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Christmas dinner

Christmas Eve for the lonely to take place in several Polish cities

Christmas Eve for the lonely to take place in several Polish cities

Despite the pandemic situation, the organisers will ensure that no one is left behind for the holidays

A charity event that started 20 years ago, aiming to combat loneliness and solitude, now expands to over 20 Polish cities and towns. Every year for the past two decades, a group of volunteers from Wolne Miejsce Foundation has been delivering warm dinner and company to every person in need on Christmas Eve.

Despite what has been an extraordinary year, 2020 will be no exception in the efforts of the mobile team to leave no one behind on the most sacred Christian holiday.

Fighting loneliness becomes even more of a challenge in 2020

This year, the traditional 'Christmas Eve for the Lonely' (in Polish Wigilia Dla Samotnych) initiative by the Polish charity Wolne Miejsce will take place in a different form. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their teams will not be able to host guests at Christmas dinners.

Instead, there will be a mobile Christmas team which will ensure that no one will spend the day alone. The volunteers will visit each registered person, offering company and delivering dinner directly to the homes on December 24, from 7.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

The action is open to anyone who, due to their life, material and family situation, cannot afford to spend Christmas Eve with their loved ones. Those who wish to be visited on the specified day and receive a set of meals, should contact the helpline of the Wolne Miejsce foundation, open from 5 to 20 December.

The foundation organizes one of the largest Christmas Eve and Easter Breakfasts for the lonely in Poland. During 2020, they undertook to help people confined in their homes by a pandemic, experiencing loneliness, social exclusion in three metropolises (Warsaw, Upper Silesia-Zagłębie and Łódź) and in Olsztyn, Kołobrzeg, Radom, Kalisz, Rumia, Tarnów and Ostrów Wielkopolski.

The action will be carried out together with local governments, volunteers and donors. On top of providing ad hoc material assistance, the foundation also opened the first social store in Poland earlier this month, in cooperation with the city of Katowice. It is a space where financially disadvantaged persons can stock up on groceries, personal care products and household chemicals at prices below their market value.

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