The aim of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is to save the lives of sick people, especially children as well as to improve their medical condition. But the 20th Grand Finale of the action proves that it’s not the only goal Jurek Owsiak set 20 years ago. I myself don’t remember any other time when people from all over the country are united in such a good cause.
What most people would say when asked about their first association with the Orchestra, is the January money collection called the Grand Finale By organising the Grand Finale money collections, the Orchestra can purchase high-quality, modern medical equipment for hospitals all over Poland, run five nation-wide medical programs and one educational program.
Heedless of snow (or, like this year, rain), thousands of volunteers, mostly teenagers, march the streets of Poland to collect donations for a given aim. Each year, the Foundation chooses a theme, and so this year it was:
‘Healthy mom, healthy newborn and healthy child – state-of-the-art medical equipment for newborns and insulin pumps for pregnant women with diabetes.’
How do people get involved? Most people show their support by donating money, taking part in charity auctions or charity runs, or becoming volunteers. That is how I got involved in the action. I became a school-coordinator, which means I was overseeing the work of volunteers from my school. Staying at one of the headquarters in Kraków was a new experience for me. It was my task to count the money brought by our volunteers. I eventually got back home in the middle of the night, happy and proud of all the volunteers. And again I felt sure it was not only about the money – it was about receiving help from people on streets, about private companies offering facilities to the volunteers, about sharing what we have with the others, all in all, about people’s kindness towards each other.
(Photos taken from www.infokrakow42.pl)