Monday, January 10, 2011

9/365: Christmas Charity

9/365: Christmas Charity
9/365: Christmas Charity, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.

January 9th

For the 19th time, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity played to save children's lives. Nineteen years ago, it was very small, just another charity event, but now the whole country takes part in the fun. It's amazing.

It works like this: for just one day every year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers head out to collect money for the organisation.This money goes to a different medical cause every year- they buy ambulances, incubators... all sorts of expensive medical equipment needed in pediatric care. This year the theme was urology and nephrology.

To get people out on the streets donating, there are concerts and events all over the country which all end in fireworks at eight pm, and the whole thing has non-stop live coverage on TVP2, one of our national TV channels. Many, many companies donate their time and equipment so that people can have fun and drop a few coins into the boxes.

When you donate, you get a heart sticker. On that day you will see people walking around covered in hearts- some donate once, some put a little into several collection boxes. Little kids save their pennies and drop them in one by one. People give jewellery, auction off valuable mementoes.

Every year, the amount collected is higher. It always takes them a week or two to count all of the cash donations, proceeds from auctions, bank transfers. In 1998, when I was one of the volunteers, we raised 3.5 million dollars total, and we thought that was pretty swell.

Yesterday's amount, as of right now, is 12.2 million dollars.

In one day.

I absolutely LOVE this charity.


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