|Volume 10, No. 2||FALL 2007|
IOCC On The U.S. Gulf Coast
Since the summer of 2005 IOCC has programmed more than $4 million in emergency relief services, trauma counseling and relocation assistance for hurricane-battered Gulf Coast communities. The flagship of IOCC’s efforts has been the “Volunteer in the Gulf Coast” program which recruited volunteers from throughout the United States to build new homes in Covington, La., and Biloxi, Miss. in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity, International. Since November 2006 a total of 200 IOCC volunteers representing parishes from Orthodox jurisdictions, and other churches, have put in 1,000 work days and worked on a total of 43 homes. IOCC’s investment of volunteer hours has been valuable to Gulf Coast communities since getting people back into homes is the key to stimulating the return of schools and businesses.
"Until you have gone down and seen the devastation yourself, you can’t truly appreciate how much work is still needed. A home-building program is an important contribution that IOCC can make to Gulf Coast communities. It was a memorable experience that my daughter and I will always share.”
Tamara D. Segall, IOCC Chief Financial Officer, who joined a work crew in Covington La. that included members of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF). Accompanying Segall (above, extreme right) were sorority sisters from her alma mater, the University of Maryland, and her daughter, Jessica.
“This is exactly the kind of program IOCC needs to be doing stateside responding to disaster needs wherever we can make the most difference. It was a privilege for me to work on an IOCC volunteer work crew. The experience was profound, inspiring, rewarding. IOCC is in the trenches right where we should be.”
IOCC Board Member Basil M. Pappas (pictured above, left) on a work site in Covington, La.
Above: an IOCC volunteer crew participates in a wall raising in Covington, La.
“Our church sponsored two tours and each one was very rewarding. We were glad to be able to respond in a very practical way to all the devastation we had heard about in the Gulf Coast.”
Fran Rock (pictured above, right), wife of IOCC Senior Management Consultant Paul Rock. Fran accompanied members of her parish, St. John Roman Catholic Church of Westminster, Md., to work on homes in Covington, La. and Biloxi, Miss.
Above: Father Luke Melackrinos of St. Paul Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Hempstead, N.Y.) blesses a wall raising with an IOCC work crew in Covington, La.
“A great opportunity for the church to be the church. For the church to do what the church is called to do; to share in the responsibility to help the poor, the needy, the downtrodden.”
Father Michael Rosco, IOCC Board Member and Pastor of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy, N.J.