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United States

International Orthodox Christian Charities Launches COVID-19 Program in U.S.

BALTIMORE, MD – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has launched a new initiative under its 20-year-old U.S. program, focusing on supporting communities across the country with IOCC Care Calls for emotional and spiritual care during the pandemic.

This outreach tool— a user-friendly script and guide— is designed to help individuals start conversations via phone or other digital media, in order to reduce anxiety and isolation. The IOCC Care Calls guide supports anyone who wants to check in with friends, neighbors, fellow parishioners, or any other person struggling with the reality created by COVID-19.

IOCC developed its Care Calls program under guidance from a team of licensed medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, mental-health clinicians, and Orthodox clergy who together have expertise in trauma counseling and mental health.

“Social distancing does not mean we should be distant,” said IOCC Executive Director and CEO Constantine Triantafilou. “This is the kind of interaction we need right now. Using our tool will make all of us more present, stronger, and connected.”

The IOCC Care Calls tool is available to the public on IOCC’s website. As part of its emotional and spiritual care work in the United States, IOCC encourages any who are interested to use it to strengthen interpersonal connections at a time characterized by isolation and anxiety.

Download the IOCC Care Calls tool at iocc.org/covid

The Care Calls initiative builds on IOCC’s emotional and spiritual care work amid disasters, core to US programming. Recognizing that spirituality is part of the human experience, IOCC offers respectful care in time of disaster that helps people cope and recover, laying the groundwork for resilience and hope.

Both in the U.S. and abroad, IOCC’s response to the pandemic is guided by a twofold strategy of continuing to safely deliver existing programs, and positioning itself for the long-term to better serve in the new global reality.

More about IOCC’s humanitarian and development work is available online: iocc.org. Donations can be made online or by contacting IOCC at 410-243-9820.

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