Purchase of a wood chipper (2016)
At the end of April 2016, the Friends Foundation received the request to finance a wood chipper. The request came from the board of Noorder Poort.
A wood chipper is a machine for shredding large garden waste, such as branches. After chipping, the garden waste is easier to transport and can also be used for compost.
The fact that donations continue to come in even if there are no fundraising campaigns makes it possible to finance smaller projects such as a lawnmower (2013) or a wood chipper. We are very happy with that!
Realisation of kinhin paths (2014)
In the spring of 2014 the Friends Foundation received a request from the board of Noorder Poort to raise a total of € 30,000 for the creation of kinhin paths on the land purchased in 2008. A large fundraising campaign was started which went by the name WALK, there is no way. All Friends and all other members of the Noorder Poort sangha were approached by email and through a special edition of the Friends newsletter. Apart from regular donations, this also generated various spontaneous fundraising activities. For example, plants and book markers were given for sale and money was raised through sponsored running. Another important contribution was of labor during a sequence of work practice weeks, which reduced the requirement for hired labor.
When the professionals came with their big machines, the concrete paths were laid and ponds were dug out to use the soil elsewhere on the land.
All these contributions made it possible for the Friends foundation to give the requested amount to the chairperson of the board of Noorder Poort on a festive Saturday in October 2014. Now, on the grounds of Noorder Poort there are beautiful ponds and paths with a total length of one kilometer, suitable for walking meditation in all seasons. Look at pictures of the development of the paths and pools.
Purchase of a lawn mower (2013)
In the summer of 2013, the board of Noorder Poort asked for a new lawn mower. The old one was worn out and we also needed a heavier machine for mowing grass paths on the new land. Kinhin paths (kinhin is walking meditation) are very important in zen practice. That was a wonderful reason for the Friends foundation to grant this request. And thanks to the Friends, there was enough money available. By now, the kinhin paths are clearly visible. In total, 1 km long! In the sesshins they are used extensively. In particular our neighbor Klaas, who has been mowing accurately and with passion for years, is very happy with the new machine. Noorder Poort chose the new machine in consultation with him.
Renovation of bathrooms (2010)
In almost all 15 guest bedrooms of Noorder Poort, the tiles had to be renewed and water-saving showerheads installed. A letter was sent to the Friends with a request to come and help with the demolition work or to give money towards this end. Because of the help we got from volunteers who removed tile joints and disposed of debris, we saved a substantial amount of money. During the Friends Day in 2010 we proudly showed the renovated bathrooms to the guests.
The tea room in the zen center is an important space during retreats as well as in daily life. The kitchen unit was in urgent need of renewal. By doing the demolition work with the help of volunteers, a lot of money was saved. And a financial contribution from the Friends foundation helped to pay for the new kitchen.
Set of cards (2008)
On Sunday, May 25 2008, the Friends foundation gave over a thousand beautiful sets of picture postcards to Jiun Hogen roshi. These sets, each consisting of six cards with envelopes and one bookmark, are a donation from the Friends foundation to support the zen center. Sangha members had expressed the wish to take home something tangible from the Noorder Poort. These sets meet that request. The postcards show paintings made by artist and Noorder Poort cook Marja Marjita Timmer.
Purchase of neighboring land (2008)
To guarantee continuing silence around the zen center, in 2008 a neighboring piece of land of 8.5 acres was purchased. To this end, a contribution of € 20,000 was requested from the Friends foundation. The Friends foundation has been able to grant this request without need for a fundraising campaign. The available financial resources were sufficient. Bequests and annual gifts made this possible.
New thatch for the roof (2007-2008)
To get the money for rethatching the traditional thatched roof of Noorder Poort, a large fundraising campaign was started. A letter with a request for a contribution was sent to all Friends and all other contacts of Noorder Poort. A canoe trip was organized and the website showed the progress toward the amount needed.
What we had hoped for came true. After a year, the necessary amount was reached and in 2008 the roof was rethatched. After completion, this was celebrated with a large party with musical performances, an extensive Japanese lunch and guided tours around Noorder Poort.