Multiple organizations in the Greek diaspora have acted promptly over the past 24 hours by launching emergency fundraisers in response to lethal wildfires that have killed at least 80 and destroyed entire communities in the Attica region around Athens, Greece.
The Chicago-based Hellenic American Leadership Council announced a GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $200,000 to directly benefit the Hellenic Red Cross and other emergency services in Greece working to save lives and rebuild devastated areas.
In the past, the organization has raised as much as $250,000 for various Greek-related causes — from funding Olympic athletes to crowdfunding for children affected by the economic crisis.
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) also launched an emergency relief fund and announced that it has raised more than $150,000 in humanitarian aid for wildfire victims by Friday.
AHEPA is the largest Greek American organization in the United States and has a long history of philanthropic contributions to efforts such as the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; care packages sent to troops in cooperation with the United Services Organization; and the building of healthcare facilities in Greece.
The association sent 270 care packages totaling $250,000 worth of goods and raised an additional $250,000 for victims of Greece’s last major wildfires in 2007.
Additionally, The Hellenic Initiative based out of New York City is accepting online donations to benefit Attica fire victims.
Since 2013, THI has provided more than $13 million for philanthropic and entrepreneurial programs to assist Greece during its economic crisis.
The organization states on its website that all funds from the wildfire campaign will be put toward relief efforts and that it will report back on how contributions have been used in Greece.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has partnered with Apostoli — Philanthropic Organization of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens — to provide basic needs for fire survivors.
The non-profit will distribute prepaid grocery cards to affected families, allowing them to purchase essentials such as Greek-grown produce, dairy, and meat, as well as personal hygiene items, including soap and shampoo.
Since its inception in 1992, IOCC and its partners have provided more than $661 million for relief and self-help programs in more than 60 countries.
Current programs focus on emergency relief, agriculture and food security, education, health, water and sanitation, and economic opportunity in places including Syria, Greece, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, numerous Balkan countries and the United States.
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