As Ukrainian women and children flee destruction in their country, one Polish woman gives them refuge in her small apartment. Waunakee Rotarian Carol Bleifield, who knew Alicja Wozniakowska when she lived in the United States for a time, is doing what she can to help that woman.

Carol told the club about her conversations with Alicja over the past month and a half, since Russia invaded Ukraine, first giving some background about Alicja. 

When Alicja was about 40, job prospects weren’t great in Ukraine, and a friend suggested she move to the United States where work was available. She came to Chicago, where a job and an apartment were waiting, but the job was cleaning houses and the rent was high. So, she found another opportunity in Madison. She worked for one of Carol’s neighbors and then Carol, until eventually, Alicja returned to Poland. Since then, Carol has kept in touch with Alicja. She contacted her after Russia invaded Ukraine and learned of Alicja’s efforts to help those across the border. 

Carol described Alicja as a 60-year-old woman living on a small pension who has been willing to step up and help the refugees, bringing them to her one-bedroom apartment for a rest. Alicja told Carol they arrive with only the things they can carry. Carol has found a way to send money to her friend to buy the refugees supplies. Alicja has purchased cell phones for some so that they can find their families. 

Carol asked her friend how effective large organizations that normally provide relief are. The relief they offer is a little different, she said. Churches are not stepping up to offer temporary housing, so refugees are sleeping on subways and sidewalks. 

Alicja stays in contact with Carol, sending pictures to show how her funds are being used. Any support Americans can offer to the people there helps, Carol said. 

 

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Committee chairs gave reports for Club Assembly, as follows: 

-Membership is looking to attract younger members. 

-International is considering a fund for those displaced by war. 

-Fundraising is looking ahead to the plant sale and then WaunaFest.

-Youth and Vocational has the scholarship applications due April 7 and RYLA in May.

-Meetings and Public Relations has speakers booked through August. If you have any ideas, please let the members know. 

-Fellowship is looking ahead to Music in the Park get-togethers on Tuesday nights this summer, a June 2 tour of Octopi June 2. Another outing is planned at the Madison Youth Arts Center. 

 

Guests: none.  

Visiting Rotarians: None

 Other news: 

-Candy is needed for the Easter Egg Hunt and can be dropped off at the Waunakee Village Center before April 7. The hunt is April 9. 

-Clean-up day is April 23; Rotarians will head out to the Village Center Pond, library and village hall. 

 

Birthdays: April 7, Connie Blau; April 7, Ross Mauer.

 

Anniversaries: April 12, Phil and Kathy Simon; April 13, George and Lynn Ohlendorf

 

Greeters: April 7, David Dargenio and Al Dassow; April 14, Lori Derauf and Patrick Durden; April 21, Fritz Durst and Jim Elvekrog; April 21, Taylor Endres and Dan Evans; April 28, Greg Garton and Tracy Graber. 

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