New York – The Kibotos Foundation, a newly founded Greek American nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the growth and preservation of Eastern Christian Orthodox schools, education and churches, along with International Relief and Development (IRD) emergency response teams are delivering aid to survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in South Asia. The Kibotos Foundation is supporting IRD in dispatching its first of many aid shipments into Indonesia, following reports received by IRD from individuals on the ground requesting for more medical aid and supplies that are urgently needed. Emergency funding for the mission is being provided by the US Agency for International Development, and the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).
The Kibotos Foundation has raised over $60,000 thousand in donation since Dec. 26. During this week, the Kibotos Foundation has received its largest single donation to date of $2,000 for the Asia Disaster Response.
IRD’s and the Kibotos Foundation’s first shipment departed from Saint George Warehouse, in Kearny, New Jersey on Wednesday January 26th and it is expected to arrive in Indonesia within days thereafter. This first of many aid shipments contains medical supplies, children’s clothing, water, school supplies, teddy bears, sandals and hygienic supplies.
Early on Wednesday, Kibotos’ President Iacovos Kokkoris, along with Vice President and Managing Director George Gaginis, NY State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, Harry Kallas and others, were loading the truck with the fruits of love of the Greek American Community to the suffering people of Asia.
“This shows the heart of our community and how much compassion we have for others, even though they aren’t from our specific community but they are suffering”, told Greek News Michael Gianaris.
The Greek American assemblyman praised Jordan Kokoris and everyone involved with the center.
“These people are incredible. It’s important for all of us to do all we can to support these people who suffered a horrible calamity”.
Gianaris pointed out that especially in New York there was a special sympathy for these people because of the tragedy of the September 11.
“It was only three years ago that we have suffered a horrible killing of a large number of innocent civilians. On a personal level I think we understand it better than anybody else. Because of the fact we mobilized so three years ago we know how fast we have to act and what it is we need to do. So, in New York especially we were up to a task and we have been very good. We talk about 9/11 which is one of the most awful things we have ever experienced and 3,000 people died. It is hard to even get our minds around the impact of 180,000 people passing away from this act of nature”.
Although Kibotos Foundation is only three months old, its members didn’t hesitate when the tragedy stroked South Eastern Asia.
“It’s better to help in as much from the beginning. It’s been exciting opportunity right now for doing something better to help out, especially to reflect back to the community we have here and also to the people outside of this community that are really supportive to help the people in Asia”, said George Gaginis.
IRD and Kibotos Foundation have been working hand in hand in pitting everything together.
“We have received some of the clothing from Irene Sorenson, a young lady from Portland Oregon. She send it to us when she found out about us through IRD. We received additional things from children in Corona, from the teddy bears and a number of letters that they put together to send to children in Asia and through Mr Kokoris’ own people that he knows and was able to put together”.
Jordan Kokkoris offered his gratitude to the Makkos Organization for donating 5,000 bottles of water and Wood Motive for their donation of the truck that carried the supplies and the man power, as well as all the people of Astoria and other areas of the United States that rallied around Kibotos to support the drive.
“We have received many donations, monetary donations as well. Checks are coming in from 50 dollars to as high as 2,000 dollars. But what has left the largest impression with us are the letters attached to these checks. Letters of good wishes, of continued strength and of support, that we have received from Greek Americans from as far away as Ohio, Idaho, California. Our local people in Astoria were fantastic, not only in donations, but also in volunteer time”, Kokkoris added.
According to George Gaginis, Kibotos’ next goal is to keep moving forward.
“To do all we can in order to grow the organization from initial mission which is the support of our churches, schools, our Orthodox Faith and continue our efforts in helping other communities around the world, regardless of the faith. If we need to be somewhere in some capacity, we will be there. We know that every one who has come to us and spoken with us it’s been an equal voice. One of help, gratitude to looking at us as an extension through other organizations and it’s very warm to see how everyone reached out and helped out the situation”.