I don’t remember a time when there were that many fundraisers going around and each and every single one of them worthy of a generous donation. In this light, even more so thank you for considering a donation here.
A word of explanation, given some of you may not know me personally. This is a very ad hoc project, which is why I am posting here, on my semi-dead blog which normally deals with entirely different topics. I just thought it’d be better than yet another Facebook page. Asking you to donate here, I am asking you to trust in my personal integrity. With that in mind, I thought it would be right to put my name and face to it. My name is Antoni Otffinowski, here you can see my LinkedIn.
Some background first
Like so many families in Poland, we decided to open the door to our home in Warsaw to refugees from Ukraine. We invited Katya’s family to stay in our family home at Górnośląska street in central Warsaw. Katya is my sister’s friend from when she lived in Kyiv a few years ago. She has two children aged 4 and 7. As I am writing these words, they are queuing on the border to Poland.
Separately, Lena and her two daughters Lina (6) and Yana (4) will live in a small flat that once belonged to our Grandmother. We have not met Lena yet, but look forward to welcoming her and the girls in the coming days
We also have an old house in Mazurian Lakes district, which will be repurposed to host people escaping the war. It is made of stone and has no central heating so it is a freezer right now (early March) and needs a thorough clean and minor repairs. Within the next 8-10 weeks we will be able to host a large family of up to 10 people there, whoever they will turn out to be.
This crisis is here to stay, so as a family, we will be hosting everyone free of charge for as long as it will be necessary. Together with friends in Warsaw (and beyond!) we are looking to cover initial expenses needed to help them rebuild their lives here – they had to leave behind most of their possessions and the current market value of UAH is zero.
Where we need your help, is to support them in the long term – we just don’t have the resources to support two, soon three, families. We estimate that basic monthly expenses – utilities, transport, food, clothing for the kids could be covered with about PLN 3,000 per family or c. GBP 500.
It is a chunky sum, but together we can easily do that! Nice thing about doing it directly is that every penny goes towards the stated goal.
Step #1: Please set up a standing order – £5, £10, £20, £50…£/$/€ whatever it is that you are in position to give. It is important that this be a continuous stream of donations, rather than a one-off. We just don’t know how long the war will last, how soon will Lena and Katya find work in Poland. It will be a marathon, not a sprint. From our end, we will be chipping in too.
Step #2: Please give me your email address. Every quarter, I will send a report on how much money we received and how it was allocated (e.g. if there is a surplus we may donate it to Fundacja Ocalenie or keep it in reserve depending on how the situation evolves). What we will not do, is ask Lena and Katya (and whoever ends up living in the country house) how they spend the money. They both have families to look after and they know best what their needs are. It is hard enough as it is to have your life turned upside down and live of strangers’ charity. Dignity is important and we do not want to add to that stress.
The money you send will go to my personal bank account, not a charity or a GoFundMe – the latter no longer accepts non-NGO fundraisers. I understand that by donating, you are showing trust in my personal integrity and I greatly appreciate that. I don’t use that account for anything else, so it will be easy to keep track. If, as we go, you have any suggestions or requests that would increase the transparency of how the available funds are being used, please do let me know – directly, or here in a comment.
How to donate:
Antoni Otffinowski; Sort Code: 04-00-75; Account: 07874197