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.
What a year it's been!
The beginning of the new year is a great time to look back at the previous year and remember all the successes and challenges we faced and new friends we have made (if it's you - thank you!) We are so proud you have been a part of our story this year and hopefully you will be with us in the coming year!
Each dream we grasp and each venture we are successful is thanks to you. You are the driving force behind the charitable machine of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. We are proud to be creating the history of Polish non-governmental organization together with 120 000 volunteers and countless supporters of our work.
Let's take a walk down the memory lane to see what we wondered, laughed, and cared about in 2018...
We teach young heroes
Saved lives are the effect of 12 years of tireless work of the Foundation and teachers who take part in free CPR and first aid training courses. The result? 3 000 000 children now know how to administer CPR and basic first aid. In 2018 alone, we have met and trained 900 teachers from 384 public schools, which received 88 912 books, 606 manikins.
However, the most important are children who, when faced with an emergency, decided to take up action to help others. Congratulations to 10-year-old Gabrysia Szeliga from Szydłowiec, who kept her cool and saved her family from fire after a gas cannister eruption. Gabrysia's class took part in the free CPR and first aid led by a teacher who attended our training. Aleksander Jastrzębski, who is Gabrysia's older schoolmate was the first bystander to spring to action to help a driver crushed by a truck.
Of course, we all remember Maurycy. The 12-year old fan of emergency services came to the aid of an elderly man, who collapsed. The boy took part in the extra-curricular lessons, where he learned the basics of CPR and first aid. He is also a volunteer.
These children change the world for the better - thanks to your support and commitment we can continue with our work!
We set new records!
Each time we ask you for help - you come through. Your support and commitment make the impossible - possible! We can proudly say that we can "play" the loudest and create the biggest events in the country - and sometimes - in Europe.
The beginning of 2018 was traditionally marked with our annual Grand Finale charitable fundraiser. In March we were able to announce that we have raised 126 373 804. 34 PLN! We have also received the largest single donation amount in our charity - 7 000 000 PLN from mBank.
In October we commemorated European Restart a Heart Day together with 105 902 people who took part in a simultaneous CPR session. We have surpassed the number of participants from 2017 by over 20 000 people! Well done to all of you!
We have held our 51st Open Tender in November. Thanks to careful negotiations we were able to buy 2 816 sophisticated devices worth 65 000 000 PLN, but we actually spent 45 542 821. 31 PLN. The money we have saved - 20 000 000 PLN will go towards equipping women's cancer clinics.
2018 was a year of big medical purchases - we have held two Open Tenders and bought equipment and furniture for pediatric wards across the country.
Let's not forget about four ambulances we donated to public hospitals in the country. All in all, these emergency vehicles were worth over 2 600 000 PLN!
As always, in 2018 our top priority was improving the conditions at Polish hospitals.
The most important award we received this year - is your trust and commitment to improving the world and your selfless work. However, we have been honoured to receive different accolades this year: for our charitable initiatives and for our PR achievements. However, without your support and trust these awards, such as the European Citizen's Prize or Effie Awards would be out of our reach.
The Most Beautiful Festival in the World keeps playing
The festival which is the stronghold of tolerance, understanding and mutual respect. We work tirelessly to make it open for everyone - not only because it is the biggest non-commercial music festival in Europe, but also we want to make it more accessible to people with disabilities.
For the first time in the history of Pol'and'Rock Festival, we constructed a platform which allowed wheelchair users to enjoy a great view of the Main Stage. We have introduced sign language interpretation at all meetings at the Academy of the finest of Arts. Deaf festival-goers could rent bone-conduction backpacks so that they could feel the music and experience the festival to the fullest.
We believe that music should not have any barriers - let it flow freely and transform our hearts and minds...
Jurek Owsiak, the chairman and the creator of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation, picked up the European Citizen's Prize on behalf of the entire Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation.
As the biggest charitable initiative in Poland draws near a lot of you will be wondering how to play your part in the Grand Finale fundraiser. Read on to find out how to establish a Collection Centre and hold your local fundraiser in aid of our common goal!