I'm generally very proud to be Polish. I love Polish culture, beautiful Polish language, Polish literature, Polish mountains, forests, cuisine (pierogi *__* )... I could name forever ;). But this time of year I'm even more proud to be from Poland! It's because of The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.
The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC, in Polish: Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy) is one of the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organizations in Poland. Its main objective is protecting health and saving children's lives by providing medical equipment to public hospitals. Every year (since 1993) milions of Poles donate to the GOCC volunteers from all around Poland, who are collecting money on the streets of almost every Polish city. Each year GOCC specialists choose different health issue, ask hospitals what they really need to deal with it, make analysis and then, after the money collection, they buy needed medical equipment. Simple and effective. Almost everyone in Poland knows someone who was treated in a hospital unit equipped fully or partially by The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. Such a beneficiary was for example my very own little niece :).
Collecting money on the streets is not the only way GOCC raises funds. Everyone helps in whatever way they can. Many companies help by giving their products and services, media offer free airtime, cities organize concerts, celebrities and ordinary people donate items to be auctioned off... The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity triggers a lot of positive energy and extreme generosity.
A group of Polish jewellery makers also decided to help GOCC, by making a few extraordinary, collaborative projects. By "a group" I mean over 200 people! I'm seriously proud to be a part of such a creative, generous community. So take a look at these projects:
1. Charm bracelets.
A simple heart is a symbol of The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. That's why we made 23 unique charm bracelets to be auctioned off for GOCC. Each bracelet consists of beautiful, little heart-shaped charms, each one carefully crafted by a different person. All these wonderful hearts (almost 200!) were made with love! They are full of positive emotions and creative energy. As you can see in these photos, the hearts were made using many different techniques - soutache embroidery, traditional soldering, wire wrapping, metal clay technique and many others. These are just three of my personal favourites. To see other charms bracelets just check our auctions.
2. The second project was "The Wanderer".
Exactly two months before the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity's Grand Finale a little silver heart started its journey across Poland. The idea was simple - The Wanderer was to be passed from person to person and each one of them was meant to add new silver elements.
And below you can see the whole necklace. And one more photo - my personal favourite - taken by Agnieszka Rzymek. The model is her daughter. As a newborn she was in neonatal intensive care unit in one of Cracow's hospitals - fully equipped by The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity! :).
3. The third collaborative project is an unbelievably beautiful necklace - "The Rainbow" :).
You can bid this necklace here. And here you can find more info about it (in English).
As you can see in the photo, The Rainbow was made not only by many people, but also of various materials. The basic material are soutache cords, but they were adorned with lots of natural stones, pearls, zriconias, corals, beautiful glass, Swarovski crystals etc. All the highest quality.
The photo was taken by talented Arek Rząd and the model is Emilia Sierzputowska.
4. The fourth project was "The Copper".
"The Copper" is a lovely copper necklace made by four wonderful jewellery makers, brought together by the common goal of helping others. The necklace is adorned with natural rubies and pink corundum. Here you can read its whole story :).
You can bid all these wonderful pieces here. The bidding site has English version. All these auctions end 13th January, so there is still time. If, by any chance, you would like to bid, and have any language problems, just contact me. I'll help you gladly! :)
And here is my little input to this great initiative. Each one of these tiny hearts is now a part of a different charm bracelet. Did I mention I'm proud to be a part of such a wonderful community? Well, I really am :).
Thank you girls for this wonderful experience!