1. When you learned about IOCC
I learned about IOCC several years ago when I still lived in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. My friend first introduced me to the IOCC workers in Akhaltsikhe. At that time very few people had computers and printers in our town and IOCC staff would often help us by allowing to use their computer or to print something after work hours. I just remember the staff was very friendly and nice and they had prayers books at the office.
I moved to the United States with my husband in 2006. We have been living in Charlottesville, VA since then. In Charlottesville we became members of the Greek Orthodox Church. We spent this summer, 2008, in Baltimore and there at one of the Church services, at the Greek Annunciation Cathedral, Fr. Dean mentioned going away for a training organized by IOCC. As my husband was working during the summer in Baltimore and I was looking for something interesting and useful to do, I decided to call IOCC and see if I could be of any use. That’s how I started volunteering for IOCC.
2. Why you chose to contact IOCC
My first reason for contacting IOCC was to help people through the organization whose workers I believed shared the philanthropic ideals of the Orthodox Church. In addition, since I was already somewhat familiar with the organization’s work through its regional offices, I was interested in learning how the headquarters functioned.
3. What you learned/accomplished volunteering
I have enjoyed my time volunteering at IOCC. The people were absolutely great – friendly, nice and full of energy to do their work. I am glad that I not only had the opportunity to work with professionals, but made good friends as well. Throughout my time at IOCC I was helping the Outreach Coordinator, promote IOCC work through opening accounts in My Space, Face Book and Orthodox Circle. It was an interesting experience for me to learn how these programs work. As a result I opened my own Orthodox Circle and find it helpful in my spiritual growth.
In addition, I learned putting mailing packages together for different churches and parishes. I have learnt working on the data program which IOCC uses to update information on Orthodox Churches and parish representatives in the United States. I also enjoyed helping IOCC organize one of their benefit concerts at the Baltimore Cathedral Annunciation Center and learnt how to cook my first Greek Bakhlava!
Every day of my work at IOCC I witnessed how much team and cooperation means for IOCC workers and as a result of their dedicated work they make the mission in their regional offices around the world possible.
Plans for the future
God willing, one of my professional plans for the future is to study International Development and work in that sphere. A short term plan is to visit my parents in Russia whom I have not seen since 2005.
4. Any additional info you would like to offer
I want to thank everyone at IOCC for warmly welcoming me in their team during the two months I volunteered there. I have a lot of bright memories from IOCC which made my summer seem short and very happy. Thank you!