By organizing charity campaigns, we are able to understand their primary role. Helping others should be a natural part of human life. However, focusing only on people who are usually overlooked in society – confirms the belief that it makes sense. So what do the employees of one of Warsaw’s financial institutions and participants of the Center for Day Stay and Social Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities have in common? Common values like caring for other people.
LoanMe: Open Door Association. Next – several other outlets will be created. Where did the idea for creating a Center for the Disabled come from?
Sylwia Szostak- Błaszczak: The Open Door Association itself was created from the need to help people in a homelessness crisis. Then – 25 years ago – Mrs. Anna Machalica-Pułtorak – decided to revolutionize space for the homeless, mainly young men with problems. The strong need to solve problems and consistency in action have led to a place that today is the Center for Day Stay and Social Rehabilitation of People with Intellectual Disabilities. Currently, the Association runs 14 such places – including 5 facilities for people with disabilities. In addition, the Institution runs a number of different projects, including protected housing, to enable disabled people to live on their own, as much as possible, in the future.
LoanMe: What are the most important tasks you set for the Center?
Sylwia Szostak- Błaszczak: We want, above all, for our beneficiaries to develop their social and communication competences. It is also important that participants do not isolate themselves in their homes. In Poland, the offer seems to be very inflexible and it is within the framework of the Association that we try to offer various solutions how to fight it, creating projects that take into account disabled people, while trying to eliminate social exclusion. We offer participants independence, development – so that in the future some of them can live alone or take up a job..
LoanMe: What is most difficult for you in your daily work as a psychologist?
Zuzanna Kucharska: We have a lot of different participants at the Center, to whom identical rules cannot always be applied. However, you are able to understand that something will help one person, while another person needs a completely different form of assistance. Understanding this by others – rewards all kinds of difficulties, which – of course occur in every job. I will add that I am very interested in people. It has always been rooted in me that I want to help other people, create projects that improve lives, let's just call it this: I want people to be happy. At the Center, I work to support people in making them feel that way. The participants are the greatest teachers of what is most important in life. They often have a harder time than most of the population, often have experienced some forms of rejection, and yet they do not give up. They move forward in life. I can safely say that I am in love with my work, and above all, with my participants! We have such a great Center – the residents come here with the awareness that they want to be here or just to develop and have a good time.
LoanMe: How did your cooperation with LoanMe start?
Sylwia Szostak- Błaszczak: We received contact from LoanMe, which offered that on the occasion of Christmas, employees would like to come visit us and hand out small gifts. We do not hide that we were very surprised that the company spontaneously contacted us to offer something. It is very rare that donors take any initiative. It is usually the case that we have to look for people who will help us and are ready to support our project. We were very pleasantly surprised.
LoanMe: And finally I have to ask: What do you think about the initiatives undertaken by LoanMe in the field of charity?
Sylwia Szostak- Błaszczak and Zuzanna Kucharska: You came out with the initiative yourself, the fact that you chose us and thus joined a group of such wonderful institutions and foundations, that you supported, is extremely nice to us. You are doing a really good job, for which we thank you with all our heart!
LoanMe: What emotions did the women participants have after the charity auction?
Sylwia Szostak-Błaszczak and Zuzanna Kucharska: Joy, surprise and finally, disbelief. You are great! The work of our participants is very difficult to put a price on, in fact only instructors working directly with people know how much work, commitment and heart is put into every smallest object. How prices soared, how your employees kept raising them – just something amazing! Thank you!
LoanMe: Thank you very much for the conversation and I wish you all the best!
Sylwia Szostak- Błaszczak and Zuzanna Kucharska: Thank you!