The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation
The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is a non-governmental, non-profit charity foundation that aims to improve the level of medical care in public hospitals in Poland. We achieve this goal by purchasing modern equipment for hospital wards and by running medical and educational programs. We raise the funds during the Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity - an annual, one-day public fundraiser and telethon event. Since our first Finale in 1993 we have purchased and donated medical equipment worth over 650 000 000 PLN.
- The Foundation has the status of public benefit organization. What does it mean?
- What do we do?
- What makes us proud?
- The Board of the Foundation
A public benefit organization...what does it mean?
On September 1, 2004 the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation was entered into the Central Register of Public Benefit Organizations.
The fact of having the status of a public benefit organization imposes obligations in the field of financial reporting, so that anyone interested can receive information about how the donated money is spent. Besides, it enables an organization to receive donations in the form of 1 percent of personal income tax.
The status of a public benefit organization has opened a few more possibilities for our donors:
Legal persons may deduct the full amount of a donation which does not exceed 10% of their total income (The Legal Persons’ Income Tax Act, article 18; Pol. Ustawa o podatku dochodowym osób prawnych).
Natural persons may deduct the full amount of donation which does not exceed 6% of their total yearly income (The Natural Persons’ Income Tax Act, article 26 section 5 clause 9; Pol. Ustawa o podatku dochodowym od osób fizycznych) by lowering their tax by 1 percent in their tax return (between January 1 and April 30). In other words, instead of giving this money to the state they can donate it to a public benefit organization.
What do we do?
The Foundation’s aim: Our aim is to work in the field of health protection by saving patients’ and especially young patients’ lives and supporting their treatment. Additionally, the Foundation promotes health and medical prevention.We focus on equipping paediatric and geriatric wards with state-of-the art medical devices.
We pursue this aim by buying the equipment for wards across the country. We also run six nationwide medical programmes and one educational program. The main means for funding is the yearly Grand Finale Fundraisers. We also raise money through internet auctions and online donations.
The yearly January Grand Finale fundraiser became synonymous with the GOCC activity. Heedless of the snow and the frost, thousands of our volunteers take to the streets of Poland to collect donations for a chosen aim. Each year, the Foundation chooses a theme – the aim we want to achieve. So far, we have collected money for:
- Child’s heart surgery;
- Saving children victims of accidents;
- Saving infants’ and youngest children’s life;
- Saving children with kidney problems;
- Saving children with inborn defects;
- Modern diagnostic tools and treatment in neonatology and paediatrics and other aims;
- Paediatric wards equipment and providing decent medical care for seniors.
Another initiative is the medical CPR for Schools Program, aimed at teaching first aid in primary schools.
To say thank you to all involved in our winter fundraiser, the GCOO Foundation organized a free rock music festival known as Woodstock Festival Poland.
What makes us proud?
We are the first to give a report about the money collected in the 1 percent of tax donation system!
We have used the money collected in the 1 percent of tax system in 2005 and 2006 to buy 220 semi-automatic defibrillators. They have been donated to various hospitals all over Poland!
Every year we give a detailed account on the money collected during the Grand Finale.
Nearly 650 000 000 PLN – this is how much we have spent on the medical devices which are now used in hospitals all around Poland.
We have bought over 36 thousand pieces of modern medical devices. This means that statistically speaking every day 4 GOCC devices are delivered to a Polish hospital. Sometimes we have to use a lorry to deliver the equipment!
100% of Polish infants are tested for hearing defects. Every child born in Poland is tested thanks to our equipment and program we instituted!
We have equipped 219 infant wards with 457 Infant Flow devices! It’s the best result in Europe!
We have established 18 retinopathy treatment centers with the aim to save infants' sight.
The youngest children have been given 2978 personal insulin pumps. Thanks to our work, Poland is the first country in the world where insulin pumps became so popular in treating child diabetes.
We have started a program for using personal insulin pumps in treating diabetes in pregnant women and so far we have provided them with 755 pumps.
From February 2005 the Foundation has been running first aid AED courses, which are based on the American Heart Association standards. So far, the courses have been attended by 5300 people!
Between 2001 and today we have taught the basics of first aid to 8500 people!
In 2004 we opened our volunteers’ center – the University of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity University in Szadowo-Młyn – to organize first aid training!
- There are almost 1500 Great Finale Collection Centers, and 120 thousand volunteers help us raise the money!
The National Bank of Poland appreciated our work by issuing two occasional coins in 2003, and the Polish Post Office issued two official post stamps in 2004 and 2005.
- As a thank you for everyone involved in the fundraiser, the Foundation organizes the biggest summer open-air music festival in Europe - Woodstock Festival Poland
The Board of the Foundation
There are four members of the GOCC Foundation Board. In 2002, the Foundation decided that the position of the Foundation’s President will be a tenured position for 2 years. The position can be held two subsequent terms; then a one-term-long break must follow before a candidate is reelected.
The Foundation’s President - Bohdan Maruszewski
The Foundation Board’s President - Jerzy Owsiak
The Foundation Board’s Vice-President - Piotr Burczyński
A Member of the Board - Lidia Niedźwiedzka - Owsiak