National Philoptochos Responds With A Multi-Pronged Approach to Provide Financial, Emotional, Spiritual and Loving Support to Individuals and Families Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 28, 2020
Feeding the Hungry
- On March 20, the National Philoptochos Executive Board approved immediate disbursements to two food distribution organizations: $25,000 to Feeding America, and $25,000 to Meals on Wheels America
- Chapters that were forced to suspend their local Feeding programs because of social distancing, were encouraged to donate to food banks in their local areas.
Photo: Philoptochos Cares COVID 19 collage
- Also, in March, National Philoptochos established the COVID-19 Emergency Drive to provide funding for social service requests for rent, mortgage or utility payments, medical or other daily living expenses, food, or childcare. A plea went out over all Philoptochos social media platforms to support the drive, which enables Philoptochos to assist Orthodox individuals and families, which have been financially impacted by the crisis. To date, the Drive has collected over $100,000.
Photo: COVID-19 You are not alone
- National Philoptochos Department of Social Services developed a streamlined version of its Application for Assistance to expedite the delivery of critical monetary support to families affected by the Pandemic.
- Mental health resources were posted on the website to provide support and assistance to individuals struggling with anxiety.
Please click the following links: Anxiety Illnesses, Managing Anxiety, Crisis Hot Line- Text A Counselor, How Spirituality Can Benefit Mental and Physical Health
Social Media Promotes Community Togetherness and Kindness
- National Philoptochos immediately instituted a dynamic social media campaign to encourage chapter engagement in projects related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The #MaskOn Campaign asked chapters to make and distribute masks within their local communities to assist with the nationwide need for face coverings, and to encourage everyone to follow the CDCs guidelines for social distancing and safety practices.
Photo: Ellie Skoutas from Cleveland
“I wear a mask to keep others (who may be more at risk) safe. I made mine silly to still impart some joy in these stressful times.” -Ellie Skoutas, Cleveland, Ohio
The Power of Thank You Campaign. Gratitude is the simplest, most powerful way to acknowledge another person's value and humanity. This campaign asked chapters to write thank you notes to "heroes": healthcare personnel, grocery staff, building managers, and delivery workers.
In addition, chapters across the country arranged for food to be delivered to healthcare workers as a special “thank you.”
Photo: Thank you health heroes
Promoting Togetherness and Community During Social Isolation. We are grateful that technology allows us to stay in contact with our community members to provide emotional support and lessen the feeling of isolation that has resulted from the Pandemic. The National Board and chapters have used Zoom to hold meetings, coffee hours and happy hours to stay connected with our Philoptochos sisters, our clergy, fellow parishioners, and friends and family.
Photo: Metropolis of Chicago Board Meeting
Spiritual Guidance and Support
Finally, National Philoptochos sponsored a lecture from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Louh of Healthy Minds Healthy Souls, A Radio Ministry of St. John the Divine entitled “Finding Christ in the Crisis” on April 30. Fr. Louh provided resources from the Bible to provide comfort and support during these anxious and challenging times. Over 500 people logged on to the event, which was livestreamed on Facebook. A recording of the event can be accessed here.
The National Board thanks everyone who has participated in these campaigns and worked to spread financial and emotional support and kindness throughout our communities during these difficult times.
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." -Ephesians 2:10