“He was crying like a child, he would not accept money.” Stary Sącz helps refugees from Ukraine

A free shop for refugees from Ukraine has opened in Stari Shach. This is the result of cooperation between the local government and the Sadecczyzna Regional Development Fund. Mrs. President of the Foundation. Anna Majda.

Residents of Stary Sącz immediately responded to the needs of refugees ending in Nowy Sącz. One of the ideas to support them was to open a Free Store where the payment would make you smile. Thanks to the combined forces of the local government of Stary Sącz and Fundacja Rozwoju Sądecczyzny the real point has been opened. Mrs. President of the Foundation. ANDnna Majda.

How did you help the refugees?

– It just turned out that way. I take part in various charity events when I need it, I am like that, my husband, my children and the whole world loves me. There is a need, a larger scale of assistance, there is a commitment, and so it turned out.

What can you get in the store for free and what are the rules of using the store?

– Free Shop was an excellent initiative. There you can get clothes sorted by size. There are also toys, strollers and strollers. You can still buy cleaning products or food on a smaller scale there, but I have more initiative. The rules of use are simple, the free store is open from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 Mary (one of the Ukrainian women) works there, making sure that the store looks cool – sorts and sorts the imported items. Refugees can use the store.

Free store in Stary Sącz / Photo.  Anna Majda's personal archive
Free store in Stary Sącz / Photo. Anna Majda’s personal archive

Both Poles and Ukrainians took part in the creation of the Free Store.

– I would not do anything myself. It is very inspiring that there are so many wonderful people around me who join the campaign with a password. Undoubtedly, nothing would have happened without the participation of the mayor of Stary Sacz and the commissioning of the buildings. The mayors themselves came to our Azad store several times during working hours. The secretary of the Stary Sącz Commune, which coordinated the gathering from Sweden, also showed great commitment. In addition, the children of the Sądeckie Rycerstwo Księżnej Kinga Association made beautiful stands (they made them at night to prepare as quickly as possible). My friends from the mayor’s office helped sort the clothes. Ukrainian women living in the Old Shach commune joined the organization of the store.

How can you be supported?

– Any help is very important. We collect clothing, food, hygiene and cleaning products. A lot is needed here, but we do not forget those in need in Ukraine. For them, this help is worth its weight in gold. Clothing, food and medical supplies also go to our neighbors. We also organize public collections at various events at MCK Sokół in Nowy Sącz, as well as CKIS at Stary Sącz. You can support our assistance by depositing money in the account PL76 1600 1462 1026 1351 0000 0002. 100% of the money paid and collected goes to refugees. We can’t get everything from material collections. We use the money raised to buy underwear, medicine (we buy prescriptions), food (especially for young children), cleaning and personal hygiene products, school clothes for children, and visits to doctors and dentists. You will often need to buy extra items (such as a pillow or blanket) that are not there.

What items should not be returned when returning to the Free Store?

– We ask that the work be clean, without holes and stains. We do not collect underwear (there are many clothes for children).

Free store in Stary Sącz / Photo.  Anna Majda's personal archive
Free store in Stary Sącz / Photo. Anna Majda’s personal archive

Free Shopping is not your only initiative for Ukraine.

– He is not alone. We help as much as we can. As I have already mentioned, we organize fundraising. Things you need in Ukraine. We try to organize medical care for all those in need.

What would you say to those who are still interested in joining organized fundraisers and aid campaigns?

– Every help must come from the heart. It cannot be forced. I believe that every good deed enriches our spirit, allows us to feel better and fuller, and this is important. I know from the crack that goodness comes back with double force.

What about people who are a little tired of helping? Apparently, the second wave of refugees going to Poland is in a worse situation.

– I know that sometimes it is difficult, very difficult, but how wonderful it is to be able to give a piece of yourself to others. People come to us who have nothing, not even a change of underwear. I once brought three women and a small baby. They tied their whole lives to 2 shopping bags, nothing, because Mariupol is being demolished, and so are their homes.

Free store in Stary Sącz / Photo.  Anna Majda's personal archive
Free store in Stary Sącz / Photo. Anna Majda’s personal archive

Ukrainians are very grateful for the help they received. They are ready to join various relief actions.

– Yes, they are very grateful. Thank you for everything. There was a time when a girl came to buy something. He took only a few, and when I told him to take more, he replied that it was enough for the rest. Wherever I’ve been, they want to share everything, nothing. They want to eliminate any help, they want to help at home, they want to clean. These are very honorable people, once an old man cried like a child when he returned to Ukraine with his family when he received some things and fuel money from me.
I know that there are different situations that people demand, but they succeed in every society. Personally, I have not encountered such a situation. An example of the creation of our free store is their participation in helping refugees.

Many Ukrainian citizens do not want to sit idle, do they? Even children are involved in normalcy.

– Sitting down and thinking is probably the worst idea. If children do not know about the atrocities in Ukraine, it is too much. For me, the downfall of humanity is the suffering, hunger, fear, and uncertainty of children. Ukrainians want work, who do not want to be in the pot, it is not an honor and pride. Sometimes I wonder if they know that we have a lot of help on horseback, and one day they will reprimand me for this help. It is sad and painful because I hear so many negative comments that they are better than us. Personally, I would not want to lose my house, everything I have worked all my life, to go abroad without knowing the language, to go to the future – to go by tram, bus for free, to buy used clothes. or buy food. Many people come to expect the worst and want to go back. They have a homeland they miss very much. We should be able to help them with a little normalcy, because everyone, regardless of origin and status, deserves dignity and respect.

You help both those who want to reach Poland and those who return home, because, contrary to some beliefs, many refugees want to return to their homeland, don’t they?

– Yes, they miss you very much. One Ukrainian woman once told me that the smell of apples was different, and this longing … True, I’m close, because it’s about 30 km, but whenever I say to children: “Do you smell my” Królówka “?” – There is something in it. Others come back because you have to go to work because the economy can’t collapse. They must work to rebuild the country.

Free store in Stary Sącz / Photo.  Anna Majda's personal archive
Free store in Stary Sącz / Photo. Anna Majda’s personal archive

Are any of the stories of the people you help especially remembered?

– There are many stories, difficult stories. The worst places are where children suffer. One of them was the story of a girl who left Vinnytsia with her grandmother. The mother gave all the money so that the girl could go and survive. He did not have enough time to leave. Because she was with us, she baked cakes and washed windows. When I was in his place, he asked me to take the 200 PLN he had earned and pay it to his mother to come. I paid, I didn’t have to take money from him. His mother reached him last Sunday. You do not know what joy this girl has. A gentleman once asked me if he really wanted to help and get everything a family needed. Of course, it worked, mother, grandmother, children bought shoes. The funniest thing in this story was that they cried terribly when they came shopping … I didn’t know what happened, they just shouted and said that it was out of gratitude … teach. Every time I visit him, I have to translate words into Polish and English – he absorbs everything like a sponge. There are many stories, but to be honest, I do not have the strength today. Maybe another time. There are difficult stories full of pain and suffering, the ones that end well. I prefer the latter.

You have been working for Ukraine from the very beginning, you get your strength from it

– My biggest strength and driving force is my family. My wife and beautiful daughters.

How long will you help?

– There is no history here, just how long it will take.

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