Christmas support packages
As an Association Klan, we decided to come to the aid of Poles from Hounslow and the surrounding area by organizing Christmas packages to make this special time even slightly more pleasant for them.
Therefore, on the weekend of December 18-19, we launched the action – “Christmas Support Package”, as part of the Polish Embassy in London project “POLONIA 4 NEIGHBOURS”, to which we invited Polish stores and small businesses from West London for food & gifts collection from November 26 to December 18. While doing pre-Christmas shopping for yourself, people could donate different food products and sweets in specially marked baskets.
On Friday, 10 volunteers: Magda, Jakub, Dominik, Ola, Kasia, Maciej, Kinga with her son Jason, Laura and Maria packed packages for 5 hours at the Hounslow Youth Centre. The next Saturday morning at 9 am, 6 mobile teams, wearing hats or Christmas bands, met at the same place to pick up packages and deliver them to those in need.
The Polish Embassy in London, the local organization Inspire Hounslow and Kujawiak Polish Shop were the main founders of our campaign. The owners of the store, Mr. Jan and Mrs. Bożena, donated dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms, red borscht, herring, tea and chocolate gifts for each package. The project was also supported by many local businesses, such as Ant BM – Mrówka, The Polish Baker, which donated Polish bread and sweet bans, Print Stock and Art Black Studio – (graphic stores) which took care of graphics, posters and Christmas mugs, Paleta Kitchen Restaurant, Eight football club, Polish Haliny Group in UK and Era New Women London, who supported us financially. The organization: Relief Society for Poles together with its president, Janusz Sikora-Sikorski, and the Union of Polish Women in Emigration, led by Helena Miziniak, also joined the campaign and supported our initiative with financial donations.
Apart from food products, the holiday packages also include fruit – satsumas and grapes, gifts in the form of Christmas mugs, cosmetic kits, toys or headphones, office supplies, sweets, vitamin drinks from My Vit – Synergy Drink and hand-made masks by the Stitching Room. The packages for people who are in hostels and do not receive any benefits include underwear, and for one lady we also bought winter shoes.
Each family package was accompanied by teddy bears – named “Wojtek”, which Ms. Aileen Orr, the founder of the Wojtek Monument Foundation in Edinburgh, donated to Poles in Need, and then Anna Jańczuk passed on to us so that we could pass on the story of the most famous bear in the world and thus make children more happy.
One of the Teddy went to the oldest soldier of the cursed Sergiusz Papliński,, who was very happy with his new friend and quickly found him a place of honor.
The local hairdresser, Dawid Graj, joined the action and shaved people in need at a hostel in Brentford. One of the gentlemen named Sam thanked him and was very happy because he hadn’t cut his hair in several years.
The holiday packages went to 17 families – single parents with children and families struggling with a difficult financial situation (51 people in total), 13 combatants not only Polish, 5 couples of lonely elderly people, 13 single women and 38- single elders, including 25 homeless men’s. We distributed a total of 80 parcels, one of which was sent by post to the other end of London and one huge parcel was sent to a very poor family in the village of Lozy near Zagan in Poland. A total of 114 people, including children, received Christmas gifts.
We would like to thank all sponsors, organizations, shops, entrepreneurs, volunteers and all you who supported our campaign or food products, or contributed to our fundraising on Facebook.
Together we can do more, and good returns, let us remember about it.
Support packages are a small gesture to bring joy to those who really need it. We can assure you that our goal has been achieved and the gratitude of these people is the greatest Christmas gift for us volunteers.
We wish all our compatriots a special time full of joy, peace and unity. And may the New 2021 Year be the beginning of a better, happier tomorrow.