The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has announced the first round of distribution of more than $250,000 from its COVID-19 Relief Fund to individuals affected by the global pandemic in the United States
The Fund is active, as the number of donors, especially small amount donors, continues to rise daily, according to a press announcement by the Archdiocese.
Created under the direction of Archbishop Elpidophoros, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States, the Relief Fund is an important part of the Archdiocese’s efforts to support those around the country impacted by the coronavirus and facing extreme financial hardship.
The fund was launched with an anonymous donation of $500,000 with an additional $137,000 raised in small donations from an active fundraising campaign that is still underway.
As of June 16, 2020, the Relief Fund Committee has approved 136 applications of the 254 received. An additional 24 applications are approved, pending documentation, while 30 applications are pending review. There are 58 incomplete applications (awaiting more information) and 6 were denied.
The maximum assistance per applicant is generally up to $2,500 per applicant, and payments are made directly to the biller. Grants are given for overdue bills including mortgage, rent, medical, gas, electric, food, childcare, funeral or other pressing needs.
A special committee continues to review all applications, contacting individuals for additional information or clarification as needed. All applications are strictly confidential.
The privately funded Relief Fund remains open and continues to receive donations from individuals, parishes of the Archdiocese, and organizations worldwide. Archbishop Elpidophoros urged those in need to apply for assistance:
“The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, through the support of many generous supporters, is determined to spare no effort in this time of desperate need. We are committed to you, the faithful, and to anyone in the USA who needs financial assistance.
“To our faithful, I issue a challenge – this is your church; this is our time; this is our ministry. Join your sisters and brothers by donating any amount, no matter how small or large. Those who wish to contribute to the Fund may do so here. To those who need assistance, I invite you to visit the website and apply.”
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