The Netherlands Social Services Organization
Dutch American Heritage Award 2005 Recipient
Under the patronage of the Consul General of the Netherlands in Los Angeles
During the nineteen-fifties, many immigrants, arriving in the USA from the Netherlands and the former Dutch East Indies, frequently needed assistance in their adjustment to the new life in the USA. For help, they could turn to the “Council and Assistance“, a sub-committee of the earlier created “The Holland Club“.
A line of communication was established between the Consulate General of the Netherlands and the various Dutch Clubs and volunteers were asked to provide assistance where needed. The Board of Directors of “The Holland Club” suggested that we needed an independent organization with members who would pay dues, give donations and promote the charitable organization among the Dutch and Dutch-Indonesian communities. The new organization was called the NESSO, the Netherlands Social Service Organization, with the reverend Rely Reins as its first President. Some of the members of the original Board of Directors were Annie Hof, Eric Hof, Maup de Graaf, Dick Loevestein, Aad de Korver and Martin Hoogendijk. Nesso became popular and grew rapidly. Attorney Chel, a Dutch attorney, provided free legal services.
Now, half a century later, the Nesso is still very active. Persons of Dutch and Dutch-Indonesian descent can ask for financial assistance or any other type of assistance, when help is needed. During Christmas time, Nesso sends out checks and presents to enable recipients to enjoy the Christmas season. The many thank-you notes received by the Board are evidence of the success of this program. Many volunteers make themselves available to visit people in their homes to provide care and company.
Nesso is a charitable organization and its only social functions are the Annual Meeting and the very popular Dutch Christmas Service. A continuing attempt is made to keep the Christmas Service as Dutch as possible but we must make some concessions to our many non-Dutch speaking members.
Nesso is grateful for the many and continuing contributions in time, money and effort from the California community. Those contributions enable Nesso to continue to exist to provide help and services where needed. The Nesso website is www.Dutchhelp.org