Boeing teams in Poland help colleagues from Ukraine

Efforts include finding colleagues a safe place to sleep and providing the means to continue work.

April 01, 2022 in Community

In recent weeks Poland has faced the largest influx of migrants since the end of the Second World War. In an unprecedented, unified effort, the Polish people and authorities have been able to provide shelter for over 2 million people from Ukraine. Employees from all three Boeing sites in Poland are helping their colleagues from Kyiv — from finding a safe place to sleep to providing them with all the means to continue their work.

“I can’t really express my feelings […], everybody is trying to do their best to help us. It is just — wow!” said Anna Samchuk, a Boeing employee from Kyiv, standing in the middle of a room at the Boeing site in Gdansk that is filled with clothes and supplies donated by her local colleagues. Samchuk came to the city in northern Poland soon after the war in Ukraine started. What was formerly a gym is now filled with supplies for Ukrainian colleagues as they arrive. Strollers and games and clothes for children can be found there, said Marta Golyszny, Systems and Data Analyst at the Gdansk office.

Colleagues in Poland have also been providing help with additional practical challenges, such as enrolling children for school or kindergarten, through to getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster and finding a veterinarian to care for house animals.

The Employee Assistance Program has stepped up with resources for Boeing colleagues from Ukraine and encourages everyone affected by the conflict to learn more about EAP resources in this BNN.

Boeing provided colleagues with a place to stay immediately. First at a hotel, then at individual apartments. Ukrainian colleagues, on arrival in Poland, are given a prepaid Boeing credit card to buy basic necessities — food, clothing, over-the-counter medicines and toiletries.

Boeing in Poland has a long-term record regarding its societal engagement and cooperation with humanitarian nonprofit organizations. As soon as it became clear that people from Ukraine were fleeing to their neighboring country, employees from all three Boeing Poland offices (Gdansk, Warsaw and Rzeszow) started several initiatives to provide help where it was most needed. Across Europe colleagues are offering practical support, fundraising, donating. Boeing, in addition to the $2 million donation announced recently for those displaced by the conflict, is matching qualifying employee donations made through YourCause, Boeing’s employee engagement portal.

Teammates in Europe helped to organize 1,000 accommodation places for refugees in cooperation with the local technical university in Rzeszow, a town in southwestern Poland close to the Ukrainian border. As many people were crossing the border in a short period of time, the city was suddenly faced with a shortage of basic products such as mattresses, sleeping bags and hygiene products.

Boeing employees in northern Poland quickly decided to buy and collect the much-needed products, which were still available in their own region, and transport them to the south. They rented a transport car to transport the donated supplies to Rzeszow in an 8-hour drive.

Klaudia Bartkowiak from the Boeing Warsaw office drove to the border with her family’s food truck to supply people from Ukraine who had to wait there for a long time with a warm meal. Colleagues provided her with the necessary provisions, cleaning supplies and dishes.

As public transport close to the border was overwhelmed by sheer numbers, Boeing employees picked up people from Ukraine with their cars and helped them. In some cases, they directly welcomed them into their own homes. In others, they helped them plan and organize the next steps of their trip.

“This was a company- and functionwide effort. All leadership functions were involved to organize the important help that we were able to provide to our colleagues from Ukraine. I thank all our colleagues for their truly outstanding display of humanity,” said Rafal Stepnowski, head of government relations at Boeing Poland. “I am really proud that our employees were able to prioritize the safety of our colleagues from Kyiv, while also continuing their day-to-day work and the service to our customers as normal as possible, given the circumstances.”