On Saturday, October 19, the Sons of Poland Benevolent Foundation held its first annual fundraising brunch at the Victorian in Elmwood Park, New Jersey in development of our new O.K. (“Our Kids”) Fund, whose mission is to provide monies for needy youth close to home.
The O.K. fundraising brunch began at noon. There were twenty-seven baskets filled with items that matched certain themes, such as Christmas and Halloween gifts, bedazzling jewelry for women, or something for men. There were also four grand prizes including flowers with a Visa gift card and liquor; “chocolate dreams” in every variety; a Lenox china tree with jewelry decorations; and an original painting by a Long Island Artist, who also happens to be a Financial Secretary of the Association.
There were so many who offered their time and energy to volunteer their services, but most notably, credit goes to Debbie and Sabrina Nowosielecki, the wife and daughter of our Treasurer. Day after day they spent hours organizing and packaging the prizes. The Sons of Poland is grateful to all who attended including guests, members, the Board of Directors, Financial Secretaries, and our many contributors, including Banas Bakery, 84 Wallington Avenue, Wallington, and Garfield Bakery, 800 River Drive, Garfield. Everyone remarked on the beauty of the gifts and fine fare, for which they felt privileged to be able to enjoy. Such abundance underscored the importance of this effort, that all of Our Kids should have the opportunity to enjoy the fraternalism exemplified by this event.
Designated a 501(c)(3) charity, the Foundation has a mission of charitable efforts. A decade ago, the view was to help children in Poland who had been orphaned or born with special needs. Several years ago its focus expanded to include institutions in Poland who help homeless and young mothers without support through proceeds from our Debutante Ball. The Benevolent Foundation’s Meritorious Award program, now in its seventh year, has provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to our young members who are college-bound high school seniors. While the above efforts continue, The O.K. Fund was designed to add a program of support for needy children and teens within our membership and the American community at large.
The idea for the O.K. Fund began during a conversation with a member whose grandson, after a long battle with cancer, finally became cancer-free. Few encounter the heartbreak of a child in need of medical help to survive, or a teen facing undue pressures who feels there is nowhere to turn. The O.K. Fund aims to lessen such burdens with well-placed financial support to member individuals, worthy organizations, and to those presenting extraordinary circumstances. Recently the Benevolent Foundation made a donation at a community fundraising event for infant triplets within the Polish-American community who lost their father, thus helping their mother meet some immediate financial stresses. This past summer, we contributed items for “Christmas in July” for about 200 children who were patients in cancer wards in San Francisco. Such instances encouraged the establishment of the O.K. Fund, which can be made available to a family through private application to be reviewed and awarded by the Board of Directors. If you or someone you know may be facing such hardships, please contact the Home Office to inquire about the application process. Priority is given to insured members of the Sons of Poland, and all applicants will remain anonymous.
Owing to the success of the O.K. fundraising brunch, the Sons of Poland Benevolent Foundation will strive to make this an annual affair. However, donations towards the O.K. Fund are accepted throughout the year. Should you wish to volunteer for next year’s brunch on September 6, 2014 or contribute further, please contact the Home Office at (201) 935-2807 by phone, email firstname.lastname@example.org, mail a check, or visit us at 333 Hackensack Street, Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072. Checks should be made out to Sons of Poland Benevolent Foundation.