This year, Brussels expats have to take difficult decisions regarding the Christmas festive period. Due to coronavirus travel restrictions, many of them won’t be able to go back home for the holidays. But many of them do not have any family member in Brussels to spend the Christmas with.
The Brussels expat Maxime Adam Levy had an idea to change this situation. He created the “Adopt me for Christmas” campaign, which aims to connect families with people looking for someone to spend Christmas with.
Levy is also the founder of the Facebook group Expats in Brussels, which counts almost 30,000 members. He has plenty of experience in the organization of events, but the coronavirus forced him to adapt and find new ideas.
“I was myself in an uncertain situation regarding Christmas, my parents live in Montréal, and my uncle lives in Paris with whom I was supposed to spend Christmas. Due to the uncertainty, I’m not sure if I will be able to cross the borders or if my uncle is able to host me for Christmas,” Maxime Adam Levy told to Brussels Times.
Due to the lack of certainty and constantly changing travel rules, Levy decided to share his idea with the other expats facing a similar struggle. In only a few days, the campaign received around 116 applications, 44 from people who wanted an extra guest and 72 from expats looking for somewhere to spend the holiday.
I was myself in an uncertain situation regarding Christmas, my parents live in Montréal, and my uncle lives in Paris with whom I was supposed to spend Christmas. Due to the uncertainty, I’m not sure if I will be able to cross the borders or if my uncle is able to host me for ChristmasMaxime Adam Levy
Guests and hosts are matched based on their language (at least one in common), food allergies, and other preferences expressed in the comments of both parties. To abide with the current Covid-19 measures, each family will have the possibility to host only one person, who will become their so-called “cuddle contact.” The host family can request their future guest to quarantine or to present a negative Covid-19 test, but these details will be decided among the groups once they are matched.
The registrations for the campaign closed yesterday. Now Levy plans to pair up families with their adoptees. However, Levy remains uncertain of his plans, as quarantine measures keep changing.