ASTORIA – The Greek community worldwide is responding to the fire relief effort. Nonprofit organizations, associations, and individuals are trying to raise funds and collect supplies for those affected by the fires. Greek-American William Philip (Bill) Furnaro lives in Astoria and is among those trying to help the relief effort. He spoke to The National Herald about his Facebook fundraiser and how he hopes to help those affected by the fires.
Furnaro told TNH, “The tragic events of earlier this July prompted me to take action and try to make a difference in the way we nowadays tend to deal with tragedy. Other than thoughts and prayers, I decided to do something about the people who have been impacted by the wildfires in Greece and assist in any way I could. Unfortunately, due to the long distance between us, food and supplies would not necessarily be preferred. Also supplies, shoes and clothing are facing a logistical challenge, therefore, I decided to raise money. Financial aid is always appreciated and can always cover for any needs.”
He said, “I have never made an attempt to raise money before. Facebook seemed like a universal outlet to do it through. Social media, if utilized efficiently can become a tool in cases like this.”
When asked about his background, Furnaro said, “My father is from New York, my mother is from Crete. They are both well, still reside in Greece, not affected by the fires.”
“I am visiting Greece this month on my personal vacation time, which is another reason why I have decided to create this fundraiser,” he added.
“In order to ensure and protect the funds of the people who donate, I will personally hand deliver the funds to the organization(s) that I will eventually select to help,” Furnaro noted.
“I don't have a final project or organization selected yet. I am doing my online research and also receiving help from my friends and family from Greece on this. Additionally, I have requested from everyone who contributes to the fundraiser to venture ideas and share their take on this. That way, they will feel involved and stay updated with where their money will go,” he told TNH.
More information about Furnaro and his fundraising effort is available on Facebook, search Bill Furnaro and Wildfire Victims.