NEW YORK – While a large coordinated Diaspora effort to help the people of Greece has yet to materialize, a number of new and long-established organizations have stepped up and connected with dependable partners in Greece to do as much as they can to help the needy.
On a snowy afternoon members and friends of the Athenian’s Society of New York was busy loading a truck in Astoria with aid and TNH was told that the January delivery of food by the Hellenic Relief Foundation (HRH) helped 450 families.
On February 8 the Athenian’s Society delivered 16 boxes clothing for adults and children to the freight delivery company Iraklis Packing, Shipping and Moving.
Grigoris Koulbalides, a financial advisor who was born in Athens and has roots in Constantinople, and who is the Treasurer of the Athenian’s Society, said the delivery will go to the headquarters of the Greece-based Athenian Society in Athens’ Plaka district.
“The boxes were well-packed to maximize the aid we send,” he told TNH.
After delivering the boxes, Society President Panos Adamopoulos said he was very pleased that it was the first delivery of aid from the New York Society to the Athens-based organization. The two have become sibling organizations through their cooperation over the past two years.
He expressed his appreciation to TNH to those who were present for the delivery including Koulbalides, the Society’s secretary Sylvia Adamopoulos, Board member Christina Skiada, Chris Argyriou – representing his family who are among those who do not have Athenian roots but who love the Society and participate in its endeavors – and especially Nancy Dourmas Potamitis.
She is the owner of Iraklis, which was founded more than 40 years ago. “We thank her for her great good and for agreeing to make this first delivery free of charge,” Adamopoulos said, and he also thanked the family of Dr. Theo Giannaris for its contributions to the cause.
Potamitis told TNH that Irakli offers discount rates to individuals and groups sending aid to Greece.
“More deliveries will follow but we hope that the people of Athens will overcome the crisis as quickly as possible,” said Adamopoulos, who noted that the Society also sends money for food and medicine for the needy.
Koulbalides told TNH “people can send contributions to the Society by calling Adamopoulos’ office at (718) 721-1111.
The Hellenic Relief Foundation (HRF) is another group that provides assistance on a regular basis. The goods they distribute are purchased in Greece to assist the local economy and the companies are so impressed with the effort that they also make donations.
Taketzis is one of a number of Board members others who visit Greece and join volunteers in there to monitor the deliveries and assess the people’s needs.
HRF is hosting a dinner dance February 27 at 7:30 PM on the occasion of their fourth anniversary at the Church of the Archangel Michael in Port Washington, NY that will raise funds for their relief efforts.
“Most of the money will be used for the Easter deliveries,” which like HRF’s Christmas offering, will provide food apropos of the holiday. They will assist between 400 and 600 families.
The entertainment will include a performance by a comedian and music by the band Asteri.