GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA GREEK ORTHODOX LADIES PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY,
7 WEST 55th STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10019 • TEL: (212) 977-7770 • FAX:
(212) 977-7784 Web: www.philoptochos.org • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 24, 2013
Dear National Board Members, Chapter Presidents and Beloved Philoptochos Stewards,
As we approach the glorious Resurrection of our Lord we hear His voice calling us to continue our commitment to serve
others. The Philoptochos Stewards continue the Lord's work, offering assistance to those in need.
The impact of the European economic crisis has severely affected Greece and now Cyprus. The crisis is expanding and deepening,
affecting all sectors of society. Both countries require humanitarian aid and the need increases daily.
This spring Greece officially posted the highest rate of unemployment for the entire EU - 27% while 60% of job seekers
have not worked in more than a year. The Greek economy shrunk by 20%. More than 1,000 businesses and 500,000 jobs vanished
while benefits and wages spiral downward and taxes increase significantly. Many faced the cold winter without heat in their
homes. Depression and suicide, especially among youth and adolescents, soared by 20%. Food centers feed thousands daily. It
is estimated that 10% of the Greek children face hunger.
Our Cypriot brothers and sisters, although
initially did not feel the impact of the economic crisis recently found themselves in the same situation as our compatriots
in Greece. For this reason we cannot remain indifferent to their suffering but as true followers of Christ we are called to
respond to those in need.
Besides our Christian duty we feel also an obligation as Greek Americans
to respond to those who were there for us when we were in need. In recent history, Cyprus responded positively when needed
by the United States. In 2006 Cyprus evacuated 25,000 Americans from Lebanon and in 2003 Cyprus allowed tens of thousands
of American troops to use their country for access to Iraq when the US was denied use of the American base in Turkey. Now,
our brethren in Cyprus need our help and we must do our best to respond to their needs.
must continue to act for the benefit of the welfare of our fellow brothers and sisters. The Aid to Greece and
Cyprus Campaign will consist of two funding initiatives in 2013. The first initiative will commence immediately
with action by the Executive and National Board members. Each member will sponsor a personal fund raising event of her choice
during the months of April, May and June to aid Greece and Cyprus.
The second initiative embraces
all the Philoptochos Chapters and will occur on Sunday, September 22, 2013 as "National Philoptochos
Fellowship Sunday." On this day, Philoptochos Chapters throughout the country are asked to host a Parish Coffee
Hour in support of the campaign to raise funds for Aid to Greece and Cyprus. Chapters are asked
to host the event by supplying coffee, tea, fruit, pastry or other menu items. A donation basket is recommended for contributions
for our Greek and Cypriot brethren. Please ask your Parish Priest to encourage participation and speak on the importance of
continuing our efforts to help. Best efforts will be made to ensure transparency and accountability of the religious and non-governmental
beneficiary organizations in Greece and Cyprus.
Please open your hearts and offer full support to
this endeavor by sending your Philoptochos Chapter collection marked Aid to Greece and Cyprus Campaign to
the National Philoptochos Society at 7 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019.
In this Holy season
of Great Lent, the Stewards of Philoptochos reflect upon our relationship with God and offer our most fervent prayers as united
we serve in the name of our Lord and Saviour.
Your sisters in Christ,
Aid to Greece and Cyprus Campaign Chair
Here is a report on the distribution of funds raised by our Philoptochos
The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, with the help of your philanthropia, has donated a total of $210,000,
to date, to the following Church organizations and philanthropic agencies:
Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
IOCC used the donation to provide medical supplies and food staples to
the people affected by the economic crisis.
philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Greece, providesimmediate assistance to children, the elderly,and families
suffering from hunger, disabilities and illness. Every monththey distribute 3,000 parcels with basic food staples to 96 distribution
centers within local parishes.
$50,000 Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki
Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki is helping regional churches in their existing philanthropic efforts to help the needy on
a daily basis.
$25,000 Holy Archdiocese of Crete
The Archdiocese of Crete
is helping individuals and families that are in dire need byproviding food and medical supplies.
Kivotos tou Kosmou (Ark of the World)
The destitute children helped by Kivotos tou Kosmou are dependent on
them for their food, clothing, shoes, schooling, doctors, medicine, everything. Kivotos provides services to 150 needy children
and meals to 1,300 people daily. They also have a philoxenia house with 40 rooms for abused mothers and their children. Their
goal is to keep families together.
$25,000 Theotokos Foundation
The Theotokos Foundation
provides services for children and adults with learning and other developmental disabilities. Due to the financial crisis
in Greece, their financial assistance has been reduced substantially making it very difficult for them to provide care for
those in need.
$25,000 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Doctors Without Borders in Greece will be using our donation to work in close collaboration with city municipalities
in the center of Athens with the most excluded and vulnerable groups. Tuberculosis is a growing problem in Athens and with
their 40% budget cut, the Ministry of Health is unable to properly deal with this population. Our donation to Doctors Without
Borders will allow them to offer screenings and will help them support TB patients throughout their treatment. Doctors Without
Borders is also helping the Government of Greece and the EU to better understand how to more efficiently and effectively utilize
the resources that are available.
Philoptochos efforts to help our brethren in Greece and now Cyprus
are ongoing. Wecan make a difference.