As we watch this unprovoked war in Ukraine unfold before our eyes, we might be asking ourselves what we can do as American civilians to aide those in need from what most experts consider the most significant displacement of people in Europe since WWII. Poland is now hosting 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees (out of 8 million in total) and has granted them full rights as Poles (except for the right to vote). Unfortunately, with such generosity comes housing shortages, dwindling resources, and overstretched social support systems. Most of these Ukrainians are women, children, and the elderly.
From June 25th to the 30th, members of our Foundation (Kaplan Public Service Foundation), will be lending assistance to our NATO partner in its effort to support these Ukrainian refugees. But refugee assistance is simply one aspect of this program. We will also be receiving briefings from our US Embassy in Warsaw, Polish Economists, Poland’s Defense Ministry (who have been at the tip of the spear in pushing all NATO allies to send more advanced weaponry to Ukraine). Our plans also include a visit to the Abrams Tank Training Academy in Biedrusko followed by a visit to a Polish Military Base in Powidz which is now hosting 1,600 American troops (we will have a party on the beach in Powidz with representatives from both the US and Polish Militaries). Also scheduled are guided walking tours of Old Town Warsaw and the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Tim Mak of NPR will be joining our group for our entire program in Poland. We couldn’t ask for a better correspondent than Tim to teach us about what’s really happening on the ground in Ukraine. Tim is also a former U.S. Army combat medic and EMT. He will be traveling from Kiev to join us for the week. It will be a very full itinerary and I’m still confirming many aspects of the program. Kindly get back to me as soon as possible if you are interested in joining us in Warsaw on June 25th (our opening party will be at the Raffles Hotel Pavilion). The Program will conclude back in Warsaw on the morning of the 30th. Sending out this email prior to an itinerary being fully set is not what I normally do. However, I’m only trying to get a rough estimate as to who and how many people will be traveling with us. Unfortunately, we are limited to no more than 25 participants. If you are unable to attend, kindly consider making a tax-deductible donation to KPSF. We plan on donating roughly $50,000 while we are in Poland to assist Ukrainian refugees and to also support our American servicemen and servicewomen based there.