GOARCH Ukrainian Relief Funds Distributed Through IOCC Collaboration
In March 2022, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America announced the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (GOARCH) Ukrainian Relief Fund, a major fundraising effort launched in collaboration with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to raise $1 million for the immediate and long-term support of people in Ukraine impacted by the Russian invasion.
Since then, the joint efforts of GOARCH and IOCC have surpassed the initial fundraising goal through the generosity of countless organizations, parishes, and individuals. Of the $700,000 raised by GOARCH, $100,000 were immediately donated in March 2022 to support early relief in Ukraine. The Archdiocese has also raised an additional $600,000 through the contributions of the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which donated $50,000; a matching grant of $50,000 from the Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation; an anonymous donation of $50,000; and the collective contributions of parishes and individuals, totaling $450,000.
“I express heartfelt gratitude to all our faithful who generously donated,” said His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. “The Church strives to be not only a place of worship, but a nexus of love and hope, manifesting Christ's message of compassion and care for our fellow human beings. Working alongside our trusted partner, IOCC, we aim to disperse aid effectively and compassionately and bring relief to those facing displacement from the unjust invasion of Ukraine.”
Of the total funds raised by GOARCH, $150,000 were distributed to IOCC in September 2022 for the emergency needs of Church-run and community accommodation centers serving displaced families and individuals within Ukraine. Another $150,000 were distributed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in support of its relief efforts in Ukraine. Most recently, $400,000 of funds raised were committed to IOCC for the last of GOARCH’s joint relief projects in Ukraine. This final project begins implementation in June 2023 and is expected to be completed in May 2024.
Through its ongoing needs assessment and continuing communication with local partners ELEOS-Ukraine— the official representative of the Synodal Department of Social Service of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine— and other national and international NGOs currently active in Ukraine, IOCC has determined three primary focuses of the project:
- Making repairs and adaptations to shelters for internally displaced people in Western Ukraine
- Making repairs and adaptations to institutions that serve people with special needs
- Distributing heating/home appliances and non-food items to temporary shelters, community centers, and other locations where internally displaced people live.
Supervised by IOCC’s expert team and resources on the ground in Ukraine, and informed by its proven track-record in humanitarian relief, the project is expected to assist 1,000 direct beneficiaries (internally displaced persons and people with special needs in Western Ukraine) and to indirectly benefit other conflict-affected communities.