Every day around the world KBR employees are reaching out to their communities in dozens of ways. One of the most heart-warming volunteer stories is taking place in Poland where KBRwyle employees have "adopted" an orphanage. The orphanage is located in Zagan, Poland, and is home to 27 children ranging in age from 6 to 17 years old.
KBRwyle came to Poland in December 2016 under a U.S. European Command task order to provide base operating support services for U.S. military bases, most of them located outside of small Polish towns. In true KBR fashion, employees began to look for ways to support their local communities. Adopting the orphanage in Zagan was an easy choice.
What started out as providing donations of food, clothing and time has quickly deepened into a relationship that both KBRwyle employees and the children have come to treasure.
With last Christmas approaching, the employees decided to do something special. Knowing that the children were unlikely to receive gifts they decided to seek out volunteer Christmas sponsors for each child at the orphanage. Their goal was for the children to receive gifts selected just for them, along with other gifts that everyone could share and enjoy.
As news of the plan spread, gifts and offers of sponsorship came pouring in from employees throughout KBRwyle, including Task Order Manager William Green. Soon there were more gifts and volunteer-sponsors than there were children.
On Dec. 9, 2017, a convoy of KBRwyle vehicles led by General Site Manager James Baker along with 27 employees pulled into the orphanage driveway. A six-year-old boy watching from the window began cheering as the vehicles arrived and load after load of wrapped gifts were carried in and placed under the tree.
The event began with KBRwyle employees handing each child a personalized envelope, explaining that the contents held a promise. Ripping open the envelopes they discovered a flyer announcing that in June, the entire orphanage would spend a day at the local amusement park.
Next, the youngest boy and girl unwrapped two presents that all the children would share. The children were delighted and surprised to find Xbox game stations. Then, employees called each child's name and handed them individual gifts. Children received a range of gifts including Samsung tablets, remote control cars and Nike Air Jordan shoes. As the wrapping paper came off many of the children cried tears of joy.
Emotions ran high on both sides as children stepped forward to demonstrate their thanks and gratitude.
A little girl approached her sponsor employee and offered up a small teddy bear she had had most of her life. "No one has ever done something like this for me," she told him. "You have to take it because I want to thank you." Another child approached her KBRwyle sponsor with a first-place medal she had won. "This is the most valuable thing I have, but you are the winner for me today."
According to Baker, the employees' commitment to the community made the event a success.
"This event and contribution was possible due to our KBRwyle employees' deep commitment to being responsible citizens and neighbors and to better the community in which we live and work," said Baker.
As for the KBRwyle employees, the general feeling was that the gifts that were given went both ways. The opportunity to be a part of such a special event turned out to be a powerful and humbling experience that most will never forget.