Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity raises nearly EUR 30 million

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The 30th Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (WOSP), Poland’s most high-profile charity event, raised nearly PLN 136.3 million (EUR 29.8 mln), the organisers reported early on Monday.

The money raised on Sunday will go towards purchasing ophthalmology equipment for children's hospitals.

More than 1,600 coordinating committees were involved in the campaign this year, including 90 working abroad in countries such as the United States, Japan, Australia, Turkey and even in the Arctic Circle.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, traditional grassroots collections were supported by online fundraising to help protect people from infection. Lockdown restrictions also meant that there were no public concerts and performances, which have been a feature of the event since it started.

The one-day public charitable collection during the Grand Finale fundraiser is accompanied by initiatives spanning a couple of weeks, and various fundraising events and online collections started in early December.

This year, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity was held under the motto 'See the Light!' and collected money to ensure the best standards of diagnostics and treatment of eye diseases and disorders in children.

The final collection results will be announced on March 30.

Last year's Grand Finale raised PLN 127.5 million (EUR 27.8 million) for the purchase of ENT and head diagnostics equipment.

WOSP's first collection for medical equipment took place in 1993. Over the 30 years of its activity, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity has spent over PLN 1.5 billion (EUR 327 million) on medical equipment.

Throughout the year, WOSP buys the equipment via tenders organised by the foundation. Thanks to the foundation's work, many medical centres in Poland have received state-of-the-art equipment that helps save the lives of children.