American Cretans have a long history of supporting their homeland. Reminders of their help is evident in financial support given over the years to numerous hospitals, universities and philanthropic institutions throughout the island.
Support also came in the form of direct human financial assistance when members of the Pancretan Association of America helped young unwed Cretan girls build their dowries after the devastation of the Second World War.
Members of the Pancretan Association of America via their Cretan Alumni Network and the Philanthropic Fund are raising funds to send badly needed medical supplies to hospitals throughout the island. See the campaign by clicking here.
“Our families in Crete are lacking the basic needs that most of us take for granted, from clean hospital bed sheets to wheelchairs for every patient. We cannot sit on the sideline of this crisis,” said Diane Kounalakis-Baxter, one of the organizers of the campaign that is being organized via the Pitchtop.com crowd-funding platform.
Anna Giannoulias, a Chicago resident and native of Hania who has witnessed the crisis first hand while visiting the island, has offered up $10,000 in matching money for every dollar raised through the crowd funding campaign, meaning that if the campaign is successful in reaching its $10,000 goal, Mrs. Giannoulias will donate another $10,000.
The funds will be distributed via the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) which has already been instrumental in distributing almost $5 million in aid to Greek charities from the Pancretan Association’s earlier efforts, as well as those from other Greek American organizations like the Archdiocese, the AHEPA and others.
Fast forward to 2015 and a different kind of crisis is unfolding in Crete— one of a lack of medical supplies on the island’s hospitals and a deteriorating healthcare system due to the ongoing economic crisis in the country. The crisis facing the country’s current healthcare situation is outlined in this video created by a volunteer group of medical professionals asking their government leaders for more attention to the plight of average Greeks.