- January 14, 2013
Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity
Over 5000 litai, which equals about 6000 zlotys, was gathered in the Vilnius County during the first event of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. Vilnius joined the Polish nationwide action after 20 years of the Orchestra’s operating as the first headquarters through the eastern border was established in the city. The organisers admitted that their expectations regarding the sum were not great. This year’s charity was meant to promote and educate in the first place. It was about spreading the idea of GPCC and volunteering in general.
Ingraining the idea of the Great Orchestra in Vilnius was being conducted by the teachers and their pupils of the Saturday Supplementary School (School of the National Subjects), among which there were many Polish citizens that had known Jerzy Owsiak’s Orchestra very well. In Lithuania, however, the idea of charity is struggling to pave the way for itself – there are several actions organized by the TV stations, but neither of them does have the form of a “mass levy” like Poland’s GPCC.
For a few times there were made attempts to mobilize charity in the Polish communities – the idea of self-help has been supported by the religious band “Zespół Piosenki Religijnej Stella Spei”, which helps particular people and institutions in the Vilnius County. Recently, they have gathered over 27 000 litai. But a charity for the Polish hospitals had never been organized before.
The Lithuanian début of GPCC also was supported by the Radio “Znad Willi”. It was in its office that the charity’s headquarters was established, which was quite spontaneous. Except appearances on the radio and an Internet auction there was no special parties or events taking place. Admittedly, the Polish Community House in Vilnius organized a concert of the band Kite Art, but they did not manage to attract many people on Sunday afternoon. The volunteers of Sołeczniki and Jaszuny collected money by the churches.
If only one lit had appeared in our box, would have also call it a success because for the first time we joined our countrymen from all over the world – enthused one of the participants, Julita Kraińska. By our involvement in the action of Jerzy Owsiak we meant to show our pupils and students how important is to participate in charities. Talking about the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is also popularizing the recent history of Poland since the activity of Owsiak has become an essential element of the modern Polish culture – claims Krasińska, who assures that GPCC will “play” again in Vilnius next year.
The first Orchestra in Vilnius was directed to the Lithuanian Poles in the first place, however, the organisers do not exclude the possibility of involving Lithuanian people in the future as well. As an example might serve… Island – in the country, the GPCC volunteers collected over 15 000 zlotys. The bigger amount of staffs was established in the UK, which had 16 of them – in London alone, they gathered over 23 000 pounds. 5 staffs operated in Germany and USA ( 27 000 dollars were collected in New York).
In general, the 21st edition of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in Poland and abroad gathered 40 000 000 zlotys, which is going to be devoted to the cause of buying new facilities used to save the life of infants, and of the older people. The Orchestra’s Conductor, Jerzy Owsiak that will suffice for all that was planned.
Tłumaczenie Emil Iracki w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Emil Iracki the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.