10 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075-0106
Tel.: (212) 774-0283
The task of this Archdiocesan Department is to further develop and coordinate the philanthropic work of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Working closely with various community organizations, most especially the Ladies Philoptochos Society and IOCC, this Department coordinates on a national level the philanthropic work of the Church. Responding to the apostolic exhortations that “our love may abound more and more, with deep knowledge and discernment” (Philippians 1:9) and that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26), this office seeks to motivate all communicants, men and women, young and old, to be more philanthropic in their outlook. The Department of Philanthropy is concerned with promoting philanthropy in its original and purest expression i.e., “love for one’s fellow man”, love expressed in thought, word, and deed, cognizant of the fact that God is love.
The Department has also been charged with overseeing and coordinating the work of the various relief funds which have been established by the Archdiocese. These funds include: the September 11th Fund in which over $2.1 million was collected and distributed, the Haiti Relief Fund which distributed over $350,000 in assistance, the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund which distributed over $900,000, the Greek Fire Relief which distributed close to $4 million, the Relief Fund for the People of Greece which distributed over $1,000,000 to assist the people of Greece impacted by the economic crisis, theHurricane Sandy Relief Fund which has collected and distributed $270,000 to victims of the hurricane, and the newly establishedRelief Fund for the People of Cyprus.
In 2006, the Department assumed responsibility for the Benevolence Fund for Retired Clergy and Widowed Presvyteres and has so far collected and distributed over $600,000 in monthly stipends to retired priests and widowed presvyteres with meager retirement incomes.
Moreover, this office strives to heighten sensitivity within parishes, Church-affiliated organizations and the faithful of the Archdiocese to those members of the community with special needs so that there is outreach to them and inclusion within the life of the parishes. These include people who are blind, physically handicapped, mentally challenged, afflicted with debilitating diseases, elderly facing problems because of their advanced age, those suffering from terminal illnesses, and countless others. It is the intent of the office to facilitate as much as possible their participation in the salvific life of the Church.