Amber Poole Kieniewicz
A founding member of the Sichów Educational Foundation, Amber is undeniably the heart of the house. She is a natural caregiver who is ever-willing to attend to the needs of others. Her strength and leadership gave impetus to The Cross Border House when the Sichów Educational Foundation decided to suspend its program so that as many Ukrainians as the building could accommodate would be able to find safety and shelter here.
Funding for The Cross Border House has come exclusively from private donations, the majority of which have been generated from Amber’s War Diaries. The money raised has sustained the house and its residents since February. From these donations, we have been able to provide the basic provisions of food, shelter and clothing; cover the costs of medical and dental needs; purchase of materials, tools and equipment for the Art Gallery and Sewing Center; and ensure the children who are going to school have money for lunches and supplies, including a laptop for a teenager who is studying online. Just a small sample of the meaningful and consequential care that has been realized from the contributions of those inspired by her writing.
As a playwright, she has also shared her talents with the house in writing plays and fairy tales that are deeply enjoyed by everyone here. When not at her desk writing or visiting with the residents, Amber keeps our kitchen organized, making sure we are well-supplied. She sees that each resident has the proper accomodations in their rooms, and she shops for clothes and other essential items.
Amber’s intuitive understanding of other’s needs and how to both create and hold space for people cultivates an atmosphere of trust and reassurance amidst all of the uncertainty. This influence resonates throughout the entire house. Her devotion and unwavering adherence to her own particular philosophy of care defines the manner and ethos in which we are able to provide and serve the residents of The Cross Border House.