For 4 years now, Sii Polska has been supporting employee charity initiatives under Sii Power Volunteers program. The call for ideas takes place twice a year, and the interest in participating in projects among volunteers is growing every year. One of the largest currently conducted charity projects is cooperation with the Ronald McDonald Foundation in Warsaw. More than 50 volunteers have already engaged in the initiative, and the company allocated PLN 50,000 for this purpose. Sylwia Szewczyk, Senior Accountant at Sii Polska, project leader, told about the Home for the families of young patients from the Children’s Hospital at the Medical University of Warsaw.
Where did the idea for cooperation with the Ronald McDonald House come from?
Sylwia Szewczyk: For personal reasons, I quite often visit the Pediatric Hospital of the Medical University of Warsaw. I always keep a close eye on what is happening on its premises. And I often have an idea of how we can still help. The needs of patients and parents in such institutions are enormous. At least for a moment it is worth taking their minds away from illness and adversity. This was the case two years ago, when Sii Power Volunteers organized a meeting with an illusionist for kids in the ward and Lego programming workshops. Due to the pandemic, there is no direct contact with young patients, so I started looking for another form of help. Then I found the Ronald McDonald Foundation, which is building a House on the hospital grounds.
What is this facility, how does it work and for whom?
S.S.: Ronald McDonald House is a wonderful place. It is inhabited by families of chronically ill children who come to Warsaw from all over Poland. Their hospital stay often lasts for many months. Parents must be close to their children in the treatment process, and they do not always have the opportunity, strength or financial conditions to rent a flat near the hospital where the child is staying. The house allows parents to live literally next door. During the pandemic, one parent will be accomodated, however, as soon as the virus scare goes away, both mom and dad, or even the siblings of the little patients, will be able to live here. The house is equipped with all amenities and everyday items so that the adults can focus on treating their children.
The Ronald McDonald House in Warsaw will mainly host families whose children will be staying in the oncology ward, as well as children with parents and siblings who have to wait for a transplant in hospital conditions.
How do Sii Power Volunteers participate in this project?
S.S.: Our volunteers approach the project with great commitment. Cooperation with Ronald McDonald Foundation carries on long-term and on many levels. First of all, Sii Polska has supported the Foundation with a donation of PLN 50,000 as part of Sii Power Volunteers program, which will allow the maintenance of one room with a bathroom for one family throughout the year. Secondly, we regularly volunteer for the House, which has just been put into service to families. It has been finished since November and our volunteers were taking part in the cleaning event once a month on Saturdays. We have already completed 3 such ventures, during which our Sii Power Volunteers spent 18 hours cleaning, vacuuming, window washing and doing other cleaning work.
Sii Polska employees also had the opportunity to take part in Czapka od Serca project. Tell me about this initiative.
S.S.: Yes, it was a nationwide project to knit hats, some of which went to children in oncology departments, and the rest for sale by Allegro Charitable – the profit from their sale funded the construction of the Ronald McDonald House. Together with Sii we joined the action. 11 of our colleagues from all over Polish made nearly 50 beautiful hats! Each of them was different, unique. Hats went to auctions promoted among the company’s employees, as well as on our social channels. They sold for over 3 300 PLN. The whole profit was donated to the construction of the House.
What are the further plans for cooperation with the Foundation?
S.S.: With the opening of the House and the reception of the first guests, the nature of volunteering will change. Throughout the year, we will try to make the time of its inhabitants more enjoyable. Warsaw is a big city. It is difficult to accomodate for people who often come from the other end of the Poland, in a dramatic life situation. They need a substitute for peace of mind, distraction from difficulties, and above all, kind and helpful people. We will take care of families, tell them how to move around the city, propose joint sports activities, activities for kids in programming or, for example, cooking together. The diversity of projects depends on the initiative of our volunteers, but I know I can count on them!
How would you encourage people who would like to join Sii Power Volunteers?
S.S.: I will admit with joy that I do not need to specifically encourage anyone. There is so much need in us to help others, to devote time and energy, that additional incentives are not necessary. All you need is information that people are needed, and volunteers immediately appear. It is a great idea for many people from Sii Warsaw to do something good together, but also to meet and integrate. Volunteering has this “side effect” that strongly integrates, teaches cooperation, striving for a common goal and building relationships. It all makes me believe more in people, in the fact that we can really do more together!
Sii Power Volunteers is a grant program in which employees of Sii Polska receive funds and organizational assistance in the implementation of pro-social and charitable projects. Every year, the budget for volunteering and passion sponsorship programs is PLN 500,000. In February, Siii Polska selected further charitable projects, which will be carried out with money and support of volunteers from the company, already as part of the 10th edition of Sii Power Volunteers. In the case of projects that have been implemented recently, read here.
If you want to work in a company sensitive to social problems, want to help others with us and develop as a leader in charity projects, see job offers.