Once December hits, it’s usually full-on holiday madness. Anyone and everyone is obsessed with finding the perfect gift to give. But what about those of us who are focused on giving back to the world and the community, rather than giving gifts? This year, we want to focus on giving back in stead.
We’ve got tons of charity rides coming up to support causes that mean a lot to us, and we’d like to highlight some of our wonderful, charitable Ro’heroes who are truly making a difference in this world. So, without further ado, let us introduce you to Elise Boers, one of our amazing Ro’heroes this month.
Hi Elise! We’re thrilled to get to Ro’ you a bit better and share your inspiring story. Could you please introduce yourself?
I’m Elise, I’m 32 years old and born and raised in Amsterdam. I run BLONDE TIGERS (YouTube and Instagram) along with my sister. We basically film our lives. And though it all started as a joke when we lived in New York City, it’s a full-time job now. I did something similar to Rocycle when I lived in NYC, so I was already obsessed with the concept. When I moved back to Amsterdam I was so happy to hear Rocycle was opening soon. I ride 3 or 4 times a week, so I have to admit that I’m totally addicted. Also, my sister Vita is a badass instructor.
So you’re basically an integral part of the Rocycle family. Love it! Can you tell us a bit more about Because We Carry?
Because We Carry is a hands-on organisation that’s very close to my heart. They are helping refugees (mainly from Syria,Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan) who are arriving on feeble boats from Turkey and Lesbos, creating safe environments for them. Because We Carry supplies thousands of traumatised people with food and clothing and aims to bring joy and spark some hope and respect in these trying situations. At the 4th of October, I went to Lesbos to help as a volunteer. It was the most special and emotional experience I ever had. My eyes are open, and I can’t stay ignorant to this horrible and in humane situation anymore. We have to help!
We couldn’t agree more. You are obviously helping in a massive way, having already gone all the way to Lesbos to lend a hand; could you explain how?
I posted a lot about the situation in Lesbos on my Instagram to raise awareness and money for the people in need. I also created a very personal video, hoping it would trigger people to donate. And it did. I’m very grateful.
That’s incredible. When you’re not helping out these people in need, are there any other causes that are close to your heart?
To be completely honest, I wasn’t really doing something for good causes before I went to Lesbos. I was actually living in a big bubble. Now that I’ve had this experience, I can’t sit back and close my eyes anymore. There are so many ways to help in The Netherlands; it’s incredible! So I’ll start with local volunteer work for refugees here in Amsterdam this month.
And now that you’ve opened others’ eyes, we’re sure they’ll get on board and help those in need. Do you have any advice for those looking to find a cause they love and get involved?
I hear a lot of people say, “That problem is so big and complex; it doesn’t matter if I help because it won’t be solved any time soon.” Please let this thought go immediately because it’s not true. People do need our help, and if everyone thinks like that, sh*t will get worse. I’ve seen it with my own eyes that it’s really important to take action.
This quote inspired me: “Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.”
So go find something close to your heart, sort out what charity is legit and really make a difference. Email them and start doing something. “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
We think that’s fantastic advice. Even a little effort can make an immense difference. Alright, we’ve got one more question for you: what does giving back mean to you?
I’ve noticed that I’m really growing as a person. My heart is more open, and I’m becoming more and more open-minded everyday. I see things better in perspective, and I’m more grateful than ever for my life here in Amsterdam.