Jurek Owsiak became a Knight of the Order of the Smile. The medal is awarded in recognition of his life-long commitment to improving conditions in paediatric medicine and his vocal support of children's rights.
Statement on new fundraising regulations
The most prominent charitable organizations in Poland have come together to express their opposition to the proposed changes to the fundraising regulations, which have been put forward by the Ministry of Interior and Administration.
The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity has co-signed a joint statement, issued by a coalition of 30 major NGOs working in Poland. The changes which are to be introduced by the Ministry might hinder and limit the work of charitable organizations nationwide because this new law could put a cap on public charitable collection initiatives. The Grand Finale charitable collection, which is by far the largest and most successful public charitable collection might be deemed illegal and the permission to hold the fundraiser might be withheld based on the decision of one person only. According to the new laws, the Minister of the Interior and Administration - a career politician - decides which charities are eligible to get the permission to hold the public fundraiser. We conclude that this law might become a tool of political rivalry. What is more, the Minister can also declare that the government can take over the money raised by the charity. If the Minister declares that the aim of the fundraiser is illegal and thus, the state can take over the funds raised during the charitable collection. It is a clear that the new laws, which will replace the acts regulating charity activity in Poland, are meant to hinder the work of charitable organizations. The existing laws have been established after consultations with Polish charities and the representatives from different NGOs declare that the changes to the laws are entirely unnecessary and even seem to be aimed against certain charitable organizations, such as the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in particular.
The Grand Finale is a celebration of charitable activity and mutual trust between the charity and the public. Our organization has raised well over 825 million PLN and purchased thousands of pieces of medical equipment for Polish hospitals. We enjoy the support of 120 thousand volunteers and countless individuals and corporate partners. Our fundraiser is something all Poles can be proud of, and especially now when the international community is filled with negative opinions about our country. Grand Finale fundraiser is "made in Poland" and this grassroots initiative introduces the world to the positive, fun-loving and socially engaged Polish community. It now seems that the politicians are working to hinder the activities of our charity. We firmly believe that charitable organizations are a force for good and are a force of transformation - building a true community and creating the basis of civil society in the country.
We announce the results of our 26th Grand Finale fundraiser on March the 8th. This fundraiser has been held in aid of neonatological medicine - we raised money to ensure that all babies born in Poland have equal access to medical care.
In the light of the recent events, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation made a decision to expand the programme providing rehabilitation equipment for disabled people. The charity will increase the sum and scope of its activity in the area of personal help.
On Sunday 9th of September at the stadium next to the Łazienkowska Street in Warsaw, one more time teams of TVN and the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity are going to meet.