A letter from our founder, Paula Hoss
We have raised $10,682 for the Ukrainian refugee children and families in Krakow. This, along with our $1,300 for Piotr and Ludmila brings our fundraising to $11,982.
God truly knows how to multiply our efforts and I'm so grateful for all of you.
Our funds have provided:
- 1,480 hot lunches
- School supplies
- A school trip for the Ukrainian children to get used to Poland
- Individual help for a Ukrainian mom with 3 small children
- Clothing including spring jackets and swim wear
Additionally, our family has been blessed financially and we have the funds to purchase tickets to go to Poland this summer! We are looking at family friendly ways to assist while in Krakow and we'll be sure to keep you all posted.
As always, you can donate here and thank you so much for your financial support and your prayers.
"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing." - Deuteronomy 10:18
To my amazing CLN&DRTY community:
I've been wrestling with how to start this letter. There's really no right way. It's just too complex.
Maybe you don't have time to read all of this. That's okay - I've been there. If you'd like to donate now and read more later, you can donate any amount through my Venmo here.
If you've been following along on our social media channels, you know how passionate I am about helping those effected by the war in Ukraine.
I am very proudly Polish-American and having spent every summer of my childhood and part of my undergraduate work in Krakow, Poland. It truly feels like a second home to me.
When Russia launched their attack on Ukraine, I was gutted. I cried hysterically, watching the videos and reading the news that just seemed to get worse every day. The Ukrainian city of Lviv is just 2 hours from my hometown, where my brother, his family and my entire extended family live. I felt hopeless and helpless. Imagine a town just two hours away being bombed mercilessly. To add to the complexity, as of mid March, Poland has welcomed over 2 million Ukrainian refugees. The logistics of this situation alone can make your head spin.
So I prayed. I prayed from a place of not understanding and anger and hurt. I prayed for it to end. I prayed for children to be saved. I prayed for Putin's heart to change. I prayed for purpose.
And God did answer some of those prayers.
Three weeks ago, a Ukrainian friend reached out to me. Her parents had fled from a town near Kiev and had arrived at the Polish border. Did I know anyone that would rent them an apartment? I immediately reached out to my parents and within a few hours, we had our family's flat in Krakow ready to go for them. I then reached out through Instagram to see if any of you would want to bless Piotr and Ludmila with some money to help them along the way. In just 24 hours, we raised $1,300. Praise God.
Your generosity lit a fire under me. I saw that I can have an impact because I have a community that listens. God has blessed me with you as not just our customers, but truly our community. I heard dozens of you say that you've been praying for ways to help and you were called to help through us. Thank you.
Two weeks ago, I spoke to my sister-in-law, Kasia. She told me that my nephew's school in Krakow has 38+ Ukrainian children that have enrolled in since the war started. These children have nothing. Just the clothes on their back, their siblings and their mothers. Their fathers have all stayed behind to fight. I asked her what they children needed and I was surprised with her response: "hot meals."
In Poland, their main meal of the day is a hot lunch. Schools use a catering service to provide "obiady" (lunches) that consist of soup, meat, salad, potatoes and dessert. However, parents pay $3 a day for these meals and the Polish families have been paying for the Ukrainian children's meals out of pocket.
So we got to work.
To date, we have fundraised over $4,000 simply by asking you, our friends and our family to help.
These funds have provided:
- 500 hot lunches (that will feed 30 children for an entire month!).
- School supplies, backpacks, swimwear so that they can enjoy the pool.
- Ukrainian to Polish text books, puzzles and Polish-Ukrainian coloring pages to help the children learn Polish and also to help the Polish children communicate with the Ukrainian peers.
- A stroller and clothes for a mom with 4 children who is in a very challenging financial situation.
My sister-in-law now also has a cash reserve of $500 - $600 for the kid's medical needs or any emergencies that may come up.
This does not include the $1,300 and free housing in Poland for Piotr and Ludmila. As an update, they've arrived safely in Massachusetts and are settling in.
This is just the start of something amazing. I hope you'll consider donating or donating again.
I also ask that you'll pray for me and my family as we figure out what is next. My parents are traveling to Krakow in May and I hope they'll provide insight on where there is the most need. I feel called to travel to Poland in the next few months as well to provide boots on the ground assistance and ministry.
Thank you so much for every dollar that you've sent our way. God bless you.
With all my love,
To donate: https://account.venmo.com/u/Paula-Hoss