A little history to start, but don’t worry, it won’t be THAT long 😊
Chance 4 Children started 25 years ago with help in a single children´s home. At the time, it didn’t need any larger storage or a transport company to help distribute material aid to more distant care facilities. But as the numbers of children´s home serviced by C4C grew, it became clear that there was no way we could do without a storage space, which later became necessary also for the growing team of hospital clowns.
We then teamed up with Uniservis Hašek s.r.o. and for the next ten years used their premises to store the aid before distribution. Two years ago, however, the decision was taken to demolish the hall we were using, and gloom fell on us at C4C. Where to find adequate facilities?
The offer from ESA logistika a.s. came, without exaggeration, as a godsend. It turned out that it could help us not only with providing new warehouse space, but also with moving out of the old one and disposing of all the waste that had accumulated there for so long. And even that wasn’t all in the end, but more on that later.
The move was coordinated by Mr. Pup; and to this day I am deeply grateful to him and to the warehouse workers who helped with loading, packing and transport. They were able to solve every problem I came up with, so that the panic attacks that used to seize me every time I came into the warehouse (“What on earth am I going to do with all this stuff?”) gradually subsided. My colleague Jana Šnoblová and I were absolutely thrilled with the new space we could use.
The warehouse serves as storage and reloading area. We also have LEGO bricks there that the clowns deliver to hospitals or use for interactive games. There is also other material aid, new shoes and clothes that we distribute to the cooperating facilities, especially to children’s homes. You can see what it looks like when we arrive somewhere with all this on the pictures, or read the articles or messages from recipients of the aid on our website. There are dozens of individual stories, and some of them really really touching.
But as I’ve written before, storage isn’t the only thing that helps us tremendously. The support that flows to us from ESA logistika is threefold: in addition to the warehouse and occasional logistic assistance, there are financial donations from the company and its employees and a discount on fuel for C4C´s vehicles. And how exactly does that help us?
C4C´s cars deliver clothes to children´s homes, and travels many kilometres a month on its journeys to visit patients in hospitals and clients in nursing homes. We can transform the fuel savings from ESA logistika support into more frequent visits from our clown laughter therapists and our other activities.
This savings is compounded by the even more substantial monthly financial support of ESA Logistics staff.
We work with facilities of all kinds – orphanages, homes for the elderly, centres for the disabled, hospitals, children’s centres. There will be about fifty of them in total. Clowns of the Dr. Clown program, teachers working under the auspices of the Springboard to Life program (interest groups and tutoring in children’s homes), or coordinators of Colorful Playing (art therapy) can visit “their” people thanks to our donors. All of their activities have a huge impact – they make seniors, hospitalized children and the disabled in assistance centres laugh, cheer up and open their hearts.
We also have a mentoring program in which volunteers work with specific children, helping them on their journey through life, choose a high school, find a job, and see opportunities other than what they see within the orphanage. For teens, these are often pivotal moments in their lives that can guide them in directions they would not have taken without them. They find confidence and reassurance that they can deal with life situations and have someone nearby to turn to when they are in trouble.
Currently, we are starting another programme in addition to the existing ones – HelpMate, a training project for the staff in children’s homes, foster care institutions, senior homes and hospitals. They are being forgotten, even though they are the key to the correct direction of the children they work with in children´s homes, or to the satisfaction of the clients they care for in hospitals or, for example, in homes for the elderly. HelpMate, as we have called the platform, is designed to help them, through e-learning, to cope with the situations they face every day – lying, anger, frustration or feelings of burnout.
There is a lot that your support helps us with. Part of how we are changing the world for the better, is written in the photos: a boy crying with emotion, a grandmother laughing, or a girl from an orphanage who can go on to college – all of this is your work too. It’s your all-round help that makes it possible for us to do what we do – help and bring joy where it’s needed. Every day, one of our teachers, mentors or clowns is on the ground. Every day, you too are changing the lives of many people for the better.
It makes a difference that you support us. Thank you for that. From the bottom of our hearts.
Author: Zuzana Šrámková