December 17, 2012
Dear Friends of Dar Serca
I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all of you for yet another very successful year. It is only because of the wonderful people like you we could accomplish so much this past year. Twenty children – the number is so wonderful for we know that another 20 kids can look forward to the future as their lives changed so much because they were here with us, their health problems were resolved by the best medical staff here in the US of A. They wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your hard work, dedication and support. As Christmas approaches and New Year is around the corner we all think about what we have done to make this world a better place. For you my friends the answer is easy. All of you did a lot by helping children in need. The priceless feeling of seeing a smile on a child’s face after years of suffering this is what we all share here at Dar Serca and we treasure these moments very much. For almost 25 years these moments give us all a power to do more and more each year. And for this I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Merry Christmas my Friends, and may we all have a good Year 2013
Dorothy Malachowski – President
In March I was elected the president of the Foundation. It was a very joyful moment for me indeed, but I also realized how big commitment such a position brings as well as responsibility. Also I had to take under consideration well being of my own business which demands my full attention as well. Few months have passed and I am happy to say that it is possible, that I can do both effectively and with big satisfaction. It is a very satisfying feeling, I have to admit.
Let’s make a trip together, month-by-month, to see how we all made 2011 a very good year for the GFHF (starting when it all began):
Olek is one of seventeen children that we assisted in 2011 and is one of the children that have received the SDR treatment at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Along with Olek’s mom we all shared tears of joy and watched in disbelief when her son started to walk on his own. She never thought that such a day will come; it’s is all because of Dr. Park’s knowledge and experience that SDR is so effective, it’s simply magic..
On the administrative site: The Board of Directors becomes a body of 12 members
Weronika and Dawid arrived for a check-up visit; Olek is ready to leave us, we all get very emotional we say good bye to Olek
Yung professionals that in 2010 formed Foundation’s Junior Board of Directors made a meaningful mark in their work: for the first time we could be a beneficiary of prestigious Wrigley Run
We part with Weronika and Dawid but we welcome Maciek – he is also scheduled for the SDR.
Polish Constitution Day Parade: lots of unforgettable moments; I’m impressed how well we presented ourselves at the Parade and how enthusiastically the crowd reacted while we were passing;
As so many before him Maciek also showed us how he can walk on his own; I’m sure that after a while he won’t even remember the physical limitation he faced before and how fortunate it was for him to get this treatment on time;
We welcome Karolina and Alan: for Karolina it is a very last visit. We will supply her with a new, top of the line prosthesis; Alan’s case is a very complicated one. Quite a few specialists try to figure out how to help him; we hope and work on finding the one who will help Alan.
It’s time for Summer Picnic: weather – very cooperative, just perfect; food – delicious (donation of Mr. & Mrs. Stanislaw Urbaniak of Montrose & Cicero Deli), volunteers – the best. No wonder that the whole event was so successful: over thousand of our closest friends came to experience fun and laughter with us. Financial outcome was also very impressive: over $ 15,000! This sum came just in time: we need to pay for Karolina’s prosthesis, send check for Alan’s consultation and pay our regular bills…
We start a new adventure: Summer Camp for local children with disabilities, free of charge – a token of appreciation to the community for constant support and help; both my husband and I we decided to sponsor this program. By doing so we wanted to seal our friendship and commitment to the Gift from the Heart Foundation.
Kids come and go: Alan after the visit with specialists at Children’s Hospital in Palm Beach, FL is heading home. There’s a chance for Alan there. We just have to wait for the evaluation and the numbers: in order to help this boy we have to be prepared, I’m sure it’s going to be quite expensive, at least in the neighborhood of $ 100,000.
In the meantime Ola and Norman arrived; Ola is a girl that even though she is only 9 she suffered so much already that there’s no room for more. As a baby a fire caught her crib and the girl’s little body was burned so badly that the doctors didn’t have much hope to save her. But, being a strong little girl she survived and we are so very happy that we can assist her with getting help here in the US. The reconstructive and plastic surgeries she needs are scheduled but it is still a long and a very painful process; Ola is a patient of Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, OH and will have first o many surgeries very soon. Karolina is busy with finding the right and most efficient prosthesis;
Summer Camp in a full swing; under the watchful presence of the teacher, Ms. Beata Leitloff and an awesome group of volunteers kids are having a blast: lots of adventurous trips, interesting art projects, imaginary visits at exotic places these are jus a few activities that our children experience at the Camp. Children love it, we love it and the parents love it as well. Which is the best scenario there is.
Ola is heading to Cincinnati, OH for her surgery; Karolina is happy with her brand new, top of the line artificial hand that we purchased for her. She is getting ready to get back home. It saddens us for she really was a helping hand all around and children loved her. She won’t be back any more so, as always it’s not easy to part.
Because of such a huge demand of this kind of places for children with special needs during a school year we decide to open after – school classes for children of all ages all year around. We start the process of recruiting, organizing and financial maintaining of the program. We also have to find the funds to cover most of the expenses that are going to apply to this program.
We have a very fortunate start: Mr. Robert Nowomiejski from New York along with couple of other businessmen came up with the idea of organizing a tennis tournament at Arthur Ash Stadium there. They decided to donate all the proceeds towards our children. Named Polonia Open the tournament brought us over $ 5,000. It is so heart-warming thought that even though they are not connected with us in any way, living so far away, the idea of helping children brought us together.
We have new children at the Foundation: Olek, Damian, Wiktoria and Julia; except for Rafal all of them are going to have SDR procedure;
The MAK Foundation, the foundation created by Mr. & Mrs. Ed Krawczyk in memoriam of their late son Michael, donated a sum of $ 10,000;
On our part we are organizing huge, 3-day Garage Sale. Any dollar is as important as ever and this is also one of the ways that we are collecting money for the goals that we have set for this year. Thanks to the people who gave us plenty of items for sale we were able to turn them into money and that is what our children need.
We have two Julia at the Foundation: one is having the SDR, the other one just arrived from Poland. Wiktoria is heading home and Weronika still in the hospital and is recuperating after the surgery.
Halloween Party at the Foundation, all of the children got costumes and had lots of fun.
Junior Board organized an exciting event – Art for Heart Auction at the Polish Museum of America; a very successful 3 days brought us $ 5,000.
Nikola is a new little girl that is welcome by Julia and Weronika. The boys are still at the hospital.
Our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Grand Ball was held in Marriott Hotel. This year’s theme is a masquerade so we called it the Venetian Night. Absolutely magic and enchanted night it was. The Sweet Table by Oak Mill Bakery added delicious and elegant accent that was appreciated by all the guests. Financial success that was also grand: over $30,000. This amount was mostly a result of the ads that were placed in Program Book, the Silent Auction which was orchestrated and generously supplied by Mr. & Mrs. Marek Maneykowski of Archer Gold Jewelry as well as by generosity of the guests.
Children are leaving us for Christmas. Before heading home though they all have a chance to attend couple of Christmas parties that various sponsors and friends organized. First that was a joint party: Wyspa Dzieci and Dar Serca . About hundred children met Santa, ate sweets and danced until was over. Next the Highlander Riders bikers invited all 18 children that are currently attending our after-school program to the Szalas Restaurant for fun, pizza, dances, clown show and lots of presents from Santa. It was unbelievable how warm, friendly and nice the organizers were towards these children. Mr.& Mrs. Skirucha open their home for us as well. Home made dishes, sweets, gifts and caroling – that were the attributes of their Christmas Party. Also, the group of Northeaster University Students visited our children with presents and treats. They spent couple of hours with them giving them an attention they need and joy that radiated from their faces.
We are very grateful for thinking about our children this Holiday Season, for taking a time to make these children feel very special.
Most of the people who support GFHF live accordingly to the saying “ if I did good this year I need to share” . I would like to mention few names of people who live by this rule: Mr. Stephen Kusmierczak, who this year donated $ 6,000 but who also is personally involved in Foundation’s life and well-being, Mr. Przemek Dzielawski of Midcity Spine and Ortho who graced us with a donation of $ 9,000, Mr. & Mrs. Debicki of Alexandra Pierogi who in any given time are ready with their helping hand, donated $ 3,000. To this category also belongs a vast group of people who showered us with monetary donations as an answer to our Christmas card mailed to all of Foundation’s sponsors. We take this outpour of love and friendship as an assurance that we are doing something good, with a universal value that is greatly appreciated. It is very important to us to get such a support because without that, without help of all Polonia we wouldn’t be where we are now and the children wouldn’t have such a beautiful Home as they have. Because of that 17 children who lived there in 2011 could rest and recuperate in comfort and the local children could benefit from it as well.
We wouldn’t be able to do much without constant support of the media, especially: Dziennik Zwiazkowy, radio station WNVR 1030AM, Polvision and radio station WPNA 1490AM.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all Foundation’s sponsors, volunteers, patrons and all Polonia for your involvement in this wonderful work, which we all can be so proud of.