The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity // WOSP

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Photograph - Dominik Malik

Every year for several decades now, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy, or WOSP) has raised money for sick children in Poland. The first charity bought specialised medical equipment for cardiac surgery for the Centre of Children's Health in Warsaw, and since then the charity has made healing the hearts of children their goal.

Each years focus is slightly different, for instance raising funds for early cancer diagnosis in children, or a particular type of new machinary for the childrens hospitals, and throughout the day of the finale you'll be sure to spot just about everyone around town wearing red hearts on their jackets and bags in support. To get your very own heart sticker (and make your real heart a bit warmer), all you have to do is drop a few coins or even a note into the charity's bins. You'll have plenty of opportunities - throughout the day, hundreds of volunteers roam the city and the  trams and buses collecting donations.

The main attraction of this event is the massive (and totally free) finale concert of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, which takes place on a big stage set up in the Market Square and always boasts a superstar line-up of popular Polish musicians. Huge crowds gather to dance and sing along to their favourite bands and the square becomes a sea of happy people.

For more information, please visit the official WOSP website. 


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I look forward to this every year! It's really great to see just about everyone in the city walking around with those red stickers, and all of the volunteers running around, and it's all going to a good cause.

Reply Jan 5th, 2009