Employees of a business in Katowice are encouraged to each spend three hours of company time a month doing charitable work.
They collectively chose Angels’ House, where psychologists and educators care for children with social problems.
Since 1991, Angels’ House has conducted various programs devoted to neglected and forsaken young people, many of them addicted to drugs.
“Our charitable work has shown us that all the good things which are being told about Angels’ House are true,” said Dagmara Mielnik of the Katowice office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. When the PwC businessmen and women, dressed in stylish suits, knocked on the Angels’ door in December 2006, everyone at the house thought: “Someone wants to help us.”
However, the business executives didn’t offer money.
“We want to lead the workshops,” they announced. Dagmara Mielnik remembers the reaction of one of the educators.
“She stated that we had no experience. In fact, we are young and some of us don’t have our own children.”
And the children from Angels’ have turned out to be very active and challenging. The volunteers got busy. Some of the young executives tackled computer programs. Others offered financial advice. Still others organized events such as a carnival party, supplying costumes, decorations, music and food. The educators from the Angels’ House, sceptical at first, became gradually convinced of the volunteers’ methods.
“I was afraid that we wouldn’t manage to crush the barrier between us and the children,” said Marta Szczyrbowska, an assistant in the PwC tax department. “But from the first day, we learned that there was no point in being anxious. The children nestled close to us because of a huge need for tenderness hidden deep inside them. They remembered my name after our first meeting, what was incredibly nice. They even backed a cake especially for us.”
A PwC foundation is preparing a program of cooperation with Angels’ for the future. Some of the new services may include lessons in make-up for the girls and football for the boys.