Prague, Feb 1 (CTK) – A record 112.3 million crowns was gathered in money boxes within the Czech annual public Epiphany Collection this January, which is 13 million more than a year ago, Jan Oulik, from the organising Caritas CR group, told CTK on Thursday.

The overall gathered sum, including donors’ SMSs and money sent right to the collection account, will be known in the spring.

The money is used to help old and disabled people, mothers with children in need, homeless people, families in a difficult situation and those living in social exclusion.

“This year collection’s results have shown once again that the hearts of Czechs remain open and generous,” Caritas CR director Lukas Curylo said.

The money was collected across the country by about 60,000 volunteers with 22,767 boxes.

The collection included an Epiphany Concert that was transmitted live by Czech Television. During the concert, the viewers sent a total of 33,139 donor SMSs worth over 1.8 million crowns, one third more than last January.

Most of the gathered money (65 percent) is used in the respective regions where it was collected. It is spent on hundreds of projects organised by local charity groups.

Another 15 percent is used to finance projects of diocese charity groups, 5 percent goes to national projects and 5 percent to the collection’s operational costs.

The remaining 10 percent head abroad. Last year, it helped support a health and social care centre in Moldova and an old people’s home in Trans-Carpathian Ukraine, and provide food packets for people living in the conflict-ridden eastern Ukraine.