NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America announced on February 9 the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Earthquake Relief Fund, a fundraising effort by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of the recent earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
Yesterday, February 8, His Eminence visited the Turkish Consulate General in New York in order to sign its book of condolences. He met with Consul General Reyhan Özgür, to whom he expressed his deepest sympathies for the victims of the tragedy and shared his prayers for the rescue missions still underway as casualties continue to rise. They also discussed ways to work with local humanitarian services to respond to the urgent needs of all those affected by the earthquake.
His Eminence also visited the Very Reverend Mesrop Parsamyan, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, where he expressed his sadness at the loss of life and the damage to the Armenian churches in both Syria and Türkiye. Today, the Archbishop plans to meet with His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and Archdiocese for the Eastern United States, to offer solidarity and prayers for the destruction and loss brought on by these tragic earthquakes.
Archbishop Elpidophoros said: “In initiating the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Earthquake Relief Fund, the focus of our Archdiocese is to help with both the immediate needs and the longer-term implications of the devastation from the deadly earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. Our Archdiocese will partner with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to identify trusted organizations for aid distribution.”
A long-standing and trusted partner, IOCC has a proven track record in humanitarian and emergency relief and will lend its logistical and on-the-ground expertise to ensure effective distribution of funds raised by the Archdiocese. Distribution will be directed primarily to those impacted by the earthquake in Türkiye, and, as opportunities to assist are identified, to Syria.
The Archdiocese has set an initial fundraising goal of $500,000.
Donations can be made online at the dedicated webpage for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Earthquake Relief Fund: https://www.goarch.org/donate/earthquake-relief-fund. Checks may also be sent to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075, and made payable to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese with a memo notation of “Earthquake Relief Fund.”
The National Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, an affiliated institution, has committed to an initial disbursement of $50,000 for the Fund and will launch a fundraising campaign through its chapters to benefit the earthquake victims. The Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Fund is also committed to providing support to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Earthquake Relief Fund. At the same time, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America is directly supporting the relief efforts of IOCC. At the request of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and Mr. John Catsimatidis, Vice Chair of the Archdiocesan Council, have each pledged $50,000 to be donated to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for distribution to those affected in Türkiye.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America invites all parishes and faithful to support the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Earthquake Relief Fund.