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22nd September, 2020

charity, report

How Santander Bank Polska Foundation is helping people in need all over Poland

The Santander Bank Polska Foundation has been helping children, youths, senior citizens and people in need all over Poland for over 20 years.

We spoke to Marzena Atkielska, president of the foundation, to find out about the powerful new ways in which they are helping out their communities during the pandemic, as well as about the changes they have made to their practices so that they can continue providing assistance to those in need.

Marzena says “When the pandemic broke out, we knew we needed to do something. Employees, customers and local communities [across Poland] needed support after finding themselves in this new reality.”

The foundation relies on the support of its volunteers, who are actively involved in organising charity events, educational trips for disadvantaged children, and support for those in poverty. On top of this, the foundation regularly donates funds for educational, cultural and charity purposes.

One of the foundation’s new initiatives during the pandemic has been to sew protective face masks for nursing homes and local organisations in need of support within the community. After delivering the necessary materials to their homes, 120 of the foundation’s dedicated volunteers made over 5,000 masks, before they were disinfected and distributed to the volunteer’s chosen locations. “We have great volunteers who let us know that they wanted to help. They were all very creative!” continues Marzena.

Many employees at Santander Bank Polska who volunteer with the foundation have recently been inspired to carry out their own initiatives to help others within their local community during the pandemic. Employees at a branch in Świebodzice, for example, organised a campaign to clean up one of their local parks, Książ Landscape Park, after being provided with PPE from the foundation. “Thanks to their devotion and hard work, the people living in that area may now enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature.” says Marzena.

Additionally, the employees of the Ostrów Wielkopolski region raised funds for the purchase and transport of 20 bales of hay for a local horse shelter that suffered a loss of income as a result of country-wide lockdown measures.

“Despite the fact that it was more difficult to organise campaigns, the volunteers had to come up with ways to help so that the campaigns were safe and compliant with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.” Explains Marzena. “Eight [charitable] campaigns were held during the pandemic, from mid-March to the beginning of August, with around 200 volunteers supporting them.”

The foundation has also worked alongside Santander Bank Polska in order to support the wider community within Poland, by raising funds for hospitals during the pandemic as part of a campaign called “We will double your impact”. “Thanks to the campaign, in which the bank matched each donated złoty, we donated over five million złotys to 23 hospitals in Poland for the purchase of medical and personal protective equipment to fight COVID-19. Over 15,000 donors supported the campaign.”

The foundation has looked for ways in which to continue previous projects in a safe manner during the pandemic, by changing their practices to suit the new normality. One of these changes was to move their Cyber Safety for Seniors project online so that, through the use of webinars, seniors could continue learning about how to bank safely. As a result, Santander Bank Polska went on to win the Golden Banker Award in the Socially Responsible Bank category for the Cyber Safety for Seniors project.

One of the foundation’s goals for the future is to activate even more volunteers all over Poland and inspire them to initiate action in their local communities. Another new project created by the foundation during the pandemic, Charity Leaders, will aim to do just this by financing 15 charity projects on any subject from environmental protection to support for the socially excluded.

You can support Santander Bank Polska Foundation by sending your monetary donation* via PagoFX. Just enter the details below when transferring money to the foundation.

Beneficiary: Santander Bank Polska Foundation
IBAN: PL78 1090 1056 0000 0001 0253 8699
If you wish to donate to a specific project, don’t forget to write the name of the initiative, such as “hospital funds”, in the payment reference. Find out more about their causes on https://fundacja.santander.pl/.

*As with any donation, be sure to obtain financial advice as to the tax status your donation may bring.

To find out more about how people all over the world have been coming together in recent months, and how PagoFX have been helping to support individuals and good causes around the globe, take a look at our Communities in Lockdown Report.