IOCC Volunteer Update | 2023 Issue 10

November 5, 2023

IOCC Sunday Is November 19!

Looking for a way to spread the word about IOCC in your parish? IOCC Sunday is the perfect day! There are plenty of ways you can bring your community together around giving to others, including encouraging clergy participation, dedicating an activity to IOCC, and involving your parish youth with an event. Need a flyer or promo materials for your parish on IOCC Sunday? Contact the Outreach team at or 410.243.9820, or visit for more information.

Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday is November 28 this year, and it’s never too early to gear up! Keep an eye out for this year’s campaign, and watch your dollars make a difference for those in need around the world. BONUS: Thanks to a generous donor, gifts will be matched up to $10,000! Can’t wait? Visit for a jump start.

IOCC’s New Prayer Journal Is Here

IOCC’s Prayer Journal is a resource for young people that offers a glimpse into the lives of children and families we are helping around the world. Each chapter includes stories of your impact, plus activities for families, small groups, or Sunday School classes. Download a copy or order free copies for your parish or Sunday school here.

Coming Soon: IOCC’s Christmas Angel Tree

Looking for a creative way to share IOCC with your parish during the Christmas season? Host an IOCC “Angel Tree” at your church and learn how your gifts of $25, $55, $75, and more will help families in need—whether it’s providing school snacks for students, groceries for families in Greece, eyeglasses for children in Jordan, or emergency food in Ethiopia. Watch for more information soon!

The Power of Partnership

Olena and her young child, refugees from Ukraine, found safety and support in Poland, where IOCC is serving alongside ecumenical partners, including UMCOR.

The generosity of donors like you is central to making IOCC programs possible. Also core to our ability to share God’s love are strong relationships with ecumenical partners and humanitarian agencies across faith traditions.

From IOCC’s first aid distribution in 1992, to our response, to programs throughout the world—productive partnerships enable us to maximize resources and relationships to help as many people as possible responsibly and effectively. Learn how partnerships help IOCC better serve people in need. Read more.

Volunteers in Action

Thank you to the IOCC volunteers across the country who support our mission every day!

Chicago, IL

Families and friends from the Chicago area turned out on a beautiful fall morning to “walk the walk” for IOCC on September 30, celebrating the 17th year of this annual event. The 5k walk/run brought together some 200 people of all ages who enjoyed the scenic walk along the lake and a beautiful reception with breakfast at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church. IOCC Development Officer Nick Kasemeotes presented updates about IOCC’s work in the US and abroad. IOCC board member Kim Angelos also made an address to the audience. The Chicago Metropolitan Committee Chair, Bill Vranas, and event co-chair and committee member Maria Loukaki highlighted the constant support of volunteers and donors from the Chicago area. Maria announced a generous donation of $5,000 offered by St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in support of IOCC’s work around the world. Thanks to Bill Vranas, Maria Loukaki, Omar Rihani, and the rest of the Chicago volunteers for putting on another fantastic walk!

Virginia Beach, VA

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church recently hosted two events that support IOCC’s work: its 22nd Annual Charity Golf Outing (Oct. 3) and the 11th Annual Fr. Savas Constantinou Memorial Mission Walk (Oct. 7). The walk took place at First Landing State Park, and participants gathered afterward for a meal and fellowship. Thank you to Ed Ullum, Daniel Cook, and everyone who made these events such a success!

Charlotte, NC

On October 7, IOCC supporters from the Charlotte area gathered to hear news from IOCC Development Officer Lou Zagami and taste the delicious food prepared by those who entered the food competition. Fr. Constantine Shepherd also gave a short talk about his work as an IOCC Frontliner and the curricula for spiritual and emotional care training that he developed. Guests tried all the dishes on display and voted for their favorites. Winners in three categories were announced by Missy Davis, event co-chair and member of the Charlotte Metropolitan Committee. It was a very nice evening of fellowship! Our heartfelt thanks go to Laura Nixon, past IOCC board member and chair of the IOCC Charlotte committee, to Missy Davis and Elaine Fagan, event co-chairs and committee members, to all the home cooks who shared amazing food, and to all the volunteers who made this event a memorable one!

Sacramento, CA

On October 10, Jesuit High School’s Greek Club organized a fundraiser to benefit IOCC. The hardworking teens sold Greek frappes and baklava to their fellow students and faculty during their lunchtime and after school. Through this fundraiser, they aimed to raise awareness about IOCC’s worldwide humanitarian efforts and support the upcoming Cocktails for a Cause event being hosted by the Sacramento Metropolitan Committee on November 4 at Annunciation Hellenic Center. In addition to the in-school fundraiser, the youth held an online donation campaign on IOCC’s website from October 9 through October 22, which allowed nonstudents to get involved as well. Our heartfelt thanks go to Andreas Kush and Kyriakos Sioukas of Jesuit High School and St. Anna’s Orthodox Church, who organized this fundraiser out of their desire to support the work of IOCC. We also want to thank Andreas and Kyriakos’s peers who got involved to assist with the effort.

Richmond, VA

Tennis lovers in the Richmond area were treated to an extended weekend of fun and friendly competitions on October 13-15 at the Serving for Charity Mixed Doubles Tennis Weekend to Benefit IOCC. On Friday, guests came out to watch the pro-am tennis exhibition matches, and on Saturday and Sunday, several mixed-doubles teams competed in an express tournament on clay. They had a lot of fun, met new friends, and raised funds so IOCC can continue helping people in need. Special thanks to Mark Chronis and local volunteers for raising awareness about IOCC and organizing such a wonderful tournament!

Baltimore, MD

The light rain didn’t deter Baltimore IOCC supporters from representing Team IOCC in the Baltimore Running Festival on October 14. This year, the 5K race’s start was announced by a shot from the cannon of the USS Constellation, a historic ship that docks in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Team IOCC was proud to have a half-marathon runner this year. It was wonderful to reconnect with faithful fans of IOCC for this special annual event in Charm City! Special thanks go to this year’s participants and to Kirsten Schuetz, who encouraged the runners and congratulated everyone at the end of the race!

Cleveland, OH

On October 16, some 150 IOCC supporters gathered at St. Michael’s Woodside Event Center to enjoy a four-course dinner with wine pairings and live music and to participate in a cork pull competition, baskets raffle, and silent auction. Col. (R) Greg Krotcha, a trained Team Leader with IOCC’s US Program, engaged the audience with stories about leading volunteer teams with our US emergency response program. An oenologist explained the origins of the wines and why each one worked well with the course it accompanied. Guests enjoyed Jay’s beautiful vocals and international guitar music throughout the evening. Many thanks to Diane Hastings, IOCC Cleveland Metropolitan Committee chair; Liliana Bruckner, co-chair; and Julie Hall, treasurer—and to all the hardworking volunteers who made this amazing event possible!

Pittsburgh, PA

On October 19, IOCC supporters in the Pittsburgh area gathered at Rusty Gold Brewing Company for an Oktoberfest Happy Hour celebrating friendship over local craft beer samples—all while supporting the work of IOCC. Guests enjoyed catching up with each other and hearing news about IOCC’s latest work around the world. Special thanks to Kevin Reck, Mary Ann Reck, and Nick Terezis for organizing a lovely October event!

Austin, TX

On October 21, IOCC board member Pano Kanelos and his wife, Christina, hosted guests from the Austin/San Antonio area at their beautiful home. Attendees enjoyed a night under the stars with good food, good drinks, and good friends, all while learning about and supporting IOCC’s ongoing humanitarian work. Delicious catering was provided by Crissi Gianakopoulos of A Greek in the Kitchen. Special thanks to IOCC Board member, Pano, and his wife, Christina, for graciously hosting this wonderful event!

US Programs Updates

Volunteers Needed in Fort Myers, FL

IOCC is excited to extend its rebuilding efforts in Florida through January 2024. Under a grant from the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, IOCC continues rebuilding in the Fort Myers area, which was devastated by Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Even though we are over a year out from the storm, there is still much work to do! You can help survivors get back on their feet and back in their homes: read more at Room and board are available for out-of-town volunteers. Get a team together and join us in Fort Myers. Please contact Krista Hamann at or 667.331.9812 with any questions or to set up a team.

Upcoming Events

Interested in planning your own virtual or in-person event to raise awareness about IOCC? Get one on the calendar today! We’d love to help you organize, so please contact IOCC’s Outreach team at 410.243.9820 or

Check for updates at thank you for partnering with us!

IOCC Is Hiring!

Bring your expertise to an organization making a difference around the world, and join our team. Know someone who would be a perfect fit? Please pass this info along to them! For full job descriptions and application instructions, visit

Stay Connected to IOCC Online!

Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedInYouTube, and our Latest Updates page to keep up to date with IOCC news, view event photos, and get a firsthand look at how your support is changing lives around the world.