The Committee for the Blind of Poland was founded in 1946 by three sister who had recently immigrated to the United States. Having settled in New York City, Felicja, Aniela and Halina Lilpop decided to create an organization to help the School for the Blind, located in Laski, near Warsaw. The largest facility for blind children in the Western world, it was housed in old Austrian barracks with no proper school, dormitory, workshop, or medical facilities. The School was run by an order of nuns and was a private institution with some public funding.
The Committee originally raised money to aid the Laski school, and eventually to construct new buildings on the sprawling and lovely Laski campus. Over the course of the next forty years, the Committee funded the construction of over 17 buildings, including dormitories, school buildings, a small hospital, workshops and guest houses.
Over time, the Committee expanded its range from Laski to the construction of other facilities elsewhere in Poland for the elderly blind, for rehabilitation of blind children, and a rest home for elderly blind women. The Committee was also instrumental in providing training for teachers of the blind in Western methods, for the creation of a scanner that reads books aloud to students, provision of new supplies and training materials to various institutions, and its latest set of programs described on the “Our Programs” page.
As Poland has become wealthier, and other aid monies and funding from the west has arrived in greater quantities, the Committee has decided to focus on providing seed funding for new, innovative programs that might not otherwise get funded. Its latest set of programs are described on “Our Programs” page and are an exciting
Funds are collected by annual appeals to a largely Polish-American mailing list in the United States and then sent to Poland. We have also established a small endowment that also funds efforts. We are run by volunteers and our expenses are less than 10% of our budget.