IOCC, in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond.
We envision that, by God’s grace, IOCC will respond, without discrimination, to those who are suffering and in need, to enable them to continue to improve their own lives and communities and to have means to live with dignity, respect and hope.
COMMITMENT & CONTEXT
IOCC, an agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America,represents Orthodox Christians in North America and understands its work to include developing in Orthodox Christians a commitment to philanthropy and global cooperative involvement in the work of the Orthodox Church.
Matthew 25:35-36, 40
‘For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me . . . as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’
In response to a need expressed by members of our Orthodox Christian community, International Orthodox Christian Charities, Inc. (IOCC) was established in March 1992 and serves as the official international humanitarian organization of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. The Board of Directors is comprised of Orthodox Christian clergy and laity who have volunteered themselves for this role and have been approved by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. The Board of Directors governs the policies and operations of IOCC and oversees stewardship of the organization's resources.
A professional staff, managed by the Executive Director, answers to the Board of Directors and exists to identify the needs, develop plans, manage operations and provide accountability. From its headquarters in Baltimore,
Maryland, the IOCC staff supervises the overseas operations, tracks grants,
ensures reporting to donors, and guides programs to foster greater awareness
and support for IOCC.
In seeking to provide assistance to the poor, either in response to emergencies
or long term socio-economic development needs, IOCC’s fundamental policy
is to develop a sustainable indigenous capacity to carry out such programs.
All programs are guided by the two goals of program integrity and the highest
standards of stewardship to donors.
Overseas offices are established by IOCC when, and if, the Orthodox hierarchy
of the country in question have made a request; if there is a need to use
IOCC skills to enhance the capacity of the Church and other institutions
to reach the poor more effectively; and if the scale of the program requires
an on-site presence to monitor targeting of beneficiaries, program implementation
In an effort to mobilize all Orthodox Christians to its efforts to bring
assistance to the poor throughout the world, IOCC has adopted a grassroots
approach. Metropolitan Committees are, or will be, established in cities
throughout the United States and Canada. Through these committees, parishioners
are offered the chance to assist those in need and to engage their fellow
parishioners and local communities in support of humanitarian assistance
In order to diversify its resource base, IOCC funds programs and co-funds
activities through use of its own resources and seeks matching grants. It
depends primarily on donations from Orthodox Christians and then seeks out
additional funding partners through other Churches in the ecumenical movement,
foundations, governments, corporations, and international multi-lateral
IOCC maintains relationships with other institutions so that Orthodox Christian humanitarian concerns and initiatives are appropriately represented. IOCC is registered with the U.S. Agency for International Development and is eligible to receive funds for foreign assistance from the U.S. Government. It is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and relief agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, and InterAction, a coalition of U.S. based non-governmental organizations that carry out humanitarian assistance programs overseas. As a member, IOCC is bound by the InterAction code of professional ethics. IOCC is active in ecumenical initiatives both with the National Council of the Churches of Christ and with the World Council of Churches and the ACT Alliance.