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THE FOUNDATION FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IS A NETWORK OF INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS ACTIVELY WORKING IN POLAND TO AFFECT POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGH CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY. WE FEED, EDUCATE AND EMPOWER POOR CHILDREN IN POLAND. COLLECTIVELY, WE HAVE FED OVER 5 MILLION HOT MEALS TO SOME OF POLAND’S MOST NEEDY CHILDREN. OUR MISSION IS TO LEAD THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN RAISING THE LEVEL AND QUALITY OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

May 27, 2013 Vol. 10, No.19

"I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be
like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be
yourself. To cut yourself out of stone."
-- Henry Rollins

SPOTLIGHT ON OUR STAFF

Over the past few weeks we have highlighted the ten schools and their students that the Foundation serves. All of this work would not be possible without the commitment of our dedicated staff, some of whom have been with us from the very beginning. As we continue with our tenth anniversary celebration, we’d like to turn the spotlight in their direction…

Natalia Marciniak, FCSR General Manager

Natalie began her journey with the Foundation in 2007, working as my Executive Assistant. Today, she is the General Manager of the Foundation, running the day to day operations and coordinating the Warsaw office, as well as our office in Swidwin (the “PromiseLand”).

28 year-old Natalia comes from Kamien Krajenski, a small town near Bydgoszcz. She has an older sister Ola. Natalie also has a 4- year old nephew Filip and a 6- year old niece Joanna, who is her beloved Goddaughter.

After graduating from high school, adventuresome Natalie decided to go to the United States as part of a student exchange program. She spent the next 3 years living with an American family in Stamford, Connecticut. For 2 years she was a student at the University Of Connecticut, in the American Language Program at the Center for Continuing Studies. Upon finishing her studies, she received certificates in Business English, English as a Second Language, and Language in the Media. At the same time, Natalie was a psychology student at Norwalk Community College.

When she returned to Poland, she decided to continue her studies in psychology and management. She enrolled at the University of Finance and Management in Warsaw and graduated with her Master’s Degree in July 2012. Her greatest interests are Child Psychology, the role of Motivation and Leadership in Management and foreign languages. As a psychologist, Natalie always has had a special interest in the psychological health of our PromiseKids.

In 2007, when Natalie moved to Warsaw, she went job hunting.

“I was looking for a job. The first phone call I received was from Randstad, a FCSR member company specializing in executive searches. They had a job offer at the Foundation. The next day my job interview was scheduled. I remember that day very well. After a long, but pleasant interview at Randstad, I was invited for a meeting with Bill. I was a little nervous, but when I saw Bill (typical American with a positive attitude), I knew this was going to be a great meeting! When I found out about the Foundation, I knew it was the right place for me! And what a great job it has been! I love children and working for the Foundation has given me the opportunity to be around them.”

“Every trip to the PromiseLand is rewarding to me. Every time I go there to tell the teachers and kids some good news, or bring something positive I can share with them, I see the smiles on their faces. It's priceless.I love when we can bring the kids to Warsaw and show them new places. They always return home with fresh experiences and positive energy. I always tell them that if they believe in their dreams, they can achieve anything. If they work and study hard, they can be successful in their lives. That’s why our programs and trips are so important. They show them a colorful world, so different from the one they know.”

“There are so many moments that remain in my memory. The special moments are the ones I spend with the PromiseKids and their families. I remember the time when I went to visit the Kossakowski family. I was shocked to see 7 people living in a one-room house. They had no bathroom and a tiny kitchen. It was very emotional for me. I was so proud and happy that our Foundation could help this wonderful family. We renovated the roof that was leaking and we funded their indoor bathroom. I will never forget how grateful they were and their tears of happiness.”

“The first school that I worked with was the Nowe Worowo School. This school is still very special to me and every day I hear from them how thankful they are. I will never forget the day we went to visit the school and met the principal and parents. The school looked terrible. It was very cold inside because of the holes in the windows. The hallway was closed because of the big holes in the floor. Thanks to the Foundation and our member companies we renovated the school, putting in new windows and repairing the floor. It may not seem much, but for those kids it was everything! Bright, colorful and warm classrooms meant so much to them! And it meant so much to me as well.”

“I love working for the Foundation; we are like one big family. Gosia and Basia are my best friends and we know and understand each other very well. I think this is the key to FCSR’s success. Bill and Virginia have always been very supportive of us.”

Thank you Natalie for sharing your thoughts with us and for all that you do for our PromiseKids and the Foundation. Those of you who know Natalie well, know how valuable she is to our Foundation. We can’t imagine the Foundation without her, and pray that we never have to find out. You’re the best!

MCDONALD’S TRIP TO THE BALTIC QUICKLY APPROACHING – JUNE 3-7TH

For the 9th year in a row, our super member company McDonald’s will host a graduation trip to the seaside (Kolobrzeg) for all of our sixth-grade graduates from our 10 PromiseLand schools. And what a logistical effort it will be! Six busses will take part in the operation and begin transporting groups of the PromiseKids from the 10 schools and will continue the effort for a full week until all of our sixth graders have made the trip.

Although it is only 50 Kilometers to the Baltic seaside, very few of our PromiseKids have ever ventured this far from their small home villages. Most of the PromiseKids have never seen the Baltic, been aboard a ship, been inside a movie theater, frequented a shopping mall, played on a beach, or dined at McDonald's.

We will keep you all informed as the trip takes shape and when our 6th graders board the McDonald’s buses for the trip of their lives.

POLAND’S FOOD PRICES SEEN RISING

Poland may witness a 2.5-2.7% increase in food prices in 2013, while Polish food exports growth will likely be lower than in 2012, market researcher IERiGZ Director Andrzej Kowalski told PAP Polish news agency.

"A realistic forecast of food price growth this year is 2.5-2.7% y/y," Kowalski said. "Fruit and vegetables as well as dairy products will be cheaper than a year ago. Growth can be expected in relation to meat - growth rate may exceed 5% and even 10% in the case of pork."

The CPI category of "food and non-alcoholic beverages" may fall into deflation in the summer period, IERiGZ Director also said.

Commenting on Polish food exports in 2013, Kowalski expects a lower growth rate than in 2012 pointing to economic slowdown in the world and the recent "black PR" for Polish agricultural products.

WARSAW RANKS 12TH AS ATTRACTIVE RETAIL LOCATIONS

Warsaw is the world's 12th most attractive city for retailers, according to a recent report by real estate consultancy CBRE. The Polish capital ranked lower than Hong Kong, Kiev and Paris, but higher than Moscow and Toronto.

CBRE carried out research regarding 320 international brands in over 200 cities. The firm found that new stores of these brands were opened last year in 81 percent of the cities. In Warsaw, 19 internationally-known brands opened their stores in 2012.

MOST POLES PESSIMISTIC ABOUT FUTURE

As many as 71% of Poles are pessimistic about the future claiming that the situation in the country is developing in an undesirable way, a CBOS survey showed.

Only 15% claim that Polish affairs are developing well.

The percentage of Poles who are pessimistic about the future has remained unchanged since the previous poll in April and the number of optimists has gone down by 2 percentage points.

Some 46% of respondents believe that Poland's economic situation is bad (down 2pts) and 15% think it is good (up 2 pts).

FINANCE MINISTRY – POLAND SHOULD MEET EUROZONE FISCAL CRITERION NEXT YEAR

The Ministry of Finance expects that Poland will comply with the euro zone's fiscal convergence criterion in 2014, Deputy Finance Minister Jacek Dominik said on Thursday.

"Currently Poland complies with only one convergence criterion, i.e. that is related to interest rates. The price stability criterion is not met at the moment but the European Commission projections indicate that Poland should fulfill it in Q3 of 2013," said Dominik, who is also responsible for Poland's euro policy.

HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP OUR PROMISEKIDS

Our Dollar a Day program may be just what you have been looking for and the PayPal method of delivering your money makes it so easy. We pay just about $1.00 to feed one hungry Polish child a hot-meal per school day, $20.00 per month, $200.00 per year. Click PayPal below to contribute.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

"Where you grew up has no bearing on where you decide you are going to be today."

-- Dan Kennedy

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