Michigan-area members of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) delivered a sixth semi-truck load of milk, totaling nearly 2,000 gallons, to victims of the Flint Water Crisis on June 13, 2019.
The AHEPA family teamed-up with Flint’s Catholic Charities to provide milk to a non-stop line of more than 470 cars of Flint residents during a rainy 2-1/2 hour period. The cars represented households comprised of nearly 2,000 people, including 857 children.
“We commend the Michigan AHEPA family, the broader American Hellenic community and anyone who donated their time or funds to provide much-needed aid to people of Flint,” said George Loucas, president of AHEPA, who attended and distributed gallons of milk.
“Service and philanthropy are at the heart of our mission and vision, and we must work together to assist the victims of this crisis. I truly was humbled and proud to participate,” Loucas added.
Craig Theros, who serves as the “Milk for Flint” program chairman, acknowledged all of the partners that made this effort a success, including their partners at Catholic Charities — the local super market that offered discounted prices on milk and the coordination of the delivery to the distribution point in downtown Flint.
“Although the Flint water crisis is no longer in the headlines, the need to aid the victims remains,” Theros said. “AHEPA has not forgotten them and will continue to offer aid.”
Why milk? According to state public health departments, optimal nutrition can play an important role in minimizing the amount of lead absorbed and stored in bones, especially in children. When minerals such as calcium and iron are deficient, lead absorption is increased.
The initial milk drive occurred March 25, 2016. To date, the AHEPA Automotive District 10 has raised almost $25,000 and has distributed nearly 12,000 gallons of milk through the “Milk for Flint” program.
Much of the funds were donated by the members of the AHEPA and the Daughters of Penelope. But many donations came from individuals as well as from organizations around the country.
A seventh “Milk for Flint” drive is planned for fall 2019.
Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia to fight against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt by Greeks at the time by the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
AHEPA’s mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.
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