Only in the darkness can you see the stars. ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Whether you are up to date on global news, or just absorbing the energy of the people on this planet, you know that there is a lot of suffering happening right now. Don't we just wish that we could just stop the world and catch our breath? Too often we are prone to hearing about the awful, unjust, and brutal things happening in the world. However, buried, usually in the back pages of the media, are those stories that give us hope and prove that each of us can extend kindness to others. We have things to do in responding to the urgency of refugees' need for support from around the globe as well as the myriad of other challenges we face locally and internationally. Nothing we can do to help another is too small. In some cases, as with Maria Andrejczyk, one act of kindness spurs another act. Here is a story worth sharing: Maria Andrejczyk brought home the silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics. While she might have come in second at the games, what she did next was pure gold. Less than two weeks after ascending the winner's podium, Andrejczyk took an extraordinary leap of generosity, auctioning off her medal to raise funds.

Urgently needed funds, funds for Miłoszek Małys, an 8-month-old Polish boy in critical need of heart surgery. The athlete had never met Miloszek or his family. She learned of his struggles through social media. However, 25-year-old Andrejczyk, a cancer survivor herself, knew just how important obtaining timely medical intervention could be.

"Miloszek has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation," Andrejczyk posted to her Facebook page. "He also has support from above from Kubuś—a boy who did not make it on time, but wonderful people decided to donate his funds to Miłoszek. And this is how I want to help too. It is for him that I am auctioning off my Olympic silver medal." 

All told, it was estimated that costs for medical expenses plus travel from Poland to California's Stanford University, where the operation would be performed, would total 1.5 million Polish zlotys which is approximately $385,000. Half the sum already having been raised through online contributions, Andrejczyk hoped her medal would bring in the rest. The winning bid not only met but exceeded the original fundraising goals.

"We have the winner!" Andrejczyk posted. "On Friday I received this wonderful information, and due to the fact that you dears have already done wonders and joint forces have paid more than the equivalent of the initial medal to the Miłoszek account—I decided to end the auction so that our Miłoszek will receive the whole amount as soon as possible and can fly to the USA."

Sorry as she might have been to see her medal go, Andrejczyk was thrilled to know the profits from its sale were earmarked for a worthy cause. "The true value of a medal always remains in the heart," Andrejczyk said, as quoted by The Times of London. "A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives instead of collecting dust in a closet. That is why I decided to auction it to help sick children."

But it seems that the winning bidders, the Polish convenience store chain Zabka, had some big-hearted plans of their own. In honor of her winning ways both on the Olympic field and off, the company gifted Andrejczyk back her medal.

With warm regards,
Marilyn Turkovich

 This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 08/29/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe.