About The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC, in Polish: Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy – WOŚP) for our English speaking Friends 😀🇬🇧
„The Great Orchestra will continue playing until the end of the world and one day longer!”. This is a famous motto often repeated by Jerzy Owsiak the founder and leader of the The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC, Polish Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy – WOŚP).
GOCC is the is the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organization in Poland. It aims to support health care in Poland by purchase of state of the art medical equipment for Polish hospitals and clinics and by establishing and running six medical programmes and one educational programme.
The foundation supports paediatric and geriatric wards, furnishing them in both complex medical devices, such as MRI scanners, and providing long-term care units with anti-bedsore mattresses and beds.
Since April 2016 the GOCC ranks on the top of the list as the most trusted public entity according to Brand Asset Valuator and is the second strongest brand in Poland in the ranking compiled by Millward Brown and Young & Rubicam agency.
The name The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity was coined by Jerzy Owsiak in 1991. The charity has been officially founded in 1993 by Jerzy Owsiak and 3 other members. The main objective, at that time, was „Protecting Health and Saving Children’s Lives by Providing Medical Equipment to Public Hospitals”. During the first Finale (which was organized for the benefit of pediatric cardiac-surgery) in the same year, the Foundation collected a total of 1.535.440,68 USD! Subsequently, what was intended to be one-time fundraiser to aid Children’s Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw became an annual public fundraiser held across the country.
Every year, millions of people donate to the Foundation and throughout all Grand Finales, the Foundation collected hundreds if millions of dollars for cardiac-surgery, neonatology, paediatric oncology, kidney diseases, congenital disorders, newborns and children under 5 years of age who have been victims of accidents. According to a survey by Gazeta Wyborcza it is the most-trusted Polish organization.
The Grand Finale fundraiser takes place each year in January. The day-long public fundraiser is held in Poland and everywhere where there is an active Polish community. The public fundraiser is organised locally, by volunteer-run Collection Centres, and is accompanied by various events such as concerts, sporting competitions, and firework displays. A telethon, broadcast nationally, is held on the day as well. Volunteers, carrying branded collection boxes collect money across the country, and people donating money receive distinct red-heart stickers ❤️ in return. The funds are being raised during a public money collection, in online auctions, and personal and corporate donations.
Each Grand Finale has a specific medical objective, which is implemented by the foundation after consultations with medical professionals. This year the 31th Grand Finale Fundraiser will take place on Sunday, January 29th, 2023.
This year, as last one, we have founded GOCC Finale Headquarters in Prague, so that we can appeal not only to the Polish minority living in Czechia but hopefully to Czech people too. We have an online fundraiser called eSkarbonka where you can donate a voluntary amount of money for a great cause.
Please take a look at the short film below to find out more about the GOCC:
We play until the end of the world and one day longer! ❤️😀