The Great Orchestra enjoys great success on the Internet! More than 20 million PLN donated online in 2017 set new record for online charity donations in Poland.
How to get in touch with us?
Our offices are located in Warsaw, on Dominikańska 19C. You can find our address and telephone number here. You can also reach out to us via our social media channels: on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat!
Have you got local chapters of foundation?
No, we are based only in Warsaw, and we don't have any local chapters. The Collection Centres, which coordinate the Grand Finale fundraising drives are not local representatives or chapters of the GOCC Foundation. Collection Centres allow people, who would like to support the cause, to come together but they do not work for us, per se.
Do you work all year round?
The foundation works all year round, coordinating equipment purchases, running medical and educational programmes, which are active in hospitals and schools in the country as well as handling the organisation of Woodstock Festival Poland.
Who controls our work?
The GOCC Foundation meticulously reports on its activity and finances. We send reports and accounts to different controlling bodies, which include: the Ministry of Administration, Ministry of Digital Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Finance and the appropriate Revenue Office.
How can I support your work?
There's something that everyone can do to help us! You can pitch in by helping us organise the massive events such as the Grand Finale or Woodstock Festival Poland. If you don't have enough time to volunteer, but you would still like to contribute, you can make a donation on our website, become an online ambassador of the charity, for example.
How can I get involved?
There's plenty of options for everyone. Depending the time you have and amount of effort you can devote to working with us you can choose to become a volunteer or a member of the Peace Patrol, for example. You can also follow our activity online and become our digital ambassador.
I want to volunteer. How can I do it?
If you would like to collect funds during the Grand Finale, you should reach out to your local Collection Centre. They will take the matters from there and will provide you with all you need to begin your adventure - an ID badge, a collection box, and little heart stickers. You can also become a member of the Crew at the Collection Centre, if you have more time to get involved!
Where can I find a list of Collection Centres?
You can find the current list of Collection Centres on our website here.
I am underage - can I become a volunteer?
Sure you can! We ask your parents or guardians to sign your Volunteer's Statement. If you are fundraising on the day of the Grand Finale and are under 16 years of age, we also ask an adult to accompany you on the day of the fundraiser.
Where do volunteers collect funds?
Volunteers collect money in the locality of their Collection Centres, and only outdoors, in the streets, market places, other open, public areas. Provided that the local Collection Centre has the permission from the management, the volunteers can also collect funds on shop premises, such as shopping centres. We ask you not to go door-to-door and bother people at their homes. Supporting our charity is voluntary!
Will I receive any sort of an acknowledgement for the work I did for the foundation?
Each Collection Centre receives a set of acknowledgements which also serve as a document stating how much each volunteer managed to collect. The Chief of a Collection Centre is obliged to pass them on to each volunteer. We are unable to issue additional acknowledgement documents to the volunteers, who have helped during the Grand Finale.
How can a hospital apply for equipment?
A request for equipment, which should comply with the theme of the current Grand Finale or should function within the framework of one of the medical programmes run by the foundation, has to be sent to the GOCC office by mail. The official document should bear a signature of the director of the hospital.
The request should be appropriately motivated: it has to contain the description of the condition of the hospital and it should list the equipment that is already in use in the hospital. It needs to state the amount of patients, who receive treatment and list all reasons why the hospital needs to receive the support.
The request should clearly state the hospital's legal entity form. We also need to receive documents which prove that the hospital is offering treatment free of charge, within the framework of publicly available medical care.
More information about how a hospital can apply for our support can be found here.
Under what conditions is equipment donated to hospitals?
Each piece of equipment is passed to the hospital as a donation. As a granter, the foundation reserves the right to control the beneficiary (according to the provisions of the donation contract). What's more, according to the Article 893 of the Code of Civil Proceedings, the beneficiary is obliged to comply with a series of demands. A complete list of demands, which apply in this case, can be found on our website here.
Why do you organise Woodstock Festival Poland?
We see the free open-air festival as our way of saying thank-you to everyone who has been involved in our winter fundraiser, and that's why the organisation of the festival is listed as one of the foundation's statutory tasks. As per paragraph 9 of the GOCC Charter, the foundation aims to accomplish its goals through the involvement of young people in the activities of the GOCC foundation. The foundation also aims to create a community of people involved in arts, sciences, and cultural fields.
Woodstock Festival Poland seems to be the best way of reaching thousands of young people from different walks of life. During the festival, apart from showcasing amazing music and art, we aim to launch a variety of educational initiatives. Some of them are focused on informing about dangers of alcohol and drug addiction. The ideals driving the organisation of the festival are that of peace, friendship and love. The festival makes its stand against violence and racism. The festival-goers are encouraged to take up social activity and broaden their horizons. We are very proud to be able to host a plethora of different third sector organisations at the festival as well, introducing young people to different cultures and world-views.
I am underage. Can I go to Woodstock Festival Poland?
Everyone is welcome at Woodstock Festival Poland, however, we encourage you to come with an adult guardian.
What can I do to play at Woodstock Festival Poland?
What band doesn't dream about playing in front of such a huge and appreciative crowd? If you are a young, up-and-coming band, your best chance of performing at Woodstock Festival Poland is to take part in the Preliminaries competition. Send us our demo CD (containing at least 3 original songs). Remember to write 'Eliminacje do Przystanku Woodstock - Woodstock Festival Poland Preliminaries' on the parcel! More information is available here.
How can I help organise the festival?
If you would like to play your part in organising the festival, we invite you to join in the ranks of the Peace Patrol. Because of how complex the work at the festival is, our festival volunteers have to complete a three-day training course. The course includes team-building activities, first aid training, and the participants learn everything they need to know about mass events. Peace Patrollers help us during different initiatives we take up. You can find more about their work here.
How much money raised during the Grand Finale is actually spent on Woodstock Festival Poland?
The costs of the festival and Grand Finale are not covered by the funds coming from the public fundraiser. We rely on deliberate donations and our sponsors to pay for the expenses of these massive (and expensive) events.
How do you spend the money raised at the Grand Finale?
The money raised at the annual fundraiser is used to purchase medical equipment for public hospitals in Poland and to finance medical and educational programmes. Each year we carefully consider the branch of medicine we are going to support, but we always focus our activities of children's medicine and, for 5th time this year, we aim to support geriatrics. The costs directly connected with the logistics of the fundraiser, which are incurred by the foundation, such as printing the heart stickers and posters, and the cost of transportation and telecommunication are covered with the money raised during the Grand Finale. You can find out more about our finances from the detailed reports we upload here.
Do you really buy the equipment for just 50% of the funds raised during the Grand Finale?
We use 92% of the funds collected at the public fundraiser to purchase medical equipment and finance medical and educational programmes. The remaining 8% is used to cover our administrative costs. This data is taken from the report produced by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The spokesperson for the Ministry has added that this result represents the best result of relationship of costs vs donations represented by an NGO in Poland.
Does Polish National TV bear the costs of the telethon, which accompanies the fundraiser?
The profit from advertisements sold by the broadcaster has greatly surpassed any costs incurred by the TV station. We can even say that the TV station earns by broadcasting the telethon.
So, how did it all begin?
Well, we are celebrating 25th anniversary this year. The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation has been officially registered in Warsaw in March 1993. The founders are Jerzy Owsiak, Lidia Niedźwiedzka-Owsiak, Bohdan Maruszewski, Piotr Burczyński, Paweł Januszewicz, Walter Chełstowski, and Beata Bethke. The first Grand Finale fundraiser has been held in January 1993 - at first it was meant to be an one-off happening to raise money for cardiac surgery ward at the Children's Memorial Hospital in Warsaw. The spectacular success of the first effort, which enabled the foundation to divide the money between all cardiology units treating children in Poland, inspired the establishment of the GOCC.
Who established the GOCC foundation?
The foundation has been established by Jerzy Owsiak, Lidia Niedźwiedzka-Owsiak, Bohdan Maruszewski, Piotr Burczyński, Paweł Januszewicz, Walter Chełstowski, and Beata Bethke.
When was the name 'Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity' first used?
Jurek Owsiak used this complicated name for the first time in 1991.
What does Jurek Owsiak do and what is his profession?
Jurek, who is the Chairman of the Board of the GOCC foundation, is a volunteer himself. Jurek is also one of the founders of the charity. He is the mastermind and the creative director of the largest open-air music festival in Europe - Woodstock Festival Poland.
Jurek is the founder of the Society of Chinese Towels Appreciation. Membership of this elite club is open to everyone, who is aware of this society...so now you are one of us! Feel free to create your own membership badge now.
Jurek Owsiak is also the Chairman of the Board of Złoty Melon. Złoty Melon is a subsidiary of the GOCC foundation, which has 100% stock share in this company.
In his private time (and let us tell you, there's precious little of that!), Jurek pursues the arts - he is an avid arts collector and he tries his hand at drumming.
The Chairman of the GOCC foundation is a traveller and book lover. He is a motivational speaker, sharing his success story and encouraging people to try their best at any initiative they might undertake.
What did Jurek do before he established the GOCC foundation?
Jurek has graduated from high school in Warsaw, and despite his honest attempts he failed to get into a university. He has applied to arts schools, and tried to study philosophy, rehabilitation, and social studies. Alas, to no avail. Like many other young people in Poland in the 70s he has been called up to serve in the army. Rather than serve the prescribed 1.5 years, Owsiak decided to simulate a mental disease with such a gusto that he had been released after mere 3 months in the army. It seems that this experience had opened up a new path for Jurek - he took up psychotherapy and spend his time working with young offenders and difficult youngsters in a rehabilitation centre in Warsaw.
Jurek got involved in amateur theatre and in the same time, he pursued his artistic inclinations by studying stain glass design and, eventually, establishing his own stained glass design workshop. He gave up this workshop having received the invitation to broadcast an original show called 'Róbta co chceta, czyli rock'n'rollowa jazda bez trzymanki' (Dae what yer want, rock'n'roll rollercoaster) for TVP. Owsiak's show, which has been awarded for its innovative format, aimed to present new rock'n'roll music to a wide audience of young people. The show was all about controlled mayhem (chickens in a TV studio anyone?) and it had been co-hosted by Agata Młynarska. A year after the first broadcast, Jurek was invited to promote a funny little initiative with a funny long name 'The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity'. The rest is history...
How much does Jurek earn working for the foundation?
Jurek is, funnily enough, a volunteer, so he does not receive any sort of wages from the foundation. The only things the foundation provides him with are his mobile phone and a company car. Jurek is a Chairman of the board of Złoty Melon Company, which is owned by the GOCC in entirety.
What is Złoty Melon (The Golden Melon)?
Złoty Melon is a company owned by the GOCC. The company is responsible for all commercial endeavours of taken up by the foundation, such as releasing concert DVDs and albums, dealing with artists’ fees and so on. Jurek Owsiak is the Chairman of the Board of this company.