Jõulusoovide puu

The Christmas wish tree is made up of the dreams and wishes of children in shelters and substitute homes, sent to Santa Clause. To make sure that these do not just remain dreams, pick a gift from the Christmas tree and make a donation to the best of your ability.


Christmas wish tree FAQ

How do the children’s wishes reach SEB Heategevusfond? How does the SEB Heategevusfond get the children’s Christmas wishes?

We have collected children’s Christmas wishes on the Christmas tree in cooperation with mothers, teachers and managers of the substitute homes, who collected all of the Christmas wishes and forwarded these to Santa. Estonian children growing up in substitute homes are like all other children: they are not “different” from the other children in kindergarten or school who come from regular families. We cannot give them the gift of a new home for Christmas, but a Christmas present is important for them as well. Every child wishes to take part of the joy and miracle of Christmas, regardless of whether they live in substitute homes and safe houses or in real homes.

How is the price of a present on the tree formed? How will the presents be bought?
We buy the presents based on a procurement and considering their price and quality. ETK also takes part in the charity project and with their extensive network of suppliers they help to find from among the products of electronics sellers, toy importers, confectionery manufacturers and others exactly the products that the children want. The prices of the presents have formed in cooperation with these businesses. In addition to the wished-for present, smaller gift boxes will also include confectionery and other surprises, based on the age of the child, so that they get a really big present on Christmas Eve.

How much of my donation goes to buying the present and how much goes to other expenses?
The donations from all the good supporters will be used to buy the presents. Packaging services and materials as well as all transport expenses will be covered by SEB Heategevusfond.

How do the presents reach the children?
The wish of each child is personal, and all the presents will be packed individually: all the dolls, cars, LEGO sets and everything else will be different. The presents and completed gift bags packed by the good people at Lasnamäe Maksimarket will be sent out to the substitute homes and safe houses across Estonia using a courier service. The children will receive the presents by Christmas.

Why can presents not be bought individually?
The Christmas tree carries the Christmas wishes of over a thousand children, as well as those from substitute homes. The logistics involved with such a vast amount of presents is quite costly. We also want to guarantee that the presents do not include used items, which has unfortunately happened on previous occasions when it was possible to donate presents in addition to money. These are just some of the reasons why we collect monetary donations for the children’s Christmas wishes.

Is it possible to help in some other way?
The Christmas wish tree is not only an option for donating money. It is always possible to contribute in some other way. For instance, many children from substitute homes and safe houses also expect Santa, wearing his red coat and sporting his white beard, to knock on their doors on Christmas Eve to give them presents in exchange for rhymes, like Santa traditionally does. We ask all Santas to report their availability at info@heategevusfond.ee by 10 December, at the latest!

For instance, our previous experience also includes a lady who was skilled in making jewellery, who had noticed that a girl asked for earrings and so she made her a whole set of jewellery. An advertising agency spruced up their old computers, put these up for auction and used the proceeds to get some useful and necessary things for the substitute homes. And some handy boys built little Fjodor the garage that he had dreamed about but which was available nowhere in commercial toy stores – it was just perfect for Fjodor to put his cars to sleep each evening.

Why do children in substitute homes get such big presents at a time when even many children in regular homes do not have a mobile phone or games console?
One should not fault children in substitute homes for having dreams like any other child. Christmas joy will be complete when wishes are fulfilled under the Christmas tree, which provide joy and benefits for a long time. The needs of the children are very different and, for instance, a mobile phone that a child can use to stay in touch with a grandmother who lives far away is not a gift that could be considered greedy or superfluous.

This year we asked all children to think carefully about their presents and as a result we got over a thousand very different wishes of varying sizes – from shampoo and warm mittens to a bicycle and a mobile phone.

For the bigger presents we ask for donations from groups so that together we can also make the larger wishes come true. As with the different wishes of the children, so are also the means of the donors different and we can note with satisfaction that together we have managed to make every wish come true so far.

How does a thing / a present for Christmas help these children?
Substitute homes and safe houses provide the children with general well-being: they have a roof over their head and food on the table. But it lacks personal attention, which is what we aim to provide with our Christmas campaign.

In regular families, parents and grandparents combine their means in order to make the wishes of children come true. The children staying at our substitute homes and safe houses, unfortunately, do not have such supportive close relatives, and for them a donor’s gift is the only chance to make their dreams come true. Santa can provide some support by bringing the Christmas joy that we know and the fulfilment of worldlier wishes also to those whose home during the Christmas month will be a safe house or substitute home (children's home).

Estonia is small enough so that we can get in contact with everyone in need personally, and with the help of the donors we can give the children exactly the presents that they want. For a bystander, a child’s wish may just be a trinket, but a teddy bear may provide much-needed tenderness for the recipient and lipstick or deodorant may give self-assurance for a child with a difficult fate. A pair of skis may help a boy become our next top skier and an MP3 player could give someone some much-needed time alone when they are listening to their favourite music.

Why are there no wishes of children from Hiiumaa, Saaremaa and Võrumaa on the Christmas tree?
Võrumaa and Hiiumaa do not have establishments that offer substitute home and safe house services to children. But this certainly does not mean that the children who live in those areas are without help. When needed, the children are offered these services in the institutions of the neighbouring counties. The wishes of children from Võrumaa are present this time as well; they are simply listed under the substitute homes of other areas (children from Võrumaa get aid from Tartu, Põlvamaa and Viljandi). Hiiumaa is a fortunate county, where big problems usually get sorted out with the help of the community and they have not had to send their children to institutions on the mainland. The children in the Saaremaa substitute home do not wish to receive any public attention, and therefore they decided not to participate his year.

Why is SEB not buying the presents itself? Why should I support a bank?
The Non-Profit Association SEB Heategevusfond is not a bank. SEB Pank is our major supporter.
With support from SEB and from all our dear permanent private donors we can offer to those children without parental care all year round that which is available to children in regular homes with the support and guidance from their mothers and fathers. The fund organises various projects in support of these children, supports consulting of foster families and offers scholarships.
Additional information regarding our project is available at www.heategevusfond.ee.

Why do Christmas presents have to be bought with donor money? Should not the State provide these presents?
We are of the opinion that noticing, as citizens, others in need and helping them is not merely about transferring money but also shows how mature a society has become and gives people the excellent opportunity to express their personal values, choices and responsibilities. People’s horizons become broader because they can take part in stories that they would otherwise not encounter. Whether the State should buy the presents or not is definitely something worth discussing.

Our experience with the Christmas tree project so far and the big number of permanent donors of the fund shows that good people notice those in need and wish to contribute. We believe that every time someone in need gets noticed, when someone thinks of them, or every cent that is spent, is of great value.

Participate Thank you, if you have already supported our charity programme or if you are going to do it in the future! Sign a standing payment order contract in SEB Internet Bank for 3 euros a month or support with a single donation.