International Orthodox Christian Charities Marks 30th Year of Service
Orthodox Agency Begins Fourth Decade of Worldwide Humanitarian and Development Assistance
Baltimore, Md. (February 22, 2022) — Founded in 1992, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is now in its 30th year providing humanitarian and development assistance to people in need worldwide.
Inspired by Christ’s call in Matthew 25’s parable of the Last Judgment, IOCC assists people in need regardless of their faith or background and provides help based on need alone. With a focus on meeting practical human necessities, IOCC works with and through the Orthodox Church, ecumenical partners, and agencies such as UNICEF, the World Food Program, and USAID, as well as with coalitions of nongovernmental organizations. IOCC seeks to support local communities to address the needs they prioritize for themselves and to leave behind local structures better able to manage the developmental challenges those communities face.
Visionary hierarchs and laypeople across Orthodox jurisdictions in the US coordinated to form the agency following the collapse of the USSR. Their leadership and investment laid a solid foundation on which the organization has since built. IOCC’s all-volunteer Board of Directors comprises elected Orthodox Christian clergy and laity from across the country who provide strong leadership for every aspect of the agency’s operations. Past and present board members’ commitment to IOCC through the decades has been key to its growth.
While IOCC’s work has spanned operations in more than 60 countries and myriad program areas, today it focuses on five kinds of need: emergency preparedness and response; health; water, sanitation, and hygiene; sustainable livelihoods; and agriculture and food security. While IOCC continues to serve communities in other program areas, as needs and local priorities indicate, its core work and depth of expertise reside in these sectors.
“It’s been IOCC’s honor and privilege to serve the Church across the globe for the last 30 years, striving to put our Orthodox Christian faith into action,” said Constantine Triantafilou, IOCC’s Executive Director and CEO since 1998. “Our donors are our partners in this work, and I’m incredibly humbled by their dedication through the years. IOCC is committed to careful stewardship of every single gift and to helping people in need in the most effective way possible.”
In three decades of service, IOCC’s far-reaching work has helped people facing hardship in ways large and small. Whether through immediate support after a disaster or by building communities’ resilience and economic independence through longer-term development work, countless people have benefitted from IOCC’s presence in their lives.
While private donations were vital to the agency’s earliest efforts, IOCC programs are now also funded by institutional and government grants, in addition to private gifts. Individual donors across the United States have been vital to expanding IOCC’s reach, with pan-Orthodox volunteer committees organizing fundraising events in their communities. These and other private donations make IOCC more competitive in grant-application processes. At the same time, volunteer-led events of all sizes remain an important part of IOCC’s approach and connect donors with the work they support.
To support IOCC’s humanitarian mission with a financial gift, please visit iocc.org/donate.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has provided more than $742 million in humanitarian relief and sustainable development programs in over 60 countries worldwide. Today, IOCC applies its expertise in humanitarian response to natural and manmade crises in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, offering assistance based solely on need. Learn more at iocc.org and follow us @IOCCRelief on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.