The Orphans’ Aid Society (OAS) was established in 1992 as a New York State, not-for-profit corporation. OAS was founded by Mrs. Mary Jowyk and several dedicated friends and volunteers from Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Mrs. Jowyk continues to serve as President of the Society to this day. Because OAS is an all-volunteer organization, with no payroll costs, it allocates almost all of its receipts directly to charitable services. All stipends from sponsors go entirely to the orphans. Our nominal administrative costs are funded separately out of the generosity of OAS donors and supporters.
The society supports orphans and half orphans residing in caring, loving households throughout the 24 Ukrainian provinces through a central office in Kyiv and 24 chapters. OAS has been granted 501(c)(3) IRS tax status making all contributions to the Society tax exempt and tax-deductible.
WHAT WE DO
Although many worthy organizations raise funds for impoverished children all over the world, most seem to focus on the “third world” and have overlooked the unfortunate children of Ukraine.
To remedy this circumstance, through a variety of activities and programs OAS provides material and moral support for Ukrainian orphans and half orphans up to 18 years of age. For those orphans pursuing their education in institutions of higher learning stipend assistance can be maintained.
OAS focuses on children outside of state funded institutions. It is our belief that a family environment is more conducive to a child’s development than that of an institution. Hence our approach of providing direct financial assistance to guardians and relatives of orphans who might otherwise not be able to support an orphaned child.
HOW WE DO IT
Over the years OAS has painstakingly put together a Ukrainian field structure of tested integrity and effectiveness. Our field coordinatorsare responsible for monitoring the distribution and use of OAS provided resources and for ensuring orphan eligibility.
In addition to maintaining records of signed receipts for funds, field coordinators make unannounced visits to orphan homes to conduct random reviews.
Upon receipt of the sponsor’s funds the orphan is encouraged to write a short letter to the sponsor acknowledging receipt and providing information on his or her well being. OAS provides for English language translations of these letters as necessary.
The costs of administering this delivery system are covered by generous donations we raise separately from orphan sponsorships. We can thus assure our sponsors that the entire sum of their stipends are delivered to their orphan. The administrative burden of the program is borne by hundreds of individual and institutional donors who have valued our activities throughout the years. Working entirely with volunteers in the U.S. we have been able to keep our administrative and fundraising costs well below 10% of total program expenses every year since inception of OAS.
The Society is managed by a 5 member Board of Directors elected for 3 year terms. The terms of office are staggered to provide continuity. Board members are elected at the annual membership meeting. The Board in turn appoints the Officers of the organization and provides policy direction and oversight.
In addition, an Advisory Board consisting of former Board members and supporters of OAS, provides such services as may from time to time be desired by the Board.
Mrs. Mary Jowyk, Founder of the organization, served as President of OAS from its founding to her passing.
OAS Board of Directors
Victor Czartorysky, Chairman
Mike Pawluk, Vice Chairman / Secretary
Irena Kucyj, Administrative Manager
Irene Jadlickyj, Registrar
HOW YOUR GIFTS HELP SAVE UKRAINIAN CHILDREN
OAS relies primarily on the support of its “sponsors” who contribute $20 per month to eligible orphans. Once orphans and sponsors are brought together, OAS distributes sponsor allotments and monitors their proper use.
In addition to sponsor support, OAS provides emergency assistance to orphans and their guardians, sends parcels, provides medical assistance, has organized summer camps and maintains an ongoing program of Ukrainian religious, cultural, and language education.
Fostering the growth of good citizenship and appreciation for Ukrainian culture, heritage, language, religious values, and national aspirations is an important goal of the Society’s program and these factors play a role in the selection of orphans and in continued maintenance of OAS support. Our field coordinators provide oversight in their on site visits to make sure the guardians provide an environment that is consistent with our goals.