The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organization in Poland and for the past 29 years has been raising money for pediatric and elderly care. Holding the American Heart Association certification, the GOCC aims to support health care in Poland by purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment for Polish hospitals and clinics and by establishing and running six medical programs and an educational one. The foundation supports pediatric and geriatric wards, furnishing them in both complex medical devices, such as MRI scanners, and providing long-term care units with anti-bedsore mattresses and beds.
In normal, non-Covid times, a Grand Finale concert takes place. This is a day-long public fundraiser held in Poland and everywhere where there is an active Polish community. The public fundraiser is organized locally, by volunteer-run Collection Centers, and is accompanied by various events such as concerts, sport competitions, and firework displays. Volunteers, carrying branded collection boxes collect money across the country, and people donating money receive distinct red-heart stickers in return. The day culminates with a firework display – known as Light to the Sky, which takes place in front of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. The funds are raised during a public money collection, in online auctions, and personal and corporate donations.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Grand Finale fundraiser will take place exceptionally at January 31st 2021, albeit in very different circumstances due to Covid restrictions. Also, e-moneyboxes have been created this year, enabling money collection over the Internet.