More About Robbeburg
Robbeburg is far more than a playgroup or a space to those who attend-- it is a community. For many of us it's been a home and a family at a time when ours were very far away. It’s been a place to meet our best friends. And it’s been a place where, for a few hours a week, the rewarding but difficult work of raising very small children in an unfamiliar country can feel just a little bit easier.
Many of us remember our first time at Robbeburg. On my first visit, I arrived with a small baby. I felt tired, overwhelmed, and very alone. The warmth and welcoming that I found at Robbeburg completely changed my experience in Amsterdam. Like many other parents, I watched my baby become a toddler at Robbeburg. My joy has matched his as he’s gone from sitting in a high chair to sitting at the table with the big kids, from staring immobile at the ball pit to climbing and then jumping into it, and from needing help to giving it to others. As he’s changed, I’ve changed too. I feel comfortable as a mom and in Amsterdam. But what hasn’t changed is the sense of welcome and homecoming that I feel every time I go to Robbeburg. It’s become a real joy for me to be able to extend that sense of belonging to others, and to try to help them, too, become comfortable as parents here.
The Coronavirus crisis and the closures associated with it have been devastating for Robbeburg. Our existence is currently threatened.
Robbeburg has always prided itself on being accessible to everyone. We know our members have a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and incomes. We have tried to keep our prices as low as possible to reflect this reality. In fact, we have not raised membership prices in 6 years, and have raised our party prices only once during that time.
Due to this, Robbeburg’s profits only just cover our monthly expenses, and sometimes even fall short of them. Our expenses have not decreased and we have no current source of income. While we do have some savings, they are running out quickly now that it has become clear that the closures are likely to continue for some time, and that, despite our mandated closure, we are not eligible for support from the government’s existing relief packages.
The reality is that without widespread and immediate support from current and former members, Robbeburg will be forced to close its doors. If we do so then we will not be able to reopen. To stay open, we need your help to raise at least four months of expenses. While this may seem like a lot, as the Coronavirus crisis continues to progress we do not realistically anticipate being able to open again before mid-summer and may in fact be unable to open before the fall. A complete list of our monthly expenses can be found below. If we are able to raise additional funds, they will be used to help us through potential additional months of closure and the slow summer and beginning of autumn that will unfortunately almost certainly follow immediately after the easing of restrictions.
Looking To The Future
Over the past 46 years, Robbeburg has been many different things to many different people. For some it has been home for a period of years. For others it has been a resting place for a season, or a place to speak their native language at our afternoon language groups, or a place to celebrate holidays or hold an affordable birthday party. But for everyone raising a child far from home, Robbeburg has been a refuge. It holds a special and unique place in Amsterdam, and the need for such a place is as real today as it was in 1974.
We realize that this is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone, and that many are personally financially impacted by the closures and distancing of the past weeks. But if you are able to do so, a donation of any size will enable Robbeburg to stay open-- not only today, but in the future, so that new parents will always be able to come home to Robbeburg.
Thank you for your support over the many years. If you would like to donate but are unable to do so via gofundme, please contact [email redacted] to discuss other possible methods of donation.
With great thanks,
The Robbeburg Team
Monthly Expense Breakdown:
1648.46 -- Rent (including additional assessments for water, heat, electricity)
482.74 -- Cleaning
34.4 -- Insurance
149.97 -- Other including pest control, website, and service charges
Total Monthly Expenses: 2315.57
4 Months of Expenses: 9262.28
Our goal of 9500 reflects GoFundMe's fees.
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