Philoptochos Embraces National Issues

Philoptochos Embraces National Issues

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Under the patronage of his Eminence Elder Archbishop Demetrios, the Fifteenth Biennial National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon hosted by the Metropolis of Boston awarded ten medical organizations, facilities, and programs $167,000 in grants. Established in 1989, the Children’s Medical Fund has made a positive difference in the lives of children in the United States and throughout the world by donating close to $3 million to medical programs and facilities that offer care, treatment, innovative research and cures. The energy, dynamism and the pulse at the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel in Boston was invigorating as ‘an army’ of Philoptochos women from chapters across the nation contributed to the success of the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon.

 

Largest Christian philanthropic organization

In his address to Philoptochos members and guests at the Children’s Medical Luncheon, His Eminence Elder Archbishop Demetrios pointed out how Philoptochos has continued to extend its programs and outreach to encompass activities that went beyond their early engagements over 77 years ago. Continuous radical change is our destiny observes his Eminence Elder Archbishop Demetrios, both the inner change and external change guided by God. We see this change reflected since its early beginnings which makes Philoptochos the largest Christian Philanthropic organization in the United States today, second only to the Sisterhood of Hadassah, the Jewish women’s charitable group.

The Society was established in November 1931, by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I, who was then serving as Archbishop of North and South America.  His Eminence Elder Archbishop Demetrios of America refers to Philoptochos as, “an army of nobility and the jewel of our Church. Philoptochos must continue to do what God does by loving people”.

 

Broadening their focus to national issues

Literally, Philoptochos means friend of the poor, not only poor in financial resources but also poor in spirit, poor in health, poor in companionship, poor in emotional stability and poor in whatever is needed to lead a fulfilling life. Over the 77 years of existence Philoptochos reached out with innumerable services touching the lives of people both in the United States of America and Internationally.

The national president of Philoptochos, Maria Logus refers to the members of Philoptochos as an army of women organized at the local, metropolitan, national, and international levels and is open to all women over 18 years old who are of the Greek Orthodox faith.

In continuation of their philanthropic activities to return to God a portion of the time, talents and resources with which He has gifted and with the leadership and guidance of Archbishop Demetrios, Philoptochos has transcended the confines of the Greek Community by broadening its focus to include national issues such as the fights against cancer, AIDS, pornography, substance abuse, suicide, child abuse and human trafficking.

 

Working against human trafficking

Likened to modern-day slavery, human trafficking subjects children, women, and men to force, fraud, or coerce for the purpose of exploitation. Today, between 20-30 million people are victims of human trafficking around the world. Around one-third of these victims are children. Human trafficking exists in every country in the world, and in all 50 states of the United States of America.

In the ten year period from 2005 to 2014, Philoptochos donated $235,000 to UNICEF. Its engagement has gone beyond fundraising and donations to a more hands on involvement. National Philoptochos announced a new initiative with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s End Trafficking project. This initiative will focus on actionable projects that Chapters across the country can implement immediately to address the issue of human trafficking. On October 16, 2015 in New York City, National Philoptochos President Maria Logus spoke to the Archdiocesan Council about recent Philoptochos activities and reported on the Nationwide Human Trafficking Conference she recently attended.

 

LEARN ABOUT PHILOPTOCHOS

The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society is the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with 26,000 members nationwide.  Philoptochosresponds immediately to needs and crises and its philanthropic outreach extends to each area of the country and throughout the world. In 2014, National Philoptochosdistributed $1.475 million in philanthropic aid.

The Philoptochos’s major philanthropic initiatives are worth learning more about including:  Feeding the Hungry: 250,000 Meals, Saint Nicholas National Shrine at Ground Zero, and National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund.

 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY

The National Philoptochos Society mission is to charitable, benevolent and philanthropic outreach to preserve the sanctity of life and family and to perpetuate and promote our Orthodox faith and traditions.”.  The organization is led by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman, His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, Spiritual Advisor, Maria Logus, President, Arlene Siavelis Kehl, First Vice President, Evangeline Mekras Scurtis, Second Vice President, Jeannie Ranglas, Third Vice President, Christine Karavites, Secretary, Martha Stefanidakis, Treasurer, Georgia Vlitas, Assistant Treasurer and Aphrodite Skeadas, Advisor.  The organization’s Director is Helen Lavorata.

To learn more about the National Philoptochos Society, visit http://www.philoptochos.org.  For more information regarding this material and the National PhiloptochosSociety, please contact Rania Richardson, Communications Manager at rrichardson@philoptochos.org.

Click on the following link to make a donation online directly to the Philoptochos.

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Anberin Pasha

Anberin Pasha, OCN's Digital Disciple Producer and Program Coordinator is a Graduate student in the Master's of Divinity Program at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts.