Traditional collections are taking place in many cemeteries across Poland. In the oldest necropolises, money is collected for the renovation and saving of historic tombstones. But there are also places where volunteers want to help the homeless or support hospices.
For the renovation of historic tombstones, for the homeless and for hospices – on All Saints’ Day, volunteers collect money for noble causes. – I can’t imagine this day without a collection – says actor Jacek Kawalec. At Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw – a cemetery from the end of the 18th century – thanks to the generosity of donors, over 1,600 tombstones and sarcophagi, as well as the Avenue of the Distinguished, were restored. Older and younger people collect. At Powązki you can also meet people collecting money for the Polish cemetery located in Rossa, Vilnius.
Volunteers also collect for other purposes. There are many of them in Gdańsk cemeteries. They collect funds, among others, for the Gdańsk Hospice. priest E. Dutkiewicz. To maintain them, funds from the National Health Fund are not enough.
“Only nice words”
The 43rd collection of this type is taking place in Krakow. Its aim is to raise funds for the historic Rakowicki Cemetery – located in the Old Town. – The weather is beautiful, so a lot of ghosts and angels flew down today. Because they didn’t have to break through the clouds. When it’s sunny, it’s so happy and the people are wonderful. Only nice words – admits actress Anna Dymna. The collection for the renovation of historic tombstones in Krakow is already a tradition. – I was taught by old actors how to collect money (…) Today I am trying to pass on knowledge to my students that you have to stand and say “for the renovation of the monuments of the Rakowice Cemetery” and you have to smile and it works – adds a professional actress associated with the Stary Theater in Krakow and a lecturer in Krakow Academy of Theater Arts.
In Łomża, those collecting funds are collecting money to save – as they emphasize – probably the oldest Polish cemetery east of the Vistula. – After all, the oldest tombstones are over 200 years old. I also have a can, I will collect it as well. They will definitely throw in (people – editor’s note) a lot of money, because there is a need – argues historian Adam Dobroński, PhD. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, approximately 250 objects of historical value have been saved over the last 40 years.
In Wrocław, it’s also worth throwing something into a can. Volunteers collect money for the people under the care of the Society of St. Brother Albert – for people in crisis of homelessness. – We feel that people come and say “yes, I help” with kindness. Or they admit that they have also been in such situations, because there are also those who got out of it and now come to help – says Bohdan Aniszczyk from the Saint Brother Albert Aid Society. The money will be used, among other things, to provide food and shelter for people who will use shelters, night shelters and heating rooms in winter.
In the Old Cemetery in Łódź, where Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox are buried, donors can vote for a tombstone to be renovated. Despite the rising cost of living, Poles generously contribute to noble causes for which those who collect money collect money.
Main photo source: Fakty po Południu TVN24