The Polish-American initiative to help refugees from Ukraine, initially coordinated and managed by the National Union in cooperation with the Stefczyka Foundation, is currently being continued by the target entity – the Via Stella Credit Union Foundation (page name int.). The aim of the initiative remains unchanged, and the Via Stella Foundation is an entity operating in cooperation with the National Union.
The Via Stella Foundation (Via Stella, Foundation) was established on the initiative of representatives of Polish and American credit unions to help people who found themselves in need as a result of unforeseen events. The impulse to establish this Foundation was the desire to help people who found themselves in a dramatic situation in connection with the war in Ukraine. The size of this tragedy and the enormity of the needs to be met on the one hand and the desire to provide quick and effective help on the other hand, made two friends from the American Credit Unions: Brian Branch and Bruce Foulke come to Poland privately to see – how to provide this help.
After many talks, meetings and visits to Sopot, Lublin and Warsaw, actions were initiated, as a result of which a Foundation was established at the National Fund and started to provide aid. The goals and nature of the aid provided remain unchanged: The first one is „here and now”, that is, meeting the current needs of refugees in Poland and people remaining on the territory of Ukraine (examples: first aid, food, sleeping bags, flashlights, ambulances). The second is long-term and serves to meet the living needs in a systematic manner and in cooperation with cooperative savings and credit unions (examples: financial assistance in paying for the rent of an apartment, assistance in the purchase of school supplies, support for preventive health care). The Foundation will actively seek the best ways to achieve its goals.