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Kimberly Bianchini-Scudellari: Helping others is in every one of us

She owns a successful real estate business and in the current situation has decided to help those in need. Julia, who fled Ukraine with her five-year-old son, described AMITY as a ‘god's gift’ and meeting her as an incredible help in a situation none of us could have imagined in 21st century Europe. Tanya's daughter, who fled the war with her mother and a nine-year-old twin, sees AMITY not only as a help but also an inspiration and wishes to help in the future as well. Meet Kimberly Bianchini-Scudellari and her NGO. 

How did you come up with the idea to start AMITY?

It wasn’t really a constructed decision, but more of spontaneous support my husband and I provided to a few families that grew over time to what AMITY is today. Once we understood how immense the need was, and how limited the opportunities were, we decided to offer all of our vacant flats, and secure other flats through our contacts in the real estate market. The number of flats grew pretty fast, so we decided to establish AMITY as a not-for-profit organization to expand our capacity to support more families in need.
Kimberly Bianchini-Scudellari

How does AMITY operate?

First we source a flat that meets the needs of the family, we handle all the legal and practical aspects of the leasing ourselves and provide the family with the flat free of charge, or at a reduced rent, for the first three to six months. After the housing is sorted, we are helping the families to settle in the Czech Republic in a way that enables them to be self-sufficient, including school placement, job placement, healthcare, and alike. All the apartments that we have secured, can be offered at affordable rent, once the families become self-sufficient.

How do you handle the legal and other challenges of such an aid?

We have all the functions that are found in any other business. The main difference is that in our case, it is done on a voluntary basis. AMITY is extremely fortunate to be working with a talented team of women, whose backgrounds encompass years of broad expertise from business to medical, education, career placement, law, and psychology fields. And running AMITY in a professional manner is our commitment to our donors, supporters and supported families, who put their trust in us.

How do you perceive the whole situation in Europe?

Europe has gone through lots of pain and misery in the 20th century. The 21st century started with a different tone and I did not expect to see a humanitarian crisis as we are experiencing now. I am encouraged, however, by the amazing support that both countries and individuals provide to those in need. I believe that helping others is in every one of us, otherwise, it is hard to explain the amazing reaction of people everywhere to the situation. Almost everyone I know is doing something for Ukraine.

How to support AMITY as a non-profit organization?

AMITY can be supported through monetary donations, property donations and corporate donations. People or companies can choose how their money is spent, or they can ask us to allocate it for them. We are always looking for new properties furnished or unfurnished and short or longer term. We take care of all the paperwork and guarantee that the property will be cared for. More details and ways to donate can be found on our website. After this war is over I plan to continue growing AMITY and offer help to women and children in our community that are in need, whose life relapsed for various misfortune reasons, and who need support to rebuild their lives.
Kimberly Bianchini-Scudellari is AMITY’s founder and chair. Her NGO benefits from Kimberly’s real estate expertise and network, acquired over years of real-estate management. She is a registered medical nurse in the USA. In 2011, she relocated to Europe and later joined AMRES, an asset management real estate company, which she owns together with her husband. This article was also published in Czech.
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