04 Jan Why is it worth donating 1%?
12 reasons why you should support “Betlejem”:
Supporting the “Betlejem” Association you help the homeless find hope and the meaning of life. Thank you for your help so far! It is very essential for our development.
In the tax declaration in the field “Application for transfer of 1% of tax” enter the following data:
Specific objective: HELPING THE POOR
1. We build a home and a meeting place
We create a home that is a meeting place and the meetings transform people. As in biblical Bethlehem the meeting changed the poor shepherds and the rich Magi. The shepherds discovered joy and the Magi returned to their homes on different roads. In our “Betlejem” homeless people can rediscover the meaning of life and find motivation and strength to fight for new, better present and tomorrow and those helping them a joy of sharing living with the poor.
2. We give a fishing rod, fish and…
We not only give a fishing rod instead of a fish, but together we look for answers to the question: why and for whom to fish? In 20 years we have learned a little about ways of good helping. For instance: that a homeless man, in addition to the roof over his/her head and money in his pocket needs meaning, recognition of his/her value and a few friends. We know where to look for it…
3. We create beauty from ruins
We live in a house that the homeless are not ashamed of but are proud of. We started 24 years ago in a dilapidated building left after a closure of a primary school. Today we can be proud of a beautiful house with a good one vibe, where homeless feel at home and visitors visit with pleasure. It is largely the result of the hard work of its residents and the support of our sympathizers and friends.
4. We are homeless but not idle
We earn our living with our own work. Homeless does not mean idle. We do what we can: we run a house, we make beautiful crafts: icons, ceramics, wooden objects; we graze animals, provide services for others, we clean, renovate, repair. In order to “peacefully eat our own bread while working” (St. Paul), to shape ourselves through work and serve others.
5. We initiate a new life on the ruins
We create unique icons from charcoaled wood. This is our brand mark, an important source of livelihood and a parable about the power of life. Just like from a charred, cleaned and waxed board an icon is created, so in a lost and burned out man God has the power to recreate his image. Make him/her beautiful and unique again. We try to be His helpers in this work.
6. We associate the needy and the donors
We transform the needy into donors and remind donors that there are also those in need. Nobody is so poor that he has nothing to give – nor rich enough not to need anything. God created us to reciprocity: to give and take. To a holy exchange that builds up in us generosity and gratitude. Wealth can keep us in chains of self- sufficiency – and poverty in bondage of complaining and pity. In “Betlejem” we try to create a space and an opportunity for mutual sharing of ourselves and our talents.
7. We build a ladder of crayons
Together with the children we build a ladder to Heaven from crayons (“Crayons to Heaven”). Every Friday at 17.00 we read the next Sunday Gospel with the children, we pray, talk and translate it all into different art forms. This is just one of the many opportunities for children to come to our house … We also run activities for children and youth in the handicraft workshop (icons, ceramics), workshops and meetings on prophylactics. We managed to create an open high standard house instead a ghetto for the homeless. Because only an open house creates an opportunity to get to know each other, build relationships and develop friendships.
8. We don’t like straight lines
“A straight line is godless and immoral” is one of the original thoughts of Hundertwasser, whose creativity and philosophy inspire us in the last few years. Simple lines are used to build bars and a world of patterns which prevent us from meeting and getting to know each other. Life is much more diverse… We want to express it through lifestyle and architecture of our home. That is why there are quite a lot of different colors, mosaics, stained glass and curved lines in it. Our homeless people have already created many original works in our home. Ahead of us there are others and not necessary smaller…
9. We practice silent meditation and adoration of the poor
We are not afraid of silence because in silence God speaks and the heart matures. We know how much we all miss that silence today. So we propose to those who live with us and to those who visit us to meet in silent prayer. Shared meditation is available every Tuesday and the Blessed Sacrament adoration on Thursdays. There are things of our heart that only God knows and only He can heal them…
10. We pursue ambitious goals
For those discouraged ones we offer a participation in ambitious ventures. We cycled to Rome (2005) and Jerusalem (2006), we crossed Greece along the route of St. Paul (2009) A few of our residents and volunteers ran a marathon (2011) and on foot conquered a trip from Jaworzno to Rome (2014) and from the Sosnowiec Cathedral to Lisieux in France (2016). Realization of ambitious goals strengthens our sense of value, rebuilds faith in God-given talents and opportunities. It allows us to look at own lives from a completely new perspective. It turns bankrupts into conquerors, prisoners into free people.
11. We are valued by others
While we are not working for reward and recognition, we do need it from time to time. 🙂 We accept all signs of liking and praise with humility and gratitude. In 2016 Fr. Mirek, the founder of our community and animator of many activities was awarded the prestigious “Fr. Józef Tischner Award” for social activity. A great honor for us was an enthusiastic reception of our “Road of Reconciliation” project – tractor pilgrimages from Jaworzno to Lisieux inspired by his film “Straight Story” by the American director David Lynch. David Lynch is also the creator and producer of the documentary about our journey to be completed this year.
12. We go to the periphery
We love the Gospel, the Church, St. Therese and the Pope. We are thankful for the gift of faith, happy to learn about the Gospel and proud of Church led by Pope Francis. His appeal to go to the peripheries, to the world of the lost and the poorest is welcomed by us as a personal mission. We are a small part of the Church, a weak and sinful part but courageous in plans and actions. From the beginning St. Therese of Lisieux is with and she encourages us to fight. It is from her that we learn that weaknesses are not a limitation but an opportunity. Sometimes they close the window to open the door…
Renovation of a new house
Our second house at Długa 12, which we are currently renovating and expanding, will meet the needs of our residents and poor people but also the needs of the community that appreciates the value of the meeting, architecture, film and art and the taste of delicious coffee and tea.