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Olivia Talks. Helpful energy – about the joy of sharing the most precious things

In July 2017, Energa Group established Kropelka Energii Foundation – the blood donation organisation, which meets the needs for saving life and health. Because blood saves life. Kropelka Energii Foundation developed from an informal, blood donation action initiated by employees, which originators were Tomasz Rubanowicz and Piotr Krysiński. Thanks to their passion and involvement, Energa Group’s employees and their friends collected more than 850 litres of blood, from which 244 litres were obtained in 2016. We would like to encourage you to read another part of “Olivia's conversations” series, in which Monika Bogdanowicz presents the creators of “Drop of Life” social initiative, who prove how much strength lies in integration of communities and the will to help people who need our support.

Monika Bogdanowicz (Olivia Business Centre Communication): Since when has the matter of voluntary blood donation been present in your lives?

Tomasz Rubanowicz: I started to donate blood in high school, as soon as I turned 18 and fulfilled the minimum condition to become a Donor. One day, after my classes, I encouraged my pals to come with me to the point of blood collection. I just wanted to obtain essential information, but ultimately I donated blood. It was so well organised that I didn’t even have time to think of it and suddenly I was sitting in the chair and my blood was flowing into a bag. After fifteen years and more than 20 litres of donated blood, I have very fond memories of that moment. It determined the social side of my life.

Piotr Krysiński: Since 2001. It was my first donation after 20 years of being afraid of needles. After satisfaction there came a reflection:  why did I postpone this decision for so long? Until today, I have donated blood 34 times, what in my case gives 15.1 litres of blood.

Monika Bogdanowicz: Why did you decide to promote the idea of voluntary blood donation?

Tomasz Rubanowicz: Voluntary blood donation is, in a sense, the lifestyle, which also requires a certain physical preparation. They say that after donating blood your organism feels as if it ran a 42-kilometre marathon, which requires many hours to be finished, in 5-6 minutes. It is very impressive for me. Voluntary Blood Donor has to take care of himself/herself and when you are healthy, then you have a lot of positive energy, which is worth releasing to spread the idea of helping other people. In any case, a good model of satisfying life is worth recommending to everyone. Most of all, blood donation restores honour in people and that’s beautiful.

Piotr Krysiński: Overcoming my fear of needles, which was present in my life for a very long time, and the feeling of wasting my time motivated me to catch up and encourage other people. Initially, I donated blood after work. But during one donation, a woman who drew my blood asked me why I didn’t come before noon. Then, my blood could be donated for children, because blood for them needs more time to be processed. I felt like a super donor because only blood with very good parameters is processed this way.

Monika Bogdanowicz: What did the beginning of your informal activities within organising blood donations look like in your working environment? 

Tomasz Rubanowicz: When I was employed in the company, I started to search for an Honorary Blood Donors Club in Energa Group’s structures. It wasn’t easy because the company is big and has many locations in Poland. In this way, I was directed to Piotr Krysiński, who was known for engaging his colleagues in joint trips to the Regional Centre for Blood Donation and Haemotherapy. We talked, took up the challenge and organised our first mobile blood donation campaign, however we were worried, that there may not be enough people willing to take part (minimum 20 people). But there came more people than the ambulance could accommodate. The situation looks like that to this day and we do our best to make all participants satisfied. Together with Donors and Friends we are developing this beautiful idea of helping people on the basis of Blood Bank’s needs. 

Piotr Krysiński: After a successful donation, you receive chocolates in a decorative box with some words of gratitude for donating blood. Taking it to work to show and hand it round was a good example of promoting blood donation. After obtaining the consent from my supervisors, I started to organise trips to a nearby Regional Centre for Blood Donation and Haemotherapy during working hours. A group of employees, who were coming back with chocolates was greeted with recognition and enthusiasm. You could feel this positive energy!

Monika BogdanowiczHow do you manage to balance your voluntary activities and work? What is the biggest challenge and what gives the biggest satisfaction while combining these two activities?

Tomasz Rubanowicz: Aw, the beginning was difficult. Piotr had to take some days off and I had to work overtime to be able to completely devote to the action, which could last up to 7 hours. It would be much easier, if the labour code gave every employer tools to second their employees for the purpose of corporate volunteering. Running such a foundation as Kropelka Energii, we feel very obliged towards each of our Donors and Partners of the action who trusted us and support us in different ways. We devote our private time after working hours within an unlimited scope to develop the Foundation. This is social work, but it requires high quality while managing many aspects, according to project standards, like in an ordinary enterprise. The biggest organisational challenge is reaching potential Donors with our announcements about the action. Without the help of Olivia Business Centre, there would not be so many participants.

Monika Bogdanowicz: What gives you the greatest satisfaction while developing the campaign?

Tomasz Rubanowicz: A huge number of satisfied Donors who wave their boxes full of chocolate is our greatest satisfaction (laughter). We feel satisfied also when we see smile on the face of campaign’s participant, when he or she leaves the ambulance after donating blood and says that he or she would like to repeat it! We feel satisfied also when someone thanks us in a casual way for our help while collecting blood. After such human gestures, our own batteries are loaded and we are very motivated to organise another campaign.

Monika Bogdanowicz: What was the influence of project’s presence within the community of Olivia Business Centre on the development of “Kropelka Energii” initiative and the litres of blood collected?

Tomasz Rubanowicz: The influence was crucial because from the very beginning our campaigns have been gathering more and more participants in a natural way, as together with the development of OBC complex. People who were responsible for management understood at that time our initiative and got completely involved. They provided parking places for ambulances and gave access to electricity infrastructure in case of back-up power supply, provided tables and chairs, as well as security, which was overseeing participants’ safety.

Monika Bogdanowicz: For you, 2017 comes to an end together with creating a new chapter in the history of your efforts connected with the idea of blood collection. “Kropelka Energii” Foundation was established and it inaugurated its public activity during a gala in Olivia Sky Club.  What are your new goals in the upcoming year?

Tomasz Rubanowicz: From the very beginning we have had many ideas for the development of Kropelka Energii. Primarily, we draw inspiration from our Donors, who share with us their comments on a regular basis and we implement them. This is the best cooperation because we are not forcing things. Thanks to that, many Donors and Friends are involved in the development of Kropelka Energii. This year, we reached the point, when we had to make a final decision whether we were establishing the foundation or not. Today we can say that it was one of the best ideas. On December 6, 2017 in Olivia Sky Club, we had an opportunity to present many of our activities and, above all, solemnly thank all Donors for donating blood and award them with the Badges of Honoured Voluntary Blood Donor of the Polish Red Cross. About 50 persons participated in the meeting. We would like to thank all Donors for their support and such a commitment to the idea. This is a great help in saving health and lives of many people every day.

In the New Year, we would like to exceed 1000 litres of blood. This is an ambitious plan, that is why we will increase the number of campaigns up to six. Currently, we are agreeing upon dates with the Regional Centre for Blood Donation and Haemotherapy, which will be published on our social profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can obtain additional information sending an e-mail to: ekropelka@energa.pl

See you during the next blood donation campaigns, which will take place in 2018!

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Tomasz Rubanowicz – he graduated from the Military University of Technology in Warsaw (2006), the faculty of Mechatronics. He completed Postgraduate Studies within the scope of managing innovative projects at the University of Gdańsk. Currently, he is the employee of Energa Group, where he fulfils his professional goals within the scope of wholesale trading of electric power generated also in Renewable Energy Sources. For several years he was also carrying out scientific research at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Automatics at the Gdańsk University of Technology within the scope of predictions of wind farms’ generation capacity. He is the author of many publications in this field. The following issues belong to the area of his scientific, research and professional interests: the application of the methods of artificial intelligence to predict the dynamics of generating renewable energy sources, the market of electric power and fuel gas, technology of offshore wind energy. For more than 15 years, he has been socially active in many initiatives and recently he has been engaged in the project of the development of Kropelka Energii Foundation.

Piotr Krysiński – born in 1963, he graduated (in 1989) from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Gdańsk University of Technology, specialisation: Electrical Devices and Machines. He has been connected with power industry since 1996, he started his professional activity in Gdańsk Electricity Board, currently he is an employee of Energa Group. Interests: travelling, technology, DIY. Since 2001, he has been an active blood donor, exponent and organiser of Kropelka Club in ELNORD SA.

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Some words about Kropelka Energii

During its five-year activity, Kropelka Energii managed to collect more than 850 litres of blood. The project was brought to life by Piotr Krysiński and Tomasz Rubanowicz, Energa Group’s employees. It is more than 1900 donations – 450 ml each – given during 20 campaigns with ambulances organised within Olivia Business Centre in Gdańsk. On average, 140 donors take part in them, including about 20 of them who donate blood for the first time. The number of willing people who decide to share their priceless gift is continually increasing. In 2017, in 5 collections organised by “Kropelka Energii”, there took part 735 people and donated 273.1 litres of blood (including 464 men and 143 women). It gives 66 more people and 29.7 more litres of blood than in 2016. Collected blood went to hospitals for operations and transfusions for patients suffering from cancer.

Kropelka Energii in numbers:

  • 20 – this is the number of collections with the use of ambulances of the Regional Centre for Blood Donation and Haemotherapy which have been organised since 2012
  • 47 – this is the number of people transported by Energa Group with the use of electric cars to the Military Centre for Blood Donation and Haemotherapy
  • 490 – this is the number of women who have donated blood in all campaigns
  • 867 – this is the number of blood litres which “Kropelka Energii” has collected from the beginning of its activity
  • 887 – this is the number of people who permanently cooperate with the foundation
  • 1438 – this is the number of men who have donated blood in all campaigns
  • 1928 – this is the number of donations 450 ml each
  • 2550 – this is the number of participants so far

Inaugural Gala of Kropelka Energii Foundation