Our mission is to promote and celebrate the rich Polish culture and heritage, as well as support our community, says New York Center for Polish and Slavic (CPS) President Marian Schack in collaboration with PAP. The organization has been serving Poles in the USA since 1972.
CPS presents itself as the largest Polish-American social and cultural organization on the East Coast of the United States. It is a non-profit organization. It connects more than 40 thousand. Members are in the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Chicago.
“Our mission is to promote and celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Poland and its residents, provide social services, support our community, and strengthen intercultural bonds within the Polish, American and Polish American communities” – says Schack.
He maintains that the Green Point-based organization has been supporting older Poles for 48 years through a program of social services. CPS informs and assists older adults with issues related to housing, pensions, or insurance.
“Our program team supports members in many ways, including filling out applications, translating documents, and explaining New York City laws and regulations. It also facilitates the use of our network of agencies and services,” says the president.
Another aspect of CPS activity is the Krakos Center for Seniors. It has been providing social, health and wellness programs for over 30 years. Using municipal funds, the center provides free meals each day, which are served at Greenpoint and at the Friendship Center. John Paul II in Manhattan. During the pandemic, meals are delivered to the homes of the elderly.
“Krakos is a second home for many people. It enriches their lives and strengthens social bonds. They can come to a choir rehearsal, book club or crossword and chess club. They have computer lessons, lectures prepared by doctors, and regular trips” – says Żak.
CPS’s free legal advice for immigrants is also very popular. They use it when they need help preparing and applying for US citizenship or residency, or for other things.
“Our bilingual staff offers US citizenship exam preparation courses, legal advice, assistance in homeowner-tenant disputes, maintenance and divorce matters. The program has earned the trust of those we work with” – says CPS President.
Żak is associated with CPS as a volunteer for over a decade. Previously, he was its vice president. According to PAP, he has a weakness for artistic activity and programs related to Polish art, history and culture. As president of New York Dance & Arts Innovations, Żak organizes annual “Chopin and Friends” festivals. For seven years he was also the host of art evenings at Club Europa in Green Point.
“We work with both recognized and promising artists, who are just starting their careers. We organize exhibitions, concerts, lectures and other cultural events. We also work with young people from our community to develop their creativity and self-confidence, and invest in the next generation of Polish artists “- he explains Shack.
He adds that one of CPS’ goals is to increase representation of Polish artists in New York art.
Since CPS celebrates the upcoming anniversary, Żak is organizing the “50 50th Anniversary Events” project.
The ambition of the head of CPS is to encourage people with valuable and interesting ideas to shape the activities of the organization and get more funds for its development. He would also like to expand cooperation with Poland.
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