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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Michałowo: the city authorities and Caritas organize collections for migrants

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Within 24 hours, the inhabitants of the Michałowo commune managed to collect over PLN 24,000 for the benefit of migrants. With these funds, the local authorities want to buy the most necessary things. Caritas also carries out its collection.

The collection proposal in the commune of Michałowo came from the residents themselves, who wanted to help the migrants by providing them, for example, with food or hot drinks. However, not always the border guards made it possible for them. Therefore, they asked the mayor how they could show their support.

Quick reaction

The authorities decided that the best way would be to launch an online fundraiser. Over 24,000 zlotys were collected from Monday from 1 p.m. to Tuesday afternoon

– We will look at what will be needed. (…) When these people appear, we will also know what they need, certainly blankets, clothes, shoes – this is the first necessity. We have guaranteed food. Fuel can also be used so that civil patrols could be carried out – says Konrad Sikora, deputy mayor of Michałów.

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In Michałów, there are also posters in English, addressed to migrants. From them, the newcomers can learn that if they need any help, they can report to the local fire station, where a special point has been organized for them.


“We help everyone, regardless of skin color”

Caritas also announced its fundraiser for migrants. On Monday in Michałów there was a meeting of, among others with the participation of pastors of Catholic parishes in the border region. It was also attended by the Archbishop of Białystok, Archbishop Józef Guzdek and the deputy director of Caritas Polska, Cordian Szwarc. – We help everyone, regardless of skin color and nationality. And this does not contradict the need to protect borders, emphasized Szwarc. As he added, the help of the Church from the beginning of the crisis has a specific dimension. – It flows from Warsaw, from Caritas Polska and from diocesan caritas – these are transports of food, clothes, toys, which we send to centers where people crossing the Polish border go – he said. The newest such transport, including blankets, towels, food and cleaning products, arrived last Monday to the Podlasie Border Guard Unit in Białystok. At the meeting, the parish priests talked about the forms and scope of help at the level of individual parishes. – In parish announcements and sermons, the parish priests sensitize the faithful to the situation of these people. We know from the parish priests’ accounts that parishioners help on their own. Someone will take a meal on the road, someone else will give the newcomers tea or take the sick person to the hospital. People say that it is natural that they can afford such a gesture, but we want to meet these local initiatives, declared Brother Cordian Szwarc.

Thousands of Helps Packs

Caritas Polska has decided to purchase and deliver to the parish 1,000 Helps Packs containing thermal foil, mineral water, energy bars and hand warmers. Everything will be in special backpacks that will go to the Border Guard and border parishes. – Such a package may reach a person met on the street or in the forest as the first and most urgent support – explained Szwarc. The aid is financed, inter alia, by from the collection carried out in front of the churches on September 5, in the Day of Solidarity with Afghans announced by the chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, as well as from payments to the account of Caritas Polska. So far, nearly PLN 3 million has been collected.

Main photo source: Agnieszka Sadowska / Agencja Gazeta

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