The Polish community has been diligently working to help Ukrainian refugees through different ways of raising funds. Polish organizations under the Canadian Polish Congress have done some incredible work fundraising for Ukraine.
In March, the St. Casimir’s Polish Catholic Parish in Vancouver raised a remarkable $22,000 for Ukraine. The White Eagle Polish Association held a concert on May 1, raising over $6,000 for humanity relief in addition on April 9, 2022, White Eagle Polish Association held a bake sale with the Ukrainian community to raise over $2,700. On May 29, the BC Polish festival in Port Coquitlam, held by Polonez Tri-City Polish Association, organized a silent art auction in support of Ukraine. Polish Canadian artists donated their works of art in support of this initiative. The fundraising initiative raised over $6,000. On June 18, the Canadian Polish Congress BC organized ‘A Concert for Peace – In Support of Ukrainian Refugees’. Polish, Ukrainian, and Canadian artists performed for free in this concert. Held at St. Patrick’s in Vancouver, the concert raised over $4,000.
Michael K. Dembek, President of the Canadian Polish Congress BC, said, “The strong support of the Polish community in BC is inspiring to see. Since the unjust invasion of Ukraine in February, the Polish community has stood with the Ukrainian people. We feel an absolute need to help. This is our moral obligation.”
He said over four million Ukrainian refugees have escaped into Poland who are being housed by locals, non-profit organizations and government entities. To this date, Poland has no refugee camps. The Government of Poland has assisted Ukrainians by giving them free travel passes on public buses and trains, putting over 150.000 Ukrainian children into the Polish school system, and giving them Pesel numbers (social security numbers) in order for them to apply for jobs and social assistance programs.
“It’s incredible to hear that Poland has no refugee camps. We are talking about over four million refugees pouring into the country and simply put, the Polish people have opened their homes and their hearts to the Ukrainian people. The Polish community felt the need to organize this concert. We see what Poles are doing in Poland, and we want to follow suit,” said Dembek.
Andrzej Mańkowski, Consul General of Poland in Vancouver, said, “We understand that today Poland is safer thanks to the heroism of Zelensky and the entire Ukraine. We know that the heroic defense of a brother country is also a fight for our freedom. In this matter, we are obligated not just to show appreciation and gratitude – it’s our moral debt, and this is the reason why we feel obligated to help and support the Ukrainians who are fighting for their lives. It is also our war against Russian tyranny. It’s great to see Polish Canadians in Vancouver too standing with Ukraine.”
Belweder North Shore Polish Association is the latest Polish organization in BC planning to raise funds for Ukraine. Belweder is hosting its well-known 8th Annual Polish Festival Vancouver on September 4. They are planning a lottery to fundraise for Ukraine humanitarian crisis.
“The Polish community is continuing the momentum forward. Every Polish event that is being organized always has a Ukraine element in it. We know that every bit helps. I’m glad that Belweder is planning the next fundraiser for Ukraine. The solidarity in our community between Poland and Ukraine is remarkably strong,” said Dembek.