Whoever finds a friend finds a treasure


Whoever finds a friend finds a treasure

Among the recipients of support from the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation has been the St. Clement Hofbauer Children's Home in Podolínec for several years. For 23 years, his leadership, along with a team of educators and professional parents, have strived to be a second family to fifty boys and girls whose biological parents have failed. Forty children found their second home in the building of this non-state facility, another ten are placed in professional foster families.

"We solve exactly the same problems as most ordinary families with more children," says the director of the orphanage, Štefan Straka.

"From diapers to puberty, childhood play to life, from friends to serious love relationships, from a happy smile to a painful cry, from beta to serious misconduct, from health to serious illness, and from calm to aggressiveness. But we love doing it and I think we do it well," he says. And he does not forget to add how much everyone appreciates the help and support they have received from the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation and the Košice steel plant in recent years.

"He who finds a friend finds a treasure. And we find that treasure again and again... Why do I say so? Because the people of U. S. Steel Košice also give us a piece of themselves. Without the help of the foundation, we wouldn't have experienced many things, we wouldn't have done many things... Children play sports, sing, dance, go on trips, their housing improves, meet friends, prepare for life. We have reached a higher level, where we certainly would not have been without the help of the foundation. This confirms that there are people who notice and appreciate our work, see its results and are ready to support us. This help is not only financial, but also emotional. Such... extraordinarily human."

There are not a few projects that the orphanage managed to realize thanks to the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation. We can mention assistance with the reconstruction of apartments and replacement of equipment, financing the ice rink, buying a car, providing materials for handicrafts, equipping a workshop, sports equipment, organizing Children's Day in Medzev or visiting the zoo in Košice. "These were also hockey matches in the Steel Arena, the International Peace Marathon, Venice of Košice, or the highly appreciated project Tree of Wishes, of which we have been a part in recent years.

Let me put it this way: it is both a gift and a blessing for us to have the opportunity to work with the foundation and with such great people. Thank you!" notes Štefan Straka.

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