I need home care, but I have low pension - will it cost me anything? Can I turn to the Caritas even when I am not a member of the church? I am in debt, can Caritas give me a loan to pay my debt off? I want to help, but not financially, is it possible? You can find answers to the most frequent questions below. If you need to solve a more difficult problem, turn to the nearest Caritas office, where they can help you. Contacts can be found in the same section.
Where and whom does the Caritas Czech Republic help?
We help people at their homes (through home care, hospice care or day care) and also in our facilities. All over the country we provide care in homes for the elderly or handicapped people, reception centers, halfway houses, maternity or low-threshold centers, hospices, sheltered workshops, cooking facilities, social counselling and other facilities.
People, who are not able to help themselves, due to illness, old age, handicap, debt trap, poverty etc.; we help them to name the problem and offer a way to its solution. Caritas workers are expertly trained and are familiar with the field they work in – the specific locality and also the common problems in specific age or social groups and practical solutions to their problems.
Can truly anyone turn to the Caritas?
We offer help regardless of age, race, nationality, religion, citizenship or political affiliation. We do not judge anyone – we only evaluate the circumstances, in order to find the best solution to the individual’s problems and difficulties.
Where and how can I find immediate help for a specific person?
On this website you will find a directory of services, which is a database with information about types of help in the Caritas networks. You may find a facility, which will provide immediate help and service for a specific person in need according to their life situation and problem. Another solution is a personal visit of the nearest Caritas, where you will surely receive advice.
How much will it cost?
Caritas provides some services free of charge, for example expert counselling, other services - usually - for a token fee. Caritas is a strictly non-profit organization, it obtains money from donations or grants, in some cases the services are covered by the health insurance or public resources. You may find, what is necessary to pay in specific facilities in the section How we help under the link Explanation of terms.
Do you provide services anonymously, thus without showing one’s identity card?
With most provided services we need to know the identity of the client to be in accordance with the law, but in some cases we help anonymously - for example homeless people, drug addicts and so on. Such clients may choose a nickname for our communication. Personal data of all clients are protected by the Caritas according to applicable legislation. We also respect rights and dignity of each client.
Does the Caritas give people in need cash, possibly a loan?
People do not receive money or loans in the Caritas, but in cases of real emergency they can obtain food, wash themselves, get clean clothes or sleep by us. They can obviously also receive support and advice, how to move further.
How is the Caritas connected with the church?
We offer help to all people in need, without taking their religious beliefs into consideration. Caritas is based on the christian principles of help and solidarity. It approaches everyone with respect.
Individual archdiocesan and diocesan Caritas are established by respective diocese (Greek Catholic Caritas is established by Apostolic Exarchate). However, the funding is separated from the Catholic Church.
How can I help?
You may help with a financial donation (one-time or regular), or you can dedicate your time and become a volunteer, or you can donate for example warm clothes and so on. You may find details in the section Support Us.
I have donated money to the Caritas and I want to know, for what are they going to be used?
Caritas has three Collection and two donation accounts. Collection accounts are for the help at home, help abroad and for the Three Kings’ Collection. If you send money to one of them (variable symbol specifies, whom or where you want to help - mothers with children in asylum centers, elderly in the Czech Republic or people in need in Georgia); 95% will be used for the purpose of the collection and remaining 5% will be used for covering the costs connected with the administration of the collection in accordance with the law.
Donation to the so called donation account will be used for covering of the expenses in specific fields of our activity (for example for advocacy activities).
How does the Caritas handle the money collected in the Collections?
Each public collection has specific purpose – we organize for example the Three Kings’ Collection, or occasional humanitarian collections for countries affected by natural disasters and so on. Caritas Czech Republic then submits the statement for checking to the Prague City Hall and the money is used in accordance with the law on public collections for the purpose, for which they were established.
Do you issue a certificate of donation?
Yes, the certificate of donation is a matter-of-course. Summarized confirmation about all donation in the past tax period are automatically issued and sent out by the end of January of the next year to all donors, from whom we have received basic information (name, surname, address of permanent residence and ideally also e-mail address, to which we will send the certificate in the PDF format). If we do not have the e-mail address, we will send the certificate of donation by mail.
We issue the certificate of donation also by request any time during the year. If you want to receive the certificate of donation during the year, or if you are not sure, whether we have all of the necessary information, contact us on the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. Natural person may subtract the value of the donation from the tax base, if their total value in the calendar year exceeds 2% from the tax base or amounts to at least CZK 1,000 (but we will issue a certificate of donation even for lower donations, since the subtraction from the tax base may be done by adding up all donations to various organizations). Maximum of 15% may be subtracted in total from the tax base; this is not valid for the tax periods in the calendar years 2020 and 2021, in those a maximum of 30% may be subtracted from the tax base (see paragraph 15, subsection 1 of the Act 586/1992 Sb. on Income Taxes).
Caritas Czech Republic issues certificates only for the donations transfered to the 3 collection or 2 donation accounts, which we administer. If you have donated money to a specific local Caritas during the year, turn to the specific Caritas for the certificate.
Why should I be helping with you specifically?
Caritas Czech Republic is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in the Czech Republic, at the same time we are the largest non-governmental provider of social and health care services. Every year we help almost 150 thousand people in danger or need. We have hundred years of work and experience behind us, we have a dense network of facilities, we have credit by people, whom we help, as well as by governmental institutions, municipalities, and so on. We are professionals and our help is effective.
Do you help more abroad or at home?
We work mainly in the Czech Republic - the scope of the help at home compared with the help abroad concerning money flow is roughly 20:1. We help more at home than abroad, since our workers, volunteers and supporters live in this country, they have a direct relationship and responsibility towards their relatives - and also because we provide many services through the regions based on the order of the government. Help abroad, for which the Caritas has a special team of professionals, we pay mainly from the national, european or worldwide grant programs, which we strive to gain. We help there, where we are familiar with the field and where it is, in our opinion, most needed.
Do you help the migrants?
Caritas helps all foreigners in need living in our country, those who live here and mostly work here. We mainly provide them with information about how to obtain the resident permit, about the health care system and social security. We also help them with finding accommodation, work position and education (especially through language courses). We provide for example over-the-phone counselling in Vietnamese, Mongolian and Ukrainian. We put emphasis on the integration of foreigners into our society. Archdiocesan Caritas Prague established counselling for migrants and refugees on the address Londýnská 44, Prague 2, phone +420 224 813 418.
I am a student and do not have much money, but I would like to help someone in need. I remember my grandmother, to whom I used to read, when her eyesight was poor, or I just talked with her, when she felt unwell. Is it possible to do something similar through the Caritas? I am not asking about a job position, only for occasional help in my free time...
If you want to donate your free time for example to the elderly, we recommend contacting the closest Caritas (it does not matter if diocesan, or parish), where they will provide most information. You may also want to do something you are good at for the Caritas - for example translating, promotional materials, administration... There are many possibilities and if you do not choose anything in the place of your residence, please contact the secretariat of the Caritas Czech Republic, where you can discuss this matter.
I have clothes, furniture etc., and I do not want to throw it out, I want to donate it, what can I do? What will be of any use and what definitely not? Where to put it?
The recommendation depends on where you are from. The best decision is to find the closest Caritas and ask, if they need specific help. Clothes are welcome in so called Caritas wardrobes, there are also collecting containers (apart from the Caritas ones also those from Diakonie Broumov). When it comes to the furniture, again, it depends on the need of a specific Caritas - kids beds etc. might be useful for asylum centers for mothers with children. Unfortunately, we do not provide transport.
Two homeless men are sleeping nearby, I think they need help. What can I do for them, apart from giving them money or something to eat?
Try giving them contact for the nearest Caritas, which provides social counselling; address and the phone number may be found in the directory. Apart from immediate help such as warm food or shower, clean clothes and rest, the trained social workers will advise them for example how to obtain lost identification, if they can sleep over at a hostel or acquire accommodation in one of the asylum houses etc. Homeless people often go to big cities, especially to Prague, where it is possible to direct those in need to the social counselling of the Archdiocesan Caritas Prague in the street Pernerova 20, there is also an asylum house and other services.
I am celebrating a jubilee and I have decided to tell everyone to not buy me useless gifts, and rather support some good cause. What would you recommend?
Forward them to our website Support Us, where they can choose their form of help (it is possible to donate to our account or send a donor SMS), if they prefer helping those in need in the Czech Republic or abroad - according to a specific reference number they may support for example a reception center for mothers with children, or development aid in Mongolia.
An old lady is living next door and she has problems with walking. Sometimes I bring her groceries, but I have a feeling that she might need more, maybe lunches. What can I do for her, or where can I turn to? Can we possibly manage this on our own?
Try contacting nearest Caritas, which provides social advisory center; address and phone number may be found in the directory. They will know, how the possible social benefits work, if they can provide home social care or home health care etc. It depends, where you are from, therefore it is best to consult it with the Caritas in the place of your residence.
Husband’s ninety-five year old father lives with us, we take turns by him, but we need help. What are the options?
Caritas may provide home health care, and also social care including advisory services concerning possible social benefits etc. There are also day-care centers or so called respite care centers, where the elderly may spend time necessary for your recuperation and holidays. It depends, where you are from - we recommend contacting the nearest Caritas and obtain information there. The contacts may be found in the directory.
My friend with two small children was kicked out by her partner, with whom she lived, on the street. Now she lives with me, but she may not stay permanently. What can she do?
It depends where you are from, but definitely contact nearest Caritas social advisory center. They will be able to advise her not only on solving her acute social situation, but they may also provide psychological help etc. If the situation requires this, she may also turn to the advisory center project of Archdiocesan Caritas Prague called Magdala, which works as a coordination center in the entire Caritas network and offers crisis as well as complex follow-up help for domestic violence, human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution victims etc.
My children would like to become Three Kings’ carollers, where can they sign up?
Definitely contact the nearest parish Caritas, where they will advise you and provide all necessary information. You may also look at the website of the Three Kings’ Collection
I heard that some homeless people in Prague would like to come back home, but do not have money for the travel. It is a common reason, which many people use to lure money from the passers-by, but what if someone truly has such problem?
In such cases, it is possible to contact a social advisory center of Archdiocesan Caritas Prague in the district Karlín, where they will provide a person in need a so called credit ticket. More information may be obtained directly in the social advisory center.