IWAK is a not-for-profit charitable association of volunteers.
We raise money to support charities benefitting children. Our major fundraising event of the year is the Christmas Gala, held in December, but we also take the opportunity to collect donations through smaller-scale events and, on an ongoing basis, through our regular events.
The recipients of these donations change every year. In the years 2014-2018, these have been:
Uniwersytecki Szpital Dziecięcy w Prokocimiu (The University Children’s Hospital in Prokocim)
This year we have raised money to buy foldout beds for the parents of patients of the University Children’s Hospital in Prokocim – the largest children’s hospital in the region – to sleep on while their children are hospitalised. At this point in time the majority of parents have nowhere to sleep and the hospital lacks funds to fulfill this very important need. All proceeds from our annual Charity Gala for 2018 are earmarked for this purpose. To this end, we are cooperating directly with the hospital’s own charity organisation “O Zdrowie Dziecka” (“For the Health of the Child”): http://www.odnowaszpitala.pl/ (website only in Polish).
Centrum Autyzmu w Krakowie (The Center for Autism in Kraków)
In 2017, the money raised at the Charity Gala was donated to Centrum Autyzmu w Krakowie. They used the financial support to renew and equip their sensory integration room, as well as their computer lab.
Zespół Szkół Specjalnych #6
A collective of four schools in Nowa Huta, the largest borough of Kraków, each providing therapeutic and educational programs for mentally and physically disabled kids.
Each school specialises in different age ranges. The aim of the loving and caring staff is to prepare their students as much as they can to enjoy as happy and self-sufficient lives as possible. For example, they have cooking classes to teach them to prepare basic meals for themselves. A specially equipped gym hall, and rehabilitation room are used to develop individual training and exercise programs for the students.
An integral part of the educational program is teaching through the use of music. The students learn to play instruments and sing along with music. Every student also attends individual lessons with a speech therapist, rehabilitation specialist and physiotherapist. They have a great need for many things to help them fulfil their many goals and aspirations for these special kids.
In October 2016 IWAK collected the first donation of 5,000 PLN for the Zespół Szkół Specjalnych Nr 6. This donation was to help the children continue with their animal therapy (horse therapy, dog therapy, and alpaca therapy).
In January 2017, IWAK donated 30,000 PLN, collected through our main annual fundraising event, the IWAK Christmas Gala, to acquire much-needed computer equipment for the pupils (laptops, desktops, an interactive board with speakers).
Centrum Administracyjne #1 Placówek Opiekuńczo Wychowawczych
This is a chain of five children’s homes with headquarters at 5 Dunajewskiego Street, 31-123 Kraków. Underpriviliged and orphaned children and young adults aged 0 – 25 live in homes under the Centrum’s patronage.
We collect clothes, household items and monetary donations for these kids on a regular basis. One of our charity success stories in the second half of 2016 was collecting money for Ola, a pupil at one of the orphanages managed by the Centrum. Ola, a 17-year-old girl living at an orphanage in Kraków, was in serious need of braces. A dentist wanted to fit the braces for free, but the braces themselves were too expensive. We were more than willing to lend a helping hand to this girl. In autumn, we held two events during which we raised money for this side project. During the Halloween Bash, we had a lovely bake sale and all proceeds were collected for Ola. We also organised a Swap and Sale, and because of the sale and small entrance fee, we were again able to raise a significant amount of money. Together with the personal contribution of one of our members, we reached the sum necessary to cover the costs of braces. In January, Ola had the braces fitted. This was a small-scale project, but one that made a world of difference to this young girl.
Przedszkole Specjalne #100
In the years 2014-2015 the proceeds from our annual Charity Galas were donated to this public special needs preschool in Nowa Huta. With the sizeable donations amounting to over 60,000 PLN collected over two years, we were able to purchase much-needed playground equipment for this preschool, as well as fully equipping a sensory therapy room. This is a public preschool, in great need of external financial help, that cares for a large number of children with special needs.