Saturday, December 22, 2012 – 72 views
— by joyce
My days before Christmas are always dominated by 3FM Serious Request. 3FM is a popular radio station in the Netherlands. The week before Christmas is dedicated to a good cause suggested by the Red Cross. It is always a cause that does not get any attention. A cause that is not high profile and therefore forgotten.
During that week a glass house is build on a square in the city centre of a large city in the Netherlands. 3 of the DJ's will live in that house for a week and will take turns playing songs that are paid for by the listeners. They are not allowed to eat, only drink. Three times a day they will get a nutritious smoothy with fruits and/or vegetables. The reason is that the first time they started this event, the cause was hunger in Darfur. It was out of solidarity. Although the cause changes every year, the 'no-eating' part was maintained.
Every night a Dutch celebrity sleeps over to keep moral up. Of course there are also a lot of people outside enjoying the music and supporting the cause. You can watch the glass house 24/7 on the internet and a dedicated TV channel. You can text messages that are shown on the bottom of the TV screen. A text costs 90euro cents and is donated to the good cause. Furthermore you can request a song for money. Lots of people/schools/companies join by organising evens to raise money.
The other DJ’s of the radio station report on all the initiatives that are started all over the country or they rent themselves out for jobs. One of the DJ’s visits the places where the money is going to. He gives a face to the hidden disaster that is unfolding. He makes heart-breaking video reports. He talks to the victims and gives them a voice. I like him a lot. He’s like big friendly teddy bear. So caring and so involved. For me he is the most important part of this event.
Dutch (and international) celebrities (singers/actors/etc) or professional athletes donate things that are auctioned off.
You can bid on all sort of things: read the news on the radio station, do a weather report, a home concert by a Dutch singer/band, a DJ babysitting your kids, a poem dedicated to you by a comedian, a song composed for you by an artist, platinum records donated by singers, etc.
This year the cause is baby care in third world countries. Slogan ‘Let’s hear it for the babies’. A high percentage of babies die because the mother and baby cannot get the medical care they need during the pregnancy, during the delivery and after the birth. The money will go towards improving the (availability of )medical care for mother and child and improve the survival chances of babies.
Watching the glass house is heart-warming. Seeing all those people with large cheques and hearing what they have done to raise the money. Small children who have taken money out of their money box to donate or who have baked and sold cupcakes. Rain or snow: it’s always busy on the square and there is always something happening. Even during the night.
I like watching it. I like reading the texts people send to the DJ’s and/or loved ones. It’s feel good tv/radio.
Last year the record amount of 8.621.004 EUR was raised.
Several countries have copied this initiative. There are now also glass houses in Switserland, Sweden, Kenya and Belgium. (although I think Belgium did not join this year)
For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serious_Request
3FM live: www.3fm.nl (at the top you can click on the camera to watch live footage)
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