POWIDZ, Poland –
Sgt. Minkyu Kim is always on the go.
Kim is the supply sergeant for the mayor cell at Powidz Air Base, in Powidz, Poland, and his unit, the 652nd Regional Support Group out of Helena, Montana, manages base operations for hundreds of U.S. Soldiers stationed in Poland.
Lately, Kim has been coordinating the movement of more than 100 new mattress and bed frames onto the base at Powidz, and many more old mattresses to a storage facility on base. Kim didn’t mind helping to move all these mattresses, though, with good reason – the new mattresses provided a more comfortable bed for Soldiers on base, and the old ones provided the same for some of Poland’s citizens in need.
“At first we were looking at turning the mattresses in, but instead of wasting them, I thought since we’re here to help the Polish military and community, maybe we could try to find a place to donate them,” Kim said.
Kim talked about the idea with Hubert Werner, one of the Polish linguists serving with the 652nd’s mayor cell team on Powidz.
“We wanted to do a good deed for the local community and make a contribution to Polish society to help Polish people in need – single mothers who may not be able to afford a mattress, homeless people and people like that,” Werner said.
Werner said he was familiar with organizations like One World, but was able to locate the non-governmental organization Stowarzyszenie Monar to specifically help local Polish citizens. On Jan. 16, representatives from Monar brought a van to Powidz where they loaded up the first batch of 28 mattresses, with more trips to be scheduled in the future.
“They are one of the oldest and biggest NGOs functioning in Poland,” Werner said.
Chief Warrant Officer Alexander Reynolds, the property book officer for the 652nd and all of Poland, was able to coordinate through the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services to acquire some newer mattresses. The mattresses are newer and thicker than the mattresses that were previously at the Powidz base. This left a large amount of the old mattresses available.
Both Kim and Werner said being able to participate in the project has been important to them.
“The project is important to me because I can contribute to the local community, support people in need as well as the U.S. Army in improving relations with the local community,” Werner said.
“I’m glad I can help – even in the States there are people without homes, or any furniture, so just knowing this will give people here something to sleep on, I look forward to continuing being able to help,” Kim said.