NEW YORK – The Hurricane Sandy relief effort of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America continues, almost four months after the devastating storm struck the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut coastlines, as people are struggling to rebuild their lives, and some are still unable to return to their homes.
As of February 7, 2013, the Archdiocese received donations for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund in the amount of $224,166. Of this, $151,000 was distributed directly to individuals in NY, and $50,000 was sent to the Philoptochos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey for distribution to those affected in the NJ region. The Leadership 100 Endowment Fund contributed a very generous donation of $100,000.
The coordinated Hurricane Sandy relief effort of the Archdiocese is conducted by the Direct Archdiocesan District and the Metropolis of New Jersey through the tremendous work of the Philoptochos and the Committees established in the two regions. The Direct Archdiocesan District and the Metropolis of New Jersey have so far received applications for assistance from over 160 families and individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy. Through the generous support of Greek Orthodox individuals, parishes and organizations such as AHEPA, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was able to offer helpful, although modest, financial assistance to most of the applicants, bringing a sparkle of hope into the hearts of those that are going through some of the most challenging times of their lives.
“In the weeks and months that followed this horrible storm something amazing and beautiful occurred, my town was no longer flooded by ocean water but filled with loved and support from people who wanted to help. This generosity gave us hope… My family and I thank you for your philanthropy,” wrote one of the grant beneficiaries from Island Park, NY.
Another one from Manasquan, New Jersey, writes: “Through compassion and love you have made my recovery from Hurricane Sandy less painful. You have seen to it that those of us who suffer each day are not forgotten and that we are the recipients of the Church’s philanthropic reach. As you continue to do His work, God bless you all.”
The needs are still considerable and the continued generosity and prayers of fellow Orthodox Christians are necessary to offer the much needed help to so many that nearly lost all hope. Donations to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund can be made online through the Archdiocesan website: http://www.goarch.org/special/hurricanesandy, or by mailing a check to: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Attn: Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075. The Archdiocese is currently exploring ways in which more tangible assistance could be offered to those affected. With support from the surrounding area parishes, the Department of Philanthropy is looking into recruiting volunteers who can offer their time and talent to help with the renovation of damaged homes. A sign-up form for prospective volunteers can be found at www.philanthropy.goarch.org.
Furthermore, the Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos has been preparing for a fundraiser event on March 10, 2013, and decided to divide the proceeds between the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy and the Hurricane Sandy Relief. More information on this event can be found by accessing http://www.philoptochosdistrictdiocese.org.