Norway’s annual nationally televised charity drive, called TV-aksjonen, had collected more than NOK 239 million (USD 50 million) by midnight Sunday. This year’s beneficiary was Kirkens Bymisjon, a humanitarian organization that aids needy urban residents around the country.
This annual fundraiser collected from Norwegians and for Norwegians at a time when relative poverty in Norway, especially among chilren, has been gaining more and more recognition. Kirkens Bymisjon also offers a variety of programs for drug addicts, the homeless and people with psychiatric problems.
“The sum is just fantastic, and it’s even more fantastic that we have won confidence from folks,” claimed Adelheid Firing Hvambsal, the secretary general of the organization. Money was raised both door-to-door and by televised auctions of goods and services, including an entry ticket to Norway’s annual Iron Man competition.
The Arctic island group of Svalbard donated the most money per capita (NOK 411 per person), just ahead of Bokn in the county of Rogaland. Tønsberg turned out to be the most generous city, beating out Stavanger and Sandnes. Funds raised will be used to finance indoor overnight accommodation for homeless people in the winter, along with food and toilet facilities, plus job training programs and programs to battle loneliness and isolation among singles and the elderly.