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Archdiocese Grants $200K through IOCC for Winter Heating Relief to Greece's Most Vulnerable

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  • Feb 7, 2013

    NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America dispersed a grant of $200,000 from the Archdiocese Relief Fund for the People of Greece through the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) for the emergency distribution of heating fuel to 30 social institutions located in Athens, the Viotia region of central Greece, and across 14 provinces in northern Greece.  The institutions, which are home to more than 1,500 children and adults unable to care for themselves, will receive enough heating fuel to keep their facilities warm through the winter months. This project is underway since last December and is coordinated by IOCC and in cooperation with Apostoli, the philanthropic social services agency of the Archdiocese of Athens.

    “This offering is one more expression of the genuine love and concern the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America have for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering as a result of the economic crisis facing Greece and Europe,” said His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. “By providing the basic necessity of heating to trusted humanitarian and philanthropic agencies, these organizations can maximize the financial resources directly assisting those most in need.”

    In October 2012, the price of heating fuel in Greece increased 40 percent, followed by a 30 percent spike in the cost of electricity, stretching already lean institutional budgets struggling to meet other operating costs such as food, wages and maintenance.  Without assistance, the ability to safely and properly care for their wards was in jeopardy. Across Greece’s coldest regions winter temperatures dip dangerously below freezing, and the cost to heat homes continues to rise out of reach for millions of poverty-stricken Greeks, it is the country’s most vulnerable—the elderly, people with disabilities and orphaned boys and girls—whose lives are at the greatest risk of succumbing to the bitter cold.  The nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and orphanages that care for them are faced with a lack of government funding due to Greece’s continuing debt crisis and austerity measures, making it almost impossible for most social institutions to adequately heat their facilities.

    Previously, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America together with the National Philoptochos Society has provided assistance of almost a million dollars to aid the people adversely affected by the economic crisis in Greece.

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    Contact: Stavros Papagermanos
    Tel.:  (212) 570-3530

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