The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation is best-known for donating equipment to Polish hospitals nationwide. We donated over 70,000 medical devices to public health facilities across the country.
The foundation initiated finances and helped run eight medical programmes. Our preventive initiatives aim to transform healthcare in Poland systematically. We want to introduce new solutions, revolutionary treatment methods and make systematic changes and improvements to the way children are treated in Poland. These medical initiatives address different needs of the Polish public healthcare system - from medical prevention diagnosis to treatment procedures and solutions.
Our projects and initatives
Nationwide Programme for New-born Hearing Screening
We launched this initiative in 2002. As a result, all children born in Poland have their hearing tested for free. The tests allow medical professionals to diagnose any hearing defects at a very early stage and take action as fast as possible. Detecting defects early will enable doctors to take action and ensure that the patient can develop at the same pace as their peers.
Nationwide Programme for Prevention and Treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity
We launched this initiative in 2001. This initiative aims to diagnose and treat retina defects in children who experienced premature birth. We donated cutting edge laser devices to specialized wards across the country.
Nationwide Programme for Non-invasive Respiratory Support of Newborns
We launched this initiative in 2003. Our goal is to lower the number of cases in which mechanical ventilation of premature babies and newborns is necessary. Mechanical ventilation often leads to severe pulmonary complications, whereas a non-invasive method does not require the infant to be intubated.
Nationwide Programme for Early Cancer Diagnosis in Children
We launched this initiative in 2009. This medical programme aims to create a nationwide system of early cancer diagnoses for young patients. To achieve this, we provided a sophisticated ONCOLAB with devices worth PLN 2,000,000. We have also purchased the first digital PET-CT scan machine for a paediatric centre in Poland for nearly PLN 16,000,000! An early cancer diagnosis is detrimental in establishing a successful treatment plan.
Nationwide Programme for Treating Limb Defects in Children
We launched this initiative in 2017. We want to ensure that children born with limb defects can access modern and effective treatment at Polish hospitals. We have equipped Specialist Orthopaedic Clinics in Poznań and Warsaw in Taylor Spatial Frames and Modular Rail System sets, among others.
Programme for Paediatric Rheumatic Diseases Diagnostics
We launched this initiative in 2019. This new initiative aims to equip Paediatric Rheumatology Centres with medical equipment, ensuring that all children access professional treatment and care. We have bought sophisticated ultrasound systems for Rheumatology Centres. We have also donated low-field MRI scanners to the three leading treatment centres. We also aim to raise awareness and educate parents and doctors about children’s rheumatic diseases symptoms and treatment.
Nationwide Programme for Personal Insulin Pump Treatment of Pregnant Women with Diabetes
We launched this initiative in 2004. We provide free personal insulin pumps to 38 clinics across the country so that women who have type one diabetes, who are trying for a baby or are already pregnant can rent them free of charge. Using personal insulin pumps helps manage blood sugar levels.
Nationwide Programme for Personal Insulin Pump Treatment of Children with Diabetes (terminated)
We terminated this programme in 2008 when a state-run medical programme replaced our initiative. Our charity purchased insulin pumps which gave children a chance for a simpler and more active life despite diabetes.
We supported the following branches of medicine:
Children's Cardiac Surgery
There are 9 specialised hospitals treating children with severe cardiac issues. Overall, on average, hospitals perform 2,730 congenital heart diseases surgeries annually, out of which 1,860 are performed using extracorporeal circulation techniques. Based on research and data, we can assume that there are nearly 2,800 babies born with congenital heart defects in Poland annually.
Developments in Polish children's cardiac surgery include surgeries on some of the most complex congenital heart defects such as HLHS, heart transplants, and circulation support using artificial heart chamber transplants.
The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation in the past 30 years of its activity has pledged a total amount of PLN 33,940,000 to support children's cardiac surgery and purchased over 638 devices.
The ECHSA Congenital Database
As of 2016, the GOCC Foundation have been financing the access to the ECHSA Congenital Database for 9 Polish cardiac surgery facilities. The database collects data on the outcomes of Congenital Heart Surgery procedures across Europe to make possible comparison of results and definition of mortality and morbidity, risk factors as well as targeting research activities. Currently, there are over 200,000 surgeries' description registered in the database. They were conducted in 287 different facilities in 82 countries.
Find out more about the ECHSA Congenital Database.
We launched a nationwide initiative to ensure that doctors and parents can diagnose cancer in children at the earliest possible stage:
- we equipped 80 children's cancer diagnosis centres nationwide in ultra-modern devices such as the most advanced ultrasonography machines,
- we provided oncology wards in leading paediatric hospitals in the country,
- in 2016 we supported the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity ONCOLAB - a specialized genetics lab in Łódź by donating equipment for almost PLN 2,500,000.
- in 2016 we bought two modern MRI scanners for children's hospitals in Warsaw and Lublin.
Each year around 1000 children are diagnosed with cancer in Poland. Early diagnosis allows doctors to take up action at the possibly most initial stage.
We decided to support grossly neglected and underfunded wards for elderly patients. Our charity bought 13,642 pieces of equipment for over PLN 99,000,000 – from some of the most basic pieces of furniture to complex medical devices.
We raised money in aid of neonatology during seven Grand Finales, each time focusing on different branches of neonatology such as, among others, neonatal surgery and treatment, and saving lives of prematurely born babies. In total, we have purchased 8,506 devices for over PLN 224,000,000.
We raised funds in aid of children with kidney defect during two editions of the Grand Finale fundraisers – in 2000 and in 2011. In total, we have purchased 1,034 devices for PLN 36.5 mln.
Children's and young people's mental health services
Alarmed by the conditions at the psychiatric facilities for children, we decided to use the money we raised in our 1% tax return charitable drive to provide immediate help for psychiatric wards. We raised PLN 8,729,830.43. We managed to donate equipment worth of PLN 4,300,000.
We have bought equipment and furniture for hospital wards across the country. 34 wards for children and young adults received the following:
- 798 hospital beds (equipped in mattresses and two sets of bed linen)
- 510 comfy seats for therapy rooms
37 wards for children and young adults received the following:
- 436 specialised psychological tests used to diagnose the youngest patients
Love Heals Initiative
One of the critical factors in a child's treatment and recovery is its emotional comfort, stability, and stress-free environment, and that's why parents, guardians and loved ones need to be present by the patient's bedsides. The Foundation's board committed to changing adverse conditions at paediatric wards and purchasing recliners, chairs, and fold-up beds to be used by parents staying by their children's bedsides.
So far, the Foundation has donated 5,395 recliners for parents.
We aim to support children's hospices as well as children's hospitals. For parents of children with serious health problems, hospices are places of hope, a source of invaluable help and support. Furthermore, we want to improve the patients' comfort working conditions of staff and support parents and guardians of the youngest patients.
Overall, we have donated 69 cars and 1,899 medical devices for almost PLN 13,000,000.
Volunteer Firefighters & Search & Rescue Units
Volunteer Firefighters and people volunteering at Search & Rescue Units are there when the local communities need their support the most. They help when disaster strikes, yet they often receive very little help from the state. So we decided to step in!
In 2005, we donated equipment worth PLN 543,656.29 to 70 Volunteer Firefighting Units
- emergency kits (79)
- orthopaedic stretchers with head immobilizers (14)
- scoop stretchers (11)
In 2006, we donated 26 pieces of equipment for PLN 1,038,261.98 to 5 National Firefighting Units
- sensor cameras (3)
- devices to locate people in rubble (4)
- TRX (2)
- systems used to stabilize buildings (1 lightweight set & 1 heavy set)
- emergency hydraulic set (1)
- hydraulic cylinders (1)
- heavy duty hydraulic cylinder set (1)
- electric saw to cut concrete
- electric power demolition hammer
- GPS sets (5)
- R1 paramedic set (5)
In 2010, as a result of a flood relief fundraiser we donated equipment worth PLN 2,745,766.70 to 444 firefighting units across the country
- floating water pump sets (200)
- sludge pumps (230)
- single-phase electric power generators (130)
- triple-phase electric power generators (15)
In 2017, we donated 264 pieces of equipment for PLN 1,500,000 to 178 Volunteer Firefighting Units
- paramedic sets (50)
- AED (56)
- orthopaedic stretchers (32)
- paediatric immobilizers (4)
- Kramer splints (21)
- CPR manikins (23)
- motor pumps (37)
- power generators (38)
- saws (23)
We decided to offer emergency support to the frontline medical staff at the very beginning of the pandemic in Poland. Overall, we donated medical equipment worth almost PLN 70 million, among others:
- 200 ICU beds
- 157 cardiac monitors
- 50,000 medical-grade masks N95/KN95
- 50,000 PPE sets
- 71 medical ventilators
- 75,000 face shields for paramedics
- 2,600,000 surgical masks
- 50,000 protective coveralls
- 7,000 litres of disinfectant liquid
- lab equipment for COVID-19 testing
- 43,000 COVID-19 tests
- 10,000 sports masks which can be used as multiuse protection masks
The equipment we received as a donation from manufacturers of medical equipment, among others:
- 30 volume infusion pumps
- machine for chest compressions
- 2 manual pulse-oximeters
- 25 ultrasonography machines
- 2,500 sport face masks, which can be used as medical protection shields
- 3 ECG sets with a module for remote result description panel
Ambulances for children's hospitals
Our charity donated 39 ambulances to hospitals across the country.
Emergency vehicles were donated to hospitals in:
- Dąbrowa Białostocka
- Drawsko Pomorskie
- Kostrzyn nad Odrą
- Ostrów Wielkopolski
- Ustrzyki Dolne