IWAK is a not-for-profit charitable association of volunteers.
We raise money to support local organisations and institutions helping those in need. 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.
To help IWAK support its chosen charity beneficiaries please click here.
The beneficiaries of these donations change every year or two – during the years 2014 – 2022, these have been:
The ‘Hotel to Housing’ project run by the Worship Center in Kraków (https://www.facebook.com/wrshpcntr/): 2022
IWAK has been cooperating with the Worship Center by donating our time, fundraising and collecting in-kind items to help displaced Ukrainians settle into a disused hotel that went out of business during the pandemic, which they have now rented for a 6 month term. The Center and hotel have helped and are helping hundreds of people affected by the war in Ukraine. IWAK has collected over 50,000 PLN so far, as well as donating home cooked meals, outfitting a play area and daycare centre, and providing countless items of everyday use and much time for shopping, cooking, as well as collection/delivery of necessary items, and assembly, e.g. of the play area and daycare equipment.
Dzieło Pomocy Dzieciom Fundacja Ruperta Mayera (The Rupert Mayer Help the Kids Foundation); a series of Children’s Homes in Kraków and rural Małopolska (http://www.dpd.pl/): 2021
We supported this worthy initiative mostly through in-kind drives, collecting clothing, shoes, sanitary and cleaning products, as well as any necessary equipment, i.e. baby/toddler items like carseats. The homes house dozens of children aged 4 – 18, as well as filling the role of an emergency transit shelter for babies.
Centrum Praw Kobiet (Women’s Rights Centre): 2020-2022
Centrum Praw Kobiet (Women’s Rights Centre) opened its branch in Kraków in March. The Centre is thrilled to be approached by IWAK as they are in the process of creating their first shelter here. They have been given premises requiring extensive renovations that will later need to be furnished. We will support them for the next few years in any way we can. The Centre supports women experiencing any type of violence – domestic, sexual and financial. It provides legal advice and shelter to women and their children.
Uniwersytecki Szpital Dziecięcy w Prokocimiu (The University Children’s Hospital in Prokocim): 2018
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 have been earmarked for this purpose. To this end, we have cooperated 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). We have contributed to the purchase of 16 beds for parents!
Centrum Autyzmu w Krakowie (The Center for Autism in Kraków): 2017 & 2019
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. In 2019 we again supported the Centrum by raising funds for the renovation for the kitchen and dining area through our Gala as well as smaller events.
Zespół Szkół Specjalnych #6 (Complex of Schools for Special Needs Children #6): 2016 & 2017
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 programmes 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 (Administrative Centre # 1 of Care and Educational Institutions): 2016
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 (Special Needs Preschool #100): 2014 & 2015
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.