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article imageNorwegian families offer their homes to the needy this summer

By Anne Sewell     Jun 15, 2014 in Lifestyle
Rather than let their homes stand empty while they take their summer vacations, families are starting a new trend in Norway by letting disadvantaged families move in for the duration to enjoy a vacation of their own.
The trend was apparently started by Kristine Åsbø, from Nærbø south of Stavanger. She apparently made an announcement via Facebook (in Norwegian) on Monday, offering her family's lovely wooden home and BMW estate car so that a disadvantaged family can take a vacation too while they are away this year.
The advert read: "We need your help to share this posting! We will lend our house and our car for free in the summer from about 25 June - 24 July to a family with children who are unable to go on vacation because of difficult life circumstances, finances, illness etc."
Åsbø said that not only would they get the use of the house and car, but also several other benefits, including pizza vouchers, a surfing course at a local school, free entrance to the local zoo and Stavanger's oil museum and a season ticket to the indoor play area Leo's Lekland.
The post on Facebook went viral and she appeared on "God Morgen Norge" on Wednesday, the leading breakfast TV program in Norway. She spoke about her idea and then on Thursday announced she had found a family to take over their home from June 25 to July 24 this year.
As she closed the ad on Facebook she thanked everyone, saying, "Thank you very much for all responses! Hope this can be an inspiration to others! The greatest pleasure one can have, it is to make others happy."
Åsbø told Aftenbladet that she found it difficult making her choice out of the hundreds who contacted her, although she had stipulated that the successful family should be religious and have faced some hardship and that no smoking or pets would be allowed in the house.
Since then it seems she was an inspiration to others, indeed, as two other families have now decided to follow her example.
Tine Bjerke from Østfold, south of Oslo, has put their holiday cabin in Sweden on offer and Ellen Karin Moen, a politician for Norway's Conservative Party, has said that their house in Sandnes is available for the month of July.
Norwegian sources:
Aftenbladet 1
Aftenbladet 2
The Local
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