New York.- Archbishop Demetrios of America announced the appointment of the members of the Special Committee which will oversee and coordinate the distribution of all monies collected by the Greek Fire Relief Fund of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This fund was established by the Archdiocese in response to the catastrophic fires which resulted in the loss of 70 lives and devastated large areas of the Peloponnese area of Greece as well as left countless people homeless and without a means of supporting themselves for years to come. The funds raised so far have reached two million dollars.
“I am most confident that with the help of God the members of this committee will do their utmost to assure the effective distribution of assistance to those who truly need it. They not only represent the various organizations of the Archdiocese but more importantly, they have proven themselves as trustworthy, conscientious and faithful Christian stewards,” stated the Archbishop.
In addition to His Eminence who will serve as Chairman, the members of the committee are: Mr. Michael Jaharis, Vice-Chair of the Archdiocesan Council; Mrs. Georgia Skeadas, National President of Philoptochos; Mr. George Behrakis, Chairman of Leadership 100; Dr. Anthony Limberakis, Commander of the Order of St. Andrew; Mr. Peter Kikis, President of the Faith Endowment and Mr. Andrew Natsios who presently is a professor at Georgetown University and who as past Administrator of USAID has extensive experience in effectively coordinating philanthropic assistance throughout the world to people in need.
“We are especially pleased that Mr. Andrew Natsios, who has distinguished himself during his years in Washington, has accepted our invitation to serve as a member of this august body. It is noteworthy to point out that he has tremendous experience in the area of international aid, having overseen 8,000 staff members as the administrator of USAID” reflected the Archbishop. “On behalf of the members of the Eparchial Synod and the entire Archdiocese, I express my appreciation to all of these individuals for accepting this awesome responsibility of overseeing our Greek Fire Relief Fund”.
Serving as Coordinator of the work related to the Committee and the assistance offered to the victims of the fires in Greece will be His Grace Bishop Andonios, the Director of the Department of Philanthropy of the Archdiocese. His Grace echoed the sentiments of the Archbishop in expressing appreciation to the members of the committee, “I look forward to working with all the distinguished members of the Committee in doing all we can to offer whatever assistance is needed by those people who have been adversely affected by this catastrophe. With all humility, I can say that the Department of Philanthropy responsibly coordinated the tremendous assistance which was offered by faithful of the Archdiocese through the September 11th Relief Fund and the Hurricane Katrina Fund to the victims of both disasters. I am confident that working together with the Committee we will be equally successful in this effort”.
The Bishop concluded his remarks by stating, “As with the other two relief funds, checks and balances will be implemented to assure that all monies reach the people who truly need them, regular reports will be issued to the faithful of the Archdiocese on the status of monies collected and how they have been spent and the Fund will be audited by a reputable and national recognized auditing firm.” To date, the Fund has collected close to $2,000,000.