Finale of the Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (WOŚP) Finale of the Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (WOŚP)

For the 22nd year running this fundraising powerhouse hits the streets of Poland with its red heart-shaped stickers, as always, on the second Sunday of January. The idea is simple – give your spare change (or more) to one of the thousands of volunteers (amongst whom Polish celebrities can even be spotted) and be able to proudly bear a red heart that reads The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, what “Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy” directly translates to.

Every little helps, amounting to tens of millions each year that is donated to worthy causes with the overarching theme of improving healthcare within Poland. This year round the money will be going towards purchasing specialist equipment for the medical diagnosis of children as well as for decent medical care for senior citizens.

In conjunction with the fundraising, live concerts across the main cities of Poland (and abroad) are put on, hence the ‘Orchestra’ in the name, the Palace of Culture gets adorned with a massive red sticker and Jurek Owsiak, the founder, in his matching red rim glasses, directs and narrates it all. The main concert is of course in Warsaw, at the foot of the Palace of Culture, kicking off at 1:30 p.m. For nearly 12 hours stars of the Polish music scene will be heating up the winter day, culminating with a firework display at 8 p.m. that marks a general lighting of lights across all of Poland.

This massive event extends out the holiday spirit of giving into January and unites people like no other event of its kind. Make sure you venture out into town that day so as not to miss it. (Karolina Kalinowska)

For further details and a full schedule check: www.wosp.org.pl

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