Give the Gift of a Happy Holiday

22 November saw the launch of the ninth edition of the Precious Parcel (Szlachetna Paczka) charity collection drive in Krakow.

What sets this charitable institution apart is the face to face interaction at its core. During the drive, one of the over 4,000 volunteers personally visits each family and asks them what they most need during the holiday season, whether it’s a winter jacket or basic goods like toothpaste. The institution then connects them to donors through their website.

An estimated 4.5 million Poles live below the poverty line, meaning that each year, about 12 percent of the population lives in need, according to the latest report by the Central Statistical Office (2005).

The charity aims to connect those with plenty to those in need. “We teach people how to best help each other. Through the quality of each parcel we help the recipients raise their self-esteem, giving them hope and strength to act,” stated Father Jacek Stryczek, the creator or the charity and president of the Wiosna Association, the organiser of the Precious Parcel drive.

In existence since 2001, Precious Parcel has raised millions of dollars to help thousands of Polish families. In 2008 alone, they raised 3.4 million złoty that brought holiday help to 4,826 families across Poland. This year they hope to raise enough funds for 5,000 families.

The charity drive will continue until 10 December. If you would like to contribute, please visit www.szlachetnapaczka.pl.

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