New York.- Having established that the immediate needs of those affected by the fires in Greece were being met by the civil authorities and other agencies, the Special Committee overseeing the Greek Fire Relief Fund of the Holy Archdiocese recently met to discuss the Fund and how it can make the greatest impact in the lives of those affected by the catastrophic fires of this past summer in Greece.
Following extensive discussion, the Committee agreed to focus their energies on developing specific long range programs of assistance since the effects of the destruction will be felt for many years to come. Some of the projects under consideration are: to offer grants to the children of victims of fire fighters and others who lost their lives during the conflagrations as well as to children and young people living in the affected areas; offering scholarships to individuals from various areas of Greece to study at fire fighting schools here in the United States; providing critical fire fighting equipment; as well as other areas of concern.
During this meeting, the Committee also approved a $252,853 grant to IOCC to underwrite a proposal which had been submitted to the Archdiocese. This grant enables IOCC to target over 3,500 small-scale, elderly and subsistence farming families in the impacted area of Peloponnese, providing them with animal feed and seeds for crops.
Participating in the meeting were: His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios; Vice Chair of the Archdiocesan Council, Mr. Michael Jaharis; President of the National Philoptochos, Mrs. Georgia Skeadas; the Commander of the Order of St. Andrew, Dr. Anthony Limberakis; President of the Faith Endowment, Mr. Peter Kikis and Special Consultant, Mr. Andew Natsios who has tremendous experience in offering disaster assistance. Also attending the meeting were His Grace Bishop Andonios, Coordinator of the Fund, as well as Father Alex Karloutsos and Mr. Jerry Dimitriou. Committee member, Mr. George Behrakis, Chairman of Leadership 100, was out of the country and unable to attend.
Thanks to the extraordinary response of the parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the generous contributions of the faithful, the Fund has to date collected over $3,675,000.