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How to become a volunteer? It’s easier than you think! Sii Power Volunteers know it best

Michał Ujma, Business Manager, was the leader of the recently completed Sii Power Volunteers project for ISKIERKA Foundation, under which volunteers repainted and decorated the rooms adjacent to the magnetic resonance imaging laboratory at the Upper Silesian Children’s Health Center in Katowice. It turned out that becoming a volunteer and helping others is very simple – especially if you have a specific idea and willingness to act.

As part of the latest series, we presented Sii Poland employees who are examples of what Sii Power People means in practice. The characters in the articles share their passion, motivation and pride with others. They feel fulfilled because they create something important at work and satisfaction drives them to continue working. They are satisfied because they can make their ideas come to life together with the team through their work and passion, or by acting for the benefit of those in need. It is very important for them that the values they profess in life coincide with those that the company has in its DNA.

What made you organize a project under Sii Power Volunteers?

Michał Ujma, Business Manager: I have been looking for opportunities to get involved in helping others for some time now. I wondered to what extent I could combine professional and private life with additional social activities. When I started working at Sii in January 2019, I learned about the Sii Power Volunteers program, which gives a great opportunity to help others. However, the author of the project should have a well thought out idea, a clear vision of implementation, a planned timetable and tools. With this approach, you can count on specific support of the company and colleagues, because everyone has a clearly defined project goal and the values that result from it.

At the same time, during one of the congresses, I met a representative of ISKIERKA Foundation, Patrycja Stec, who is responsible for maintaining relationships with business partners. After talking to her, I already knew that I wanted to transform my previous ideas into tangible actions.

Is “ISKIERKA” your first project?

M.U.: During my university studies, I put a great deal of time into activities within a student organization, where, we organized various types of charitable trainings in the area of social skills, group work, sales and customer service. Often, I  would also take part in events related to sport activities, which were to encourage participants to actively burn calories, and ultimately – to transfer funds to previously selected people in need of help. It’s a very fun way to involve others and promote action-taking, which I also used at the event for ISKIERKA.

As a volunteer project leader, tell us how the idea for such a project arises and how are the stages planned?

M.U.: I learned from ISKIERKA Foundation that the Katowice hospital is in the process of planning a project to renovate a magnetic resonance imaging laboratory for oncological diagnosis of children. It was a point where I started thinking about how I can get my colleagues involved in this project. After announcing the call for applications for Sii Power Volunteers program, I got acquainted with the criteria, the form and started working on the shape of the project. After several conversations with the Foundation, a list of activities was created that I wanted to include in the project – I also received information about the cost of renovation, i.e. PLN 50,000.

Afterwards, it was an easy ride. After submitting the application, I was invited to further talks with people responsible for CSR and Sii Power Volunteers projects. Thanks to the joint work, the final shape of the project was created, which envisaged several actions: collecting used clothing in Sii Poland by ‘Ubrania do Oddania’ organization, burning calories for the Foundation in Endomondo competition (collecting 5 million calories guaranteed the transfer of PLN 50,000 for the renovation of the lab room), as well as final painting and decorating hospital rooms.

At all stages of the project a lot of people from our company and from outside got involved. The results surpassed our wildest expectations – we were able to collect nearly half a ton of used clothing, over 1500 people burned over 20 million calories, and a great group of nearly 30 volunteers got involved in painting the hospital, not only from Katowice, but also from Łódź and Warsaw! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Sii Power Volunteers, who made this project a success, for joint work, support and commitment. I am really proud of us!

What’s the most difficult thing about running such a project?

M.U.: From my experience, I know that the project leader may have doubts, especially at the initial stage, whether the project will be interesting and whether others will want to get involved. Defining a clear goal and dimension of involvement of other colleagues helps overcome these doubts. Promotion of the project is important since we want as many people as possible to take part in it. People often want to help, but it is difficult for them to save valuable time – a clear goal is very useful here. And finally achieving the results, the atmosphere that is created during the delivery of the project, joint commitment and a sense of action-taking for those in neede give enormous satisfaction and encourage participation in subsequent projects.

What would be your advice for people who would like to start helping? How to go about it?

M.U.: First, it’s easier to work on something that relates to our passions, interests or results from our experience. Do not look for projects somewhere far away, but instead find something resting close to your heart. Secondly, verify the scale of the project so as not to overdo it with its size or scope. Avoid a situation where a project may be too heavy for you or will be perceived difficult by other people who could get involved. At the same time, a project should be interesting and engaging enough to allow colleagues to devote their free time and energy to it. It is also worth remembering that Sii Poland is a large organization, present in most large cities – there are nearly 4,500 of us. With the support of the organization, thanks to the commitment of our colleagues we can do a lot of good! I encourage you to join one of the events or submit an application for your project – it gives enormous satisfaction!

Learn more about the project for ISKIERKA Foundation.

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