The Texas-based Polish entrepreneur announced the initiative on Facebook group ‘Pomoc dla Ukrainy’ (Help for Ukraine) saying that along with his team they had paid for over 120 places “with full meals and service” at the hotels in the picturesque tourist town Kazimierz Dolny.
Hotel Spichlerz/Villa Prezydent
A Texas-based Polish man has reserved all the rooms in two hotels in a Polish town to help accommodate Ukrainian mothers and their children fleeing war-ravaged Ukraine.
The philanthropist who wants to remain anonymous announced the initiative on Facebook group ‘Pomoc dla Ukrainy’ (Help for Ukraine) saying that along with his team they had paid for over 120 places “with full meals and service”.
The two hotels, Spichlerz and Villa Prezydent in the picturesque tourist town of Kazimierz Dolny, are now full with staff, volunteers and coordinators working to provide for the needs of families while they find their feet in Poland.
Speaking to local newspaper Dziennik Wschodni, Bartek Sobczyk, one of the on-the-ground coordinators of the initiative said: “Two administrators of the Facebook group called me to confirm whether the post wasn’t a fake. No, it’s true. Our company’s President doesn’t count money, he’s a man with a huge heart.”
Also speaking to the paper, the philanthropist said his identity was ‘of no consequence’, adding: Everyone is doing what they can, this is just a way in which we could help.”
Coordinating activities on the ground from 6,000 miles away, and taking in refugees from the first days of the war, the entrepreneur said he also hadn’t ruled out the possibility of reserving more hotels.
He said: “We are approaching it methodically, not spontaneously. Firstly, we want to ensure safety and accommodation, later, will come a time for psychological help and support and maybe help in finding work. In the long term, these people need the possibility of a normal life.
“The hotels have agreed to forgo profits, so we just pay them as much as we need to so that they don’t have to worry about costs, so they can do they shopping, so they can keep the heating on and treat these people like normal hotel guests.”
Since finding out about the arrival of its Ukrainian refugees, local people have also been keen to help and have been coming to the Hotel Reception to contribute to its collection of food and necessary hygiene and cosmetics items.
A local ceramic artist Olga Suvorova, who lives in the town and is from Ukraine, has also been donating her time to help overcome the language barrier.
Paweł and Łukasz, who have been leasing Spichlerz for a year, posted on the Hotel’s Facebook to thank local companies and individuals who have been helping, saying: “Thank you very much for the help shown by companies, individual benefactors, everyone.
“Thanks to you, we are able to carry the burden of the stay of the Ukrainian refugees at our hotel. Thank you for your financial, spiritual and psychological support for Ukraine and for us.”
Refugees at the two hotels sometimes stay only for a night or a few nights, before moving on to more permanent accommodation and new people arrive to take their place, with coordinators and volunteers working around the clock to help provide care and support to new arrivals, including help with practical aspects like medical prescriptions.