The whole of Poland is involved in the action of helping refugees from Ukraine: the government, many cities, governmental and non-governmental organizations. The largest of them is Caritas Polska.
Caritas Polska is a charity institution of the Catholic Church and the largest social and charity organization in Poland. It helps the poor, excluded, and those with all kinds of life troubles. It refers to clearly defined evangelical values such as: common good, solidarity, and social love.
Caritas Poland is a member of the confederation (170 member states) Caritas International based in the Vatican and Caritas Europe (46 member states) with a secretariat in Brussels. It cooperates with religious congregations, the business sector, and all people of good will.
In line with Christian principles, Caritas Poland immediately joined in helping the victims of the war in Ukraine. It supports both people who found themselves in the areas attacked by Russia and refugees who reach Poland and seek shelter here. It is a very tangible help, prepared in cooperation with all dioceses in Poland and Christian organizations in Ukraine (Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic).
It helps directly at the border at 26 reception points. Caritas employees, who are nuns, religious, priests, and volunteers (there are about 1,200 of them) provide first information, prepare hot meals, direct them to places where refugees can rest and decide what to do next. During the first three weeks, about 80,000 refugees passed through these points.
Caritas has prepared 2,000 places for Ukrainian orphans and children with various disabilities. It provides accommodation in seminaries, parishes and other possible premises at the disposal of the refugees.
It organizes humanitarian transports to Ukraine with food, clothes, medicines and basic necessities. The material value of this aid has already exceeded 35 million PLN ($8.1 million), and PLN 600,000 ($140,000) in cash.
There are fundraising activities in parishes to help Ukraine all the time. Until March 23, Caritas has already collected 83 million zlotys ($19.3 million), 38 million of which ($8.9 million) come from collections in churches. This is a record collection.
As part of cooperation with Caritas in other countries of Europe and the world, support is provided to Poland in the form of transports with the most necessary articles, which are distributed to refugees in Poland and sent to Ukraine.
Caritas has also launched the "Package for Ukraine" campaign. As part of it, it intends to ship 200,000 parcels (about 18 kg/40 lbs. each) with food and hygiene products.
Everyone can help. By visiting the website caritas.pl, you can choose the form in which you want to support the victims of the war in Ukraine.
Photos: Caritas Poland.
Translated from Polish by Andrew Woźniewicz.