A helping hand in a crisis
Since the invasion of Ukraine, we have worked closely with a number of NGOs including the World Food Programme, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), and Save the Children International, as well as with our employees and local partners to support relief efforts for individuals and communities affected by the tragedy.
“Together with our partners, including the Polish Red Cross (PRC), we donated nearly 40,000 backpacks with school supplies to children from Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. We also launched the “Zdolni Odkrywcy” (“Gifted Explorers”) educational program, which supports children from Ukraine who have arrived in a new country to accommodate to their new surroundings, whilst also providing teachers with new materials and skills,” says Barbara Krystosiak, Amazon's Senior Community Relations Manager.
Poland has become Amazon's main humanitarian aid hub in the region. This hub has helped us consolidate, pack and ship over 2 million items to those in need in this part of the world and provided technology and resources essential for humanitarian activities. Amazon has helped to facilitate over $75 million of donations, including financial support, product donations, employee donations, and customer donations. We also worked with Ukrainian government officials to keep critical services running, support customers and partners, and help preserve Ukraine's digital history – efforts that were recognized by President Volodymyr Zelensky himself when he honored Amazon with the Ukraine Peace Prize.
Amazon Gives Volunteers
More than 2,500 Amazonians in Poland volunteered their time to help the people of Ukraine. As part of the Amazon Gives Volunteers – Employee Volunteering for the Benefit of Local Communities program, our employees used their entitlement to three fully-paid days off to support selected NGOs. In total, Amazon volunteers took over 2,000 days off work to offer their help.
Holiday challenge: Two million acts of kindness
Throughout the year, we encourage Amazonians to get involved in causes that are important to them, but the festive season is always a special time. That's why Amazon issued a global challenge to perform at least two million acts of kindness during the month of December. As part of this campaign, Amazon in Poland teamed up with the Polish Red Cross (PCK) for its annual distribution of pre-Christmas aid to families and people in need. As part of this “Peak Giving” campaign, employees at Amazon's logistics center near Wrocław prepped and packed 30,000kg of food for donations, including cereals, rice, pasta, sweets, coffee, tea, and nuts. Thanks to this joint initiative, up to 6,000 families (more than 24,000 people) received food assistance in time for Christmas. To make the festive season more cheerful for younger people, the aid parcels also included toys and children's games. In addition, volunteers at the Amazon donation zone in Sosnowiec prepared 36,000 parcels of hygiene products for distribution by the PCK.
Apart from providing financial support to the third sector during this year’s Christmas campaign, Amazon also made a number of product donations to local NGOs. Toys, games, sweets and toiletries were donated to Weź Pomóż (the Let’s Help Foundation), Towarzystwo Przyjacół Dzieci w Legnicy (the Society of Friends of Children in Legnica), HIAS, Fundacja Wrocławskie Hospicjum dla Dzieci (the Wroclaw Hospice for Children Foundation), and others.
Amazon Goes Gold for Kids with Cancer
Together with our employees, Amazon has supported more than 100 organizations, with a focus on both local and national initiatives. As part of Amazon Goes Gold for Kids with Cancer, Amazon donated PLN 1,000,000 to the TVN Foundation to contribute to building a psychiatric and oncology center for children from all parts of Poland. The global campaign is now in its sixth year at our offices and logistics centers in Poland, Slovakia and Czechia, and once again our team showed their solidarity with children in oncology wards by coming to work in their pajamas. In addition, several regional institutions that support children in the fight against cancer received support in the form of cash grants.
Amazon STEM Kindloteka
Aside from cash and product donations, we also share our technological expertise. We are committed to supporting society in its digital transformation and are involved in projects that promote digital literacy, including through the Amazon STEM Kindloteka network with partner organizations such as Cyfrowy Dialog. We currently have 92 Kindloteka locations in schools, libraries, and cultural centers across the CEE that are stocked with Kindles and books to promote STEM education, literacy, and digital skills among children and adolescents.
During this Christmas campaign, we donated new equipment and books to all Kindloteka locations across our network. The educational zones received a total of 7,000 Polish-Ukrainian books, 580 Kindles, 500 tablets and 180 educational robots.
In addition to developing the Kindloteka network and providing materials to support STEM learning, we actively promote coding education and skills across the country. In 2022, we joined the European “Meet and Code” educational program as a local partner of the TechSoup Foundation. In a period of just two months, 257 inspiring workshops, meet-ups and events were held for around 5,000 children and young people, in cooperation with the program’s creator – SAP. Amazon supports the Meet and Code project in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and – most recently – Poland, encouraging children and adolescents to learn new digital skills and build their futures in what is becoming an increasingly digitalized labor market.
Promoting diversity in tech
We also want to get girls more strongly interested in technology. In 2022 as part of the third edition of the Girls Do Engineering project, in cooperation with Digital Coaction Association, we recruited 36 participants. During four workshops, four online workshops and mentoring sessions, girls from high-schools were developing their skills in Design Thinking and programming, as well as soft skills such as cooperation, creativity, and presentation.
Building a better future, together
Amazon is present in more than 20 countries across Europe and we will continue to address the most pressing societal needs – such as alleviating poverty, supporting young people, and protecting the environment – through our philanthropic initiatives and partnerships. With education, investment, and access to technology, we aim to make a difference in the lives of those in need in our communities and across the European region.