x

Church

Adopt a Yiayia and Pappou Program

January 12, 2022
by Rafaella Lambrinos

OCEAN, NJ – This past year and a half, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all social gatherings and forced us to stay 6 feet apart, I felt an urge to connect. I took an idea that was brewing within me, and brought it to life. With the help of my priest and GOYA advisor, I launched the Adopt a Yiayia and Pappou Program in my church. I sought to help the senior members in my church community, who I worried were feeling isolated due to the pandemic, with the tools I had at hand: a phone, a list of interesting questions, and someone to call. We were able to match teen volunteers with senior members interested in a weekly chat. This simple idea had a profound impact on those who participated in it, both young and old. Through the program, we created meaningful relationships amongst the most unlikely pairs.

Personally, getting to know my 97-year-old adopted yiayia has been a gift. She is magnetic, and her positive attitude is contagious. She ends every conversation with a declaration: “Rafaella, I just love life.” Listening to her stories feels like reading a novel I just can’t put down. I am lucky that she is entrusting me with her words, and in many ways, her history, and I am grateful for our bond. Participating in the program and getting to know my adopted yiayia has been enriching, and is truly time well spent.

Launching this program has taught me that life is filled with interruptions that often force us to change course, and are opportunities in disguise. Connecting with the seniors in my community has been truly rewarding. Having received His Grace Bishop Apostolos’ blessing to move forward in expanding this program throughout the Metropolis, and with Father Peter Thornberg’s support and guidance, my hope is that all GOYAS across the Metropolis will implement the Adopt a Yiayia and Pappou Program in their church. There are countless stories waiting to be shared and new friendships to be made.

Rafaella Lambrinos is a senior in the Law and Public Service Program at Colts Neck High School, and a member of St. George Church in Ocean Township, NJ. She was selected as the 2021-22 Miss GOYA for the Metropolis of NJ and is the first recipient of the Gus Leontarakis Hellenism Award. Her future plans include attending college this fall and majoring in sociology.

Father Peter Thornberg is the Metropolis of NJ Youth Director.

Source: go arch.org

RELATED

WASHINGTON - His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros Remarks at the Bicentennial Celebration in honor of His Excellency The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic and Mrs.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mitsotakis Meets with Biden at the White House (Video)

WASHINGTON, DC – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday, in the first day of an official two-day visit to the American capital.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.