OSLO, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- About 146,000 people have seen the advertisement at a popular Norwegian classifieds website in which a couple had offered their own house in eastern Norway to people with low income during the upcoming Christmas holiday, newspaper Aftenopsten reported on Tuesday.
The advertisement on Finn.no by the couple, Marianne Sleire and Eirik Lundblad, to offer their own house in the rural community of Lommedalen was also shared 15,000 to 20,000 times, the report said.
Sleire and Lundblad are going to be away from home during the Christmas season and Lundblad has thus written the ad which said: "If you are in a challenging economic situation or in another way do not have a place where you could gather your closest ones for a pleasant Christmas celebration, I invite you to contact me."
"The idea is to temporarily give away the house to someone who really needs it and can enjoy it from 22nd or 23rd of December to the second day of Christmas. We guarantee there will be a Christmas tree, nice surroundings and (hopefully) snow. We will also make sure that the fridge is well equipped with various Christmas food etc. before we leave the house," it said.
According to Aftenposten, the couple have gotten a few thousand replies from people who were praising the initiative or were interested in the house.
"The response is beyond anything we could imagine," Lundblad told Aftenposten, explaining further that the selection process takes some time and that they still had not decided who will get the chance to use the house.
"We have to sit down, read all the inquiries and we would like to reply personally to everyone. We will help only one family this Christmas, but we will give advice to the others about which established organisations they could get in touch with and get help," he said.
Lundblad also expressed concern that their initiative got so much media attention. He added that they had gotten feedback from other people that would like to do the same as them.
"It is nice if we can inspire others. It does not have to be a giveaway of one's house. It can mean a local engagement in voluntary work, put some extra plates on the table and invite newly arrived refugees for dinner on one usual Tuesday," Lundblad said.
Karl Henrik Sivesind, researcher at Institute for Social Research, said he did not think there was a new charity trend in Norwegian society.
"It is not news that Norwegians help others.It was just made visible in another way in this case. With such a type of advertisement with following spread through social media, it is easier for people to orientate regarding those who have a special need for exactly one type of help," he said.
Sivesind has studied Norwegians and their relation to voluntary work and donations and how this has changed in the course of time.
Numbers from 2014 show that Norwegians used a full-time equivalent of 132,000 units in the category voluntary, non-paid work outside own household.
"That illustrates that there is a lot of direct help, in the neighbourhood, in other networks. However, it goes quietly. It does not turn up in the media," Sivesind said.