Yesterday in Copenhagen, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark unveiled the 2017 Danish Christmas stamp at Copenhagen City Hall.
This year’s stamp was designed by Danish illustrator and author Michael Wettendorff, who was present at the unveiling on Friday. The proceeds from the stamp go to the Julemærkehjemet (Christmas Market Fund) – special homes for vulnerable children from ages 7-14 to stay in while dealing with issues like bullying, loneliness and being overweight in Denmark. Children stay at one of the four homes for ten weeks, and it is free for the children and their parents. Around 750 children are helped per year to lead healthier and happier lives. Crown Princess Mary is their patron.
After unveiling the stamp, the Crown Princess participated in a reception and spoke to the children. Some of the children stayed at the Christmas Merchants’ Home, and others had resided at the Santa Maria Home.
One 15-year-old girl named Helene shared her story with Her Royal Highness and the others in attendance. Helene was a victim of bullying, and she explained that her stay at one of the homes helped bring joy back into her life. Her story brought some in the audience to tears, and Mary hugged her as she completed her remarks. Bullying is one of the main issues with which Mary works; her namesake foundation, The Mary Foundation, has it as one of their main points they tackle with children.
The Crown Princess told Billed Bladet that Helene’s story made her angry that the young girl had to go through such an ordeal, but she added that she was grateful that through the organisation Helene was able to “find her way back to life and she [Helene] is looking forward to her future.”
More information (in Danish) about the Christmas Market Fund can be found here.