IOCC Delivers Winter Relief
To Greece's Most Vulnerable

January 3, 2014

These young wards of a Church-run orphanage in northern Greece will stay warm this winter with the help of heating oil provided by IOCC. More than 1,900 orphans, disabled and elderly residents will benefit from the emergency assistance to social institutions in Greece. photo: IOCC
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — As snow and nighttime temperatures fall in portions of Greece, the country's most vulnerable – the elderly, people with disabilities and orphaned children – are at the greatest risk of succumbing to the bitter cold without adequate heat to keep them warm. Tax hikes last year by the Greek Government nearly doubled the price of heating fuel, making it unaffordable for the country's nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and orphanages already stretched thin to meet other operating costs such as food, wages and maintenance. Without government assistance, caregiver institutions struggle to protect the health and well-being of their wards this winter.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is providing winter relief with the emergency distribution of heating fuel to 35 social institutions across 15 prefectures in northern Greece. The aid is made possible through the generous support of The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc., which has pledged to match contributions to IOCC for its efforts to address hunger and poverty in Greece. The institutions, which are home to 1,900 children and adults unable to care for themselves, will receive supplemental fuel to assist in keeping their facilities heated through the winter months.

In addition to the emergency winter aid, ongoing distributions of food are being provided throughout Greece in cooperation with Apostoli, the social service agency of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Athens.

Last winter, with the support of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, IOCC distributed heating fuel to 35 social institutions caring for the country's most vulnerable people in Athens, northern and central Greece. IOCC has been working since 2011 to address the urgent humanitarian needs of children, families and elderly in Greece facing poverty and an uncertain future brought on by the country's financial crisis. IOCC has delivered more than $7 million in medical support, food and job assistance programs to the people of Greece.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help families in Greece and have your gift doubled through the Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc. Challenge by making a financial gift to the Give for Greece Challenge. To make a gift, please visit www.iocc.org/GiveForGreece or call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $438 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy. To learn more about IOCC, visit www.iocc.org

Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, rtierney@iocc.org

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