News; Aug 18, 2006 CET

The Solstickan Foundation - a sunny story

In autumn 1935, the idea was conceived of developing a special brand to place on ordinary boxes of matches, which would be sold at a higher price. The surplus would go to projects designed to serve the interests of children in the community. The man behind the idea was Mathias Hallgren, a director in Svenska Tandsticksbolaget´s sales company. The Solstickan Foundation was established in 1936.

At that time, demand for matches was high. It was hardly likely that anyone would refrain from buying the matches just because they were half an öre more expensive than other brands, particularly considering that the money was to go to charitable purposes. Given that boxes of matches were sold in the millions, each half öre eventually contributed to a huge sum of money.

A large portion of the funds went to summer camp activities for city children who needed to escape the city environment and have the chance to enjoy sunshine and swimming. In due course, as the welfare system stabilized, the Foundation increasingly became a complement to social resources.

Research grants for new initiatives

Today, the Foundation´s activities focus on helping handicapped and chronically ill children and elderly persons.

During the past 15-20 years, the aim has also been to serve as a spearhead to inspire and support new ideas and initiatives. Each year, a number of grants are awarded to research students at institutes of social sciences and medicine at universities and colleges. Among other requirements, the research must contribute to increased knowledge of the physical, psychological and social situation for healthy and functionally impaired children.

Grants are also made in support of organizations that work for the elderly and to aid research into geriatric illnesses. Over the years, the Foundation has distributed nearly SEK 90 M to help children and the elderly.

The Solstickan Prize

The Solstickan Prize was instituted in 1986 as part of Solstickan´s Golden Jubilee celebrations. It is awarded to honor persons who have made a personal contribution above the ordinary for children or the elderly, preferably outside the scope of their normal professional work.