When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 22, 2022, no one imagined the two countries would still be battling two years later. As bombs fell, women, children, the elderly and disabled fled their homes, searching for a safe place to live. Many waited days to cross the border into Poland and Romania, and began a search for housing, food,  employment and safety.

Since the war began, Grand Circle Foundation has funded almost $3M to provide basic needs for thousands of people impacted by this war in Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

Regional associates in Poland and Romania were instrumental in identifying local organizations we could trust to help meet these needs, and continue to oversee funding.

At the start of the war, we funded food, hygiene supplies, and clothing at border crossings and railway stations in Poland and Romania. We helped people find transportation to continue their journeys and provided temporary housing. As the war continued, we found local hostels and vacation communities willing to house refugees at a reduced cost, funded by GCF.

In Poland, we partnered with the Lena Grochowska Foundation (LGF) and funded $700,000 to renovate buildings and turn them into housing. Since the war began, this partnership has helped 14,463 individuals and provided more than 580,000 free overnight accommodations.

Lena Grochowska Foundation’s efforts in partnership with GCF to aid refugees from Ukraine have been recognized by the international community and received the highly prestigious United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award.

Our partner in Poland receives an award from the UN thanks to GCF support – Grand Circle Foundation

GCF is committed to funding the housing costs for refugees in Poland and Romania through at least June, 2024, as well as basic needs in Romania where it is difficult for refugees to find enough work to live independently.

In Ukraine, we partnered with Wine to Water to provide water filters to soldiers on the front lines, and rebuilt wells and water systems in communities destroyed by Russian bombs. When the war began, we funded food and basic supplies at the border crossing for the men who had escorted their families and were resting a day or two before making the journey back to defend their country. At the end of 2023, we also funded 5,000 additional water filters, 100 generators, 1,000 tourniquets and 500 sleeping bags for those on the front lines.

Housing, food, clothing, language classes and other basic necessities have proved invaluable to the hundreds of predominantly women, children and elderly that been receiving assistance at the various organizations in Poland and Romania.  As time has gone on, the women have been able to find employment and move into private housing, making room for newcomers to receive aid.

57 children are now being supported at the John Paul II orphanage.  Last winter through through the efforts of many Grand Circle corporations employees, a generous donation of 2 duffels of handknit hats and scarves were delivered as Christmas presents to these children.