Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Grant Fuels IOCC Winter Relief to Greece’s Most Vulnerable
Baltimore, MD (February 6, 2013) — As winter temperatures dip dangerously below freezing across Greece’s coldest regions, and the cost to heat homes continues to rise out of reach for millions of poverty-stricken Greeks, it is the country’s most vulnerable – the elderly, people with disabilities and orphaned boys and girls – whose lives are at the greatest risk of succumbing to the bitter cold. The nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and orphanages that care for them are faced with a lack of government funding due to Greece’s continuing debt crisis and austerity measures, making it almost impossible for most social institutions to adequately heat their facilities.
Through a generous grant of $200,000 from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in cooperation with Apostoli, the social service agency of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Athens, is providing the emergency distribution of heating fuel to 30 social institutions located in Athens, the Viotia region of central Greece, and across 14 provinces in northern Greece. The institutions, which are home to more than 1,500 children and adults unable to care for themselves, will receive enough heating fuel to keep their facilities warm through the winter months.
In October 2012, the price of heating fuel in Greece increased 40 percent, followed by a 30 percent spike in the cost of electricity, stretching already lean institutional budgets struggling to meet other operating costs such as food, wages and maintenance. Without assistance, the ability to safely and properly care for their wards was in jeopardy.
“This offering is one more expression of the genuine love and concern the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America have for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering as a result of the economic crisis facing Greece and Europe,” said His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. “By providing the basic necessity of heating to trusted humanitarian and philanthropic agencies, these organizations can maximize the financial resources directly assisting those most in need.”
IOCC has been working since 2011 to address the urgent humanitarian needs of Greek children, families and elderly who face poverty and an uncertain future as unemployment rises and the deeply indebted Greek government continues to slash budgets for pension and health benefits. IOCC has delivered more than $2 million in medical support, food and job assistance programs to Greece.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help the victims of poverty and conflicts around the world, like those in Greece, by making a financial gift to the International Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need.
To make a gift, please visit www.iocc.org or call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297.
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered more than $400 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in 50 countries.