing gear to us of their own accord. For example, if during a major clean-up the fishing equipment turns out to be overcomplete. Or if they have things that are not offered enough on Marktplaats, they prefer to give it away for free via our page," explains Eikelenberg. Someone who wants to offer fishing gear takes a picture of it and sends it to one of the managers of the GWHS. They take care of the rest. This system works excellently: the Facebook group already has almost 12,000 members (2016). EIKELENBERG AND THE OTHER GWHS managers put a lot of energy into selecting candidates who are eligible for the available material. "The items actually have to end up with fishermen who need them the most. That is why we do an extensive screening to filter out the greedy types." For example, the Facebook profile is being sorted out. "The pictures on it already tell you quite a bit. If we see a nice set of Delkims and expensive baitrunners on the rodpod, then that person falls off. If it's about grabbing him a young boy with parents in the debt restructuring, we see that immediately reflected in the fishing gear he has, or rather: does not have." THOUGHTFUL SYSTEM If someone is drawn for certain fishing gear, he or she is automatically excluded from participation for two months. "We also keep a list of winners so that everyone has equal opportunities." Together with the ten other administrators, Eikelenberg also arranges everything around the transfer of materials and the page is monitored for, among other things, profanity. "We could still use some help with that. For example, we would like to get a more national coverage with managers in the north of the country (Noord-Holland, Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Overijssel). Then you also immediately have regional contact persons for sponsors." FOUNDATION The initiative of Eikelenberg & co has now also outgrown the status of Facebook group. "Recently, the GWHS Foundation was officially established. This way we get more recognition and we become more financially decisive." For example, by selling special polo shirts with the name of the foundation on them."With the small profit margin that is on that, we are building a pot." In addition to material contributions from sponsors, the GWHS can also make good use of financial donations. "At the moment, the costs incurred, such as the shipment of items, which we prefer not to do cash on delivery so that the recipient does not have to pay € 6.50, are often still paid by the administrators out of their own pocket, but that has its limits." EVENTS As soon as the core tasks of the foundation run smoothly, Eikelenberg also wants to organize fishing events in the future. "One, but maybe two or three, times a year a fun, fully catered and of course free fishing day with all the trimmings. Especially for anglers who cannot afford such an outing financially," says the Limburger. "Because I am shocked by how many anglers can use our help enormously well. There is plenty of demand. If we can also increase the supply, sponsors, second-hand fishing gear and possibly donations, then we will make a lot of people happy", Eikelenberg concludes enthusiastically. Since November 2019, Patrick Delvers from Oosterhout.nb has taken over from Berry Eikelenberg.
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