by Ola Pietruszkiewicz
On the Sunday of the 12th, a very special annual event took place in the whole of Poland. Wielka Orkiestra świątecznej Pomocy, otherwise known as WOŚP is a fund-raising organization that raises money for sick children in need by providing expensive and professional medical equipment. For the past 28 years, on the 12 of January, the streets of Poland get filled with volunteers all participating together with a common cause of collecting donations from citizens who want to support the children.
Having a personal connection with this organization, I found it especially important to contribute to this cause. This was possible for me thanks to a classmate of mine, Julia I. (16) who organized the volunteer group from our school.
What has inspired you to contribute to the WOŚP organization?
As a newborn, I used some of the equipment provided by the organization. Therefore, I know how much they help the Polish medical care system. I have always supported the charity. In my previous school, I’ve been a volunteer a few times. When I came here to ASW I decided to contribute even more by creating a volunteer group for WOŚP.
How much total funds from ASW volunteers did we raise?
We raised 32 200 PLN. Additionally, from online auctions, we raised 1800. Today (21/01/20) there is also a concert during which we will fundraise for the charity, so the amount will still increase.
What process did you have to go through to organize the “sztab”?
The process starts with the registration in the WOŚP headquarters back in October. Then there is a long process of recruiting and registering the volunteers. Shortly before the Finale, I had to prepare the cans, make the ID cards and pack the volunteer bags.
I saw you got to take a photo with Jerzy Owsiak, did you get to talk to him?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to talk to him since he was very busy that day.
On top of all the money collected by volunteers, many activities nationwide were organized also to collect money. Auctions varying from spending a day with Mike Tyson, to visiting the set of a famous Polish TV comedy show “Kiepscy”, to sports events such as soccer, bicycling and running. All get donated for the cause.
One of my colleagues, Julia R (16), participated in the volunteer mission. She found that participating in WOŚP was a good start to reaching out to those in need. She also stated that taking part in this would not only be a great deed to the children but also she could use the event to support her CAS page.
“I never volunteered in anything, but WOŚP is a big organization and I wanted to start from something big and I want to help people.”
In the year 2020, the total money collected by WOŚP was exactly 75,990,163 PLN, which is an all-time record in this organization.