Warsaw

How to Support Ukrainian Refugees in Poland

08 Apr 2022
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th, 2022, tens of thousands of refugees have arrived in Poland, with many more thousands to come in the near future. Numerous Polish initiatives have already begun, from the Minister of Interior and Administration allowing the Ukrainian borders to be unrestricted to refugees entering the country, to regional train services running extra trains from Poland's east with free tickets to assist those in need. On a more grassroots level, countless civilian drivers have been waiting in Poland's east, offering transport to further safety. Homes and institutions across the country have been actively gathering food, water and medical supplies, as well as temporary living spaces for Ukrainian families who are in desperate need of shelter.
 
Young Ukrainian refugee in Przemyśl, south-eastern Poland. Photo by Mirek Pruchnicki.

Here at Poland In Your Pocket, we've already been endlessly contacted by numerous individuals, asking how they can give support to Ukrainian refugees in Poland. Here's a few things to keep in mind:

CALM DOWN - People running charity organisations and humanitarian relief have to put up with a lot of crazies and they need you to think and understand the situation rationally. They don't need 'heroes' - they need practical people who can help and won't get in the way of others doing their actual job. Furthermore, think twice before you snap a selfie for 'doing a good job'. It's not about you, it's about helping people who are seriously in need.

• 'This is a Marathon, NOT A SPRINT' - We were very pleased to read this on the facebook page of CWII Gdańsk, and it's absolutely true. If you're going to volunteer, you should be prepared to do it for the long-term. The conflict may be resolved within a couple of months OR years, but the destruction of Ukrainian cities and infrastructure will take decades to rebuild. Furthermore, people seeking refuge in Poland will be economically vulnerable, not to mention psychologically-scarred by the conflict, and will be in need of support for a while to come. For these reasons, if you register to volunteer now, your skills may not be called upon this week, but in a month or even 6 months' time. In other words, be patient and do be offended that you haven't heard anything within 24 hours. 

Donating items/food should not be seen as an opportunity to get rid of stuff. Check with the organisation before you start loading up your car to see if there's anything you can contribute specifically!

• If you plan on donating food, don't go shopping for items that will spoil quickly. Items that require refrigeration are useless to people running charity organisations. Storable food (tinned goods, UHT milk etc.) are ideal for distribution. Packages with collected food should be labelled clearly with items and quantity marked.

• Those offering transport and accommodation should not accept individuals without registration. Every person entering Poland has to have gone through a border reception point and been registered. Aside from keeping track of who's entered the country, there may be people looking for other family members. 

Donate through tax - Polish tax law allows taxpayers to donate 1% of their tax to a charity of their choosing. If you live and work in Poland, look for an organisation's KRS number, which can be submitted with your tax return. If you don't manage your own accounts, get in touch with your accountant and ask them for assistance.
 
Refugees receiving assistance in Przemyśl train station. Photo by Pakkin Leung @ Rice Post.

NATIONAL CHARITIES

The hashtag #RazemDlaUkrainy (ENG: Together For Ukraine) is collecting donations for refugees via the zrzutka platform - zrzutka.pl/razemdlaukrainy

POLISH RED CROSS
The Polish arm of the internationally- recognised aid organisation accepts bank transfers:
Account: 16 1160 2202 0000 0002 7718 3060
Please write "UKRAINA" in the description.

POLISH CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE (PCPM)
To find out more, CLICK HERE.

"OUR CHOICE" FOUNDATION 
Assisting Ukrainians in Poland since 2014
To find out more, CLICK HERE

POLISH MEDICAL MISSION
Bank transfers can be made HERE and through their Facebook.

CARITAS POLSKA
Bank transfers can be made:
Account Number: 77 1160 2202 0000 0000 3436 4384
Please write "UKRAINA" in the description.

UNICEF POLAND
Donations for the assistance for children in Ukraine can be made via Facebook donation.
 
Polish volunteers offering assistance to refugees in Przemyśl, south-eastern Poland. Photo by Pakkin Leung @ Rice Post.

There are a number of initiatives in Polish cities, mainly in the eastern half of the country. In each major centre, there are verified initiatives available where you can send money or offer help:

Lublin

Centrum Kultury w Lublinie have written extensive instructions for people looking to assist with refugees:
• Those looking to donate food should check collection points.
• Those offering accomodation can GO HERE and fill out a form. Alternatively, you can post on this social media group or write directly to the coordinator Jarosława Szewczuk: jaroslawa.szewczuk@gmail.com
• Those offering transport can register your transport here.
• Those who want to volunteer can fill out a form here and must wait to be contacted.

HOMO FABER coordinates the Lublin social committee for helping Ukrainian refugees and is receiving donations via bank transfer:

Account Number: 93 1940 1076 3069 8598 0000 0000
Title: UKRAINA
 

Kraków

The Open Kraków Coalition has been formed with 36 social organizations to work more effectively for Ukrainian refugees. Here are some ways you can help:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Several verified fundraisers run by social organizations take place in Krakow. You can safely transfer funds to Ukrainians and Ukraine through:

Salam Lab, Laboratorium Pokoju
This organisation has a campain on Zrzutka.pl that you can donate to.

Fundacja Zustricz
This organisation is receiving donations via bank transfer:
Account Number: 44 1750 0012 0000 0000 3829 1904
Title: Aid for Ukraine

Fundacja Instytut Polska-Ukraina
This organisation is receiving donations via bank transfer:
Account Number: 61 1600 1013 1893 2582 5000 0002
Title: Donation to Ukraine

HOUSING ASSISTANCE
If you have a room, flat or premises that you can temporarily make available for free, please fill in this form via Salam Lab and wait to be contacted.

HELP IN THE FORM OF VOLUNTEERING
If you can offer support in translating, legal and psychological consultations, and everyday operational activities such as sorting items, please fill out this form and wait to be contacted.

HELP BY DONATING BLOOD
If you want to donate blood, you can do so at the following address:

ul. Rzeźnicza 11, Kraków
Mon - Fri, 07:15 – 16:00
Sun, 09:00 – 12:30

Don't forget to register in advance. If necessary, the National Blood Center and the Ministry of Health will ask for additional support. 
Volunteers at a refugee aid distribution centre in Kraków receiving instructions.
 

Gdańsk

Fundacja Gdańska are now accepting donations via bank transfer:

Account Number: 92 1090 1098 0000 0001 1637 4445
Title: Gdańsk Pomaga Ukrainie

CLICK HERE for more information (Polish only)

Center for Support of Immigrants and Immigrants (CWII), based in Gdańsk, is an organisation that has been active for years and has extensive experience, particularly in legal assistance, educational and psychological support, as well as broadly understood integration and assistance to immigrants and refugees. As of now, they are looking for volunteers and other resources to assist with Ukrainian refugees - psychologists, pedagogues, owners of apartments/rooms for rent, people who know the Ukrainian language, employers who can offer work, and helpline staff.

Registrations can be submitted at ukraina.gdanskpomaga.pl. CWII politely reminds any registrees that 'this is a marathon, NOT A SPRINT' and your help may not be needed today, but may be needed in 2 weeks or 6 months time.

A donation of any amount of money to CWII can be made via bank transfer with the following details:

Recipient: Centrum Wsparcia Imigrantów i Imigrantek
Bank: Alior Bank
Account Number: 44 2490 0005 0000 4600 4162 5341
Please write "Donation" in the description.

If you would like to donate 1% of your tax to CWII, you can enter their KRS number in your tax return: 0000480488.

Gdańsk Foundation has a fundraiser to help support the CWII aid headquarters at Dolna Brama 8, which will be offering shelter, psychological assistance, food vouchers and immediate assistance.
You can make a bank transfer with the following details:

Recipient: Gdańsk Foundation
Account no: 92 1090 1098 0000 0001 1637 4445
Please write "Gdańsk Helps Ukraine" in the description.
​​​

Wrocław

Wrocław Centre for Social Development (WCRS) coordinates the city aid activities, and has begun to address the Ukrainian refugee situation. Lawyers, psychologists, and people with knowledge of Ukrainian and Russian are especially needed. Secondarily, Monetary donations, business owners who have the ability to employ refugees, and anyone willing to volunteer their time for general aid are also needed.
For any assistance, you can give, please send an email to wsparcieukrainy@wcrs.pl. In order to declare your willingness to get involved in activities dedicated to supporting Ukrainians, you'll be required to fill in a form prepared in Polish, Ukrainian and English language versions.

Wrocław has a very prominent Ukrainian community, for which reason there are a number of Facebook groups are worth following:

Widzialna Hand - Wroclaw

Вроцлав. Діаспора Українців / Wroclaw. Diaspora of Ukrainians

Допомога Україні:
(ENG: Assistance to Ukraine) 
Housing and other help for Ukrainians in Poland

Цілий Вроцлав в одному місці!
​​​​​​​
(ENG: The whole of Wroclaw in one place!)

Корисна інформація мігранта Вроцлав
​​​​​​​(ENG: Useful information migrant Wroclaw)

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