Volunteer of the Month for October 2008
Ruzana Hedges

1. When you learned about IOCC
I learned about IOCC several years ago when I still lived in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. My friend first introduced me to the IOCC workers in Akhaltsikhe. At that time very few people had computers and printers in our town and IOCC staff would often help us by allowing to use their computer or to print something after work hours. I just remember the staff was very friendly and nice and they had prayers books at the office.

I moved to the United States with my husband in 2006. We have been living in Charlottesville, VA since then. In Charlottesville we became members of the Greek Orthodox Church. We spent this summer, 2008, in Baltimore and there at one of the Church services, at the Greek Annunciation Cathedral, Fr. Dean mentioned going away for a training organized by IOCC. As my husband was working during the summer in Baltimore and I was looking for something interesting and useful to do, I decided to call IOCC and see if I could be of any use. That’s how I started volunteering for IOCC.

2. Why you chose to contact IOCC
My first reason for contacting IOCC was to help people through the organization whose workers I believed shared the philanthropic ideals of the Orthodox Church. In addition, since I was already somewhat familiar with the organization’s work through its regional offices, I was interested in learning how the headquarters functioned.

3. What you learned/accomplished volunteering
I have enjoyed my time volunteering at IOCC. The people were absolutely great – friendly, nice and full of energy to do their work. I am glad that I not only had the opportunity to work with professionals, but made good friends as well. Throughout my time at IOCC I was helping the Outreach Coordinator, promote IOCC work through opening accounts in My Space, Face Book and Orthodox Circle. It was an interesting experience for me to learn how these programs work. As a result I opened my own Orthodox Circle and find it helpful in my spiritual growth.

In addition, I learned putting mailing packages together for different churches and parishes. I have learnt working on the data program which IOCC uses to update information on Orthodox Churches and parish representatives in the United States. I also enjoyed helping IOCC organize one of their benefit concerts at the Baltimore Cathedral Annunciation Center and learnt how to cook my first Greek Bakhlava!

Every day of my work at IOCC I witnessed how much team and cooperation means for IOCC workers and as a result of their dedicated work they make the mission in their regional offices around the world possible.

Plans for the future

God willing, one of my professional plans for the future is to study International Development and work in that sphere. A short term plan is to visit my parents in Russia whom I have not seen since 2005.

4. Any additional info you would like to offer

I want to thank everyone at IOCC for warmly welcoming me in their team during the two months I volunteered there. I have a lot of bright memories from IOCC which made my summer seem short and very happy. Thank you!

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May 2012: Jim Angelus, Race To Respond

Fall 2011: Jan Buchanan, Integrated Direct Marketing Manager

August 2011: IOCC Romania Office

July 2011: New IOCC Metropolitan Committee

June 2011: Rada Tierney, IOCC Communications Manager

April 2011: National Volunteer Week

March 2011: IOCC Board Member, Elaine Cladis

February 2011: Emily Iglendza, IOCC Parish Representative

January 2011: Laura Nixon, IOCC Board Member

December 2010: Getting Youth Involved!

October 2010: Ioannis Apostokalis

September 2010: Presvytera Flora Moraitis

July/August 2010: Interns

June 2010: Emily Howard

May 2010: Volunteers in the Republic of Georgia

April 2010: National Volunteer Appreciation Week

March 2010: Eugenie Osmun's Sunday School Class

February 2010: The Lockyer Family

January 2010: Maria Christodoulou

December 2009: The Albuquerque Metropolitan Committee

November 2009: Anne Pourakis Alexandrou

October 2009: The Denver Metropolitan Committee

August 2009: Outreach Coordinator Megan Carniewski

July 2009: Maria Loukaki

June 2009: Ken Kasovac

May 2009: Debra George

March 2009: Nick Terezis

November 2008: Charlotte Todd

October 2008: Ruzana Hedges

August 2008: Karim Bishay

July 2008: Nick Janulis

June 2008: Health Care Kits Sent to Orthodox Communities Worldwide

Souper Bowl 2007 Champions

Kids Helping Kids

Helping Moms in other Countries

A Walk Worthy of the Calling — Atlanta, GA 6th Annual IOCC Run/Walk

Pennsylvania School Children Earn Money For IOCC

Communicant Requests Donations For IOCC

Young Adults Assemble Kits for Babies in Need

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