Nothing Replaces First-Hand Experiences
While I was not able to provide as many updates to my Quest Log as I would have liked, I was able to reach all of my goals that inspired this trip to Krakow-Poland.
While in Krakow, Poland I had three main goals:
1. I wanted to find the best ways for people in the States to support aid efforts for Ukrainians. Though there was a TON of info available online, part of my problem knowing where to donate and how to help was that there was a TON of information available online. The overload of info made it difficult to really understand who was on the frontlines providing aid and who was inflating their marketing budgets. So, a trip to Poland would allow me to research and learn first-hand who was doing the most good and in what ways.
2. Once I identified the organizations working everyday with Ukrainian refugees, I wanted to meet with their leaders and volunteers to learn exactly what kind of support they needed and how people back in the States could best provide aid. Luckily, through some research at home, I was able to schedule a couple of appointments before jet-setting to Krakow.
3. After meeting with organizations and volunteers doing frontline humanitarian work, I wanted to jump in and help too. This was much harder to organize from home as I kept getting the runaround or denied by aid organizations because I was “an unknown volunteer without experience.” But after getting my boots on the ground and learning who was doing what and where … I hoped I would be able to jump right in and do some good.
To my extreme delight, I was able to meet all of these goals, and the experiences I had far exceeded my expectations.
However, meeting with aid leaders, delivering donations, putting together “kid care packs”, volunteering as a gopher, and learning everything I could about Krakow’s humanitarian response took a ton out of me. Before flying out to Poland I had intended to update my website and Quest Log daily. This turned into only a few updates because I was so exhausted.
On the bright side, I was able to make daily updates on Facebook and Instagram. Through these posts I was also able to meet a private goal, a goal I didn’t dare share with anyone, a goal I wasn’t sure I could meet … I raised awareness and funds for the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis.
Thanks to all of you who follow me on social media and my blog, I raised over $5,000 USD which translated to a buying power of more than $18,000 PLN.
It was the amazing emotional and financial help from all of you that allowed me to make a HUGE difference in Krakow. The aid we provided together purchased more than 200 bars of soap, 100 bottles of shampoo and conditioner, 150 face creams, 120 sticks of deodorant, over 2,000 pads, panty liners, and tampons, and so much more including water, meals, juice boxes, baby food, treats for kids, and toys.
Thanks to all of you at home I met every single one of my goals and then even achieved my stretch goals.
So, I hope you will forgive me for not updating my Quest Log as much as I would have liked. Instead, I will update it now that I am back. Using my social media posts and photos as reference, I will reconstruct my Humanitarian Quest to Krakow, Poland so that you too can experience what it is like in a city caring for over 150,000 refugees. Thank you for your forgiveness, support, and aid.
YOU QUACKING ROCK!