Notes and Reflections
Many thanks to all who have shared their experiences from the last 25 years.
Mark Stavropoulos, Chairman of the Board
For 25 years, IOCC’s faithful community has responded generously and compassionately to help those in need throughout the world. Since the first shipment of food and medical supplies was sent to Russia in 1992, IOCC has grown into a professional international humanitarian aid organization, responding to disasters and fostering development around the globe, strengthening the capacity of local Orthodox churches and empowering communities to improve their lives.
From shelter, clean bedding, and hot meals in emergency situations to microfinance support for entrepreneurs and training for healthcare professionals, IOCC offers the tools for people facing dire circumstances to not only survive with dignity but also go on to thrive.
IOCC works to restore hope amidst dire circumstances—hope for a dignified, safe, and healthy future. By God’s grace, the aid IOCC extends has helped improve living situations for ordinary people around the world.
In 2017, IOCC marks a quarter-century. As we move ahead into the coming years, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for being part of this vital work. You’ve been with IOCC from the beginning, and your support is IOCC’s strength.
Constantine M. Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO
Let me tell you a story.
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, May 1993. At the time, I was on staff at IOCC’s Belgrade office, in Serbia—it was a tumultuous period for the region, and IOCC was assisting people most affected by the civil war in Croatia and Bosnia, as well as those affected by the international sanctions.
That afternoon, I was drinking coffee at a small outdoor café when two young girls approached the table. One stepped forward and asked, in her very best English, for a picture of San Francisco. I was overwhelmed with emotion; she had such a sparkle in her eyes that you’d have thought she’d been born there. Here was a kid living in one of the most turbulent areas of the world radiating joy as she talked about a city over 10,000 miles away that she had never even seen.
With your support we are able to do what we do for kids like her who have dreams and want to live a happy and healthy life—kids that want to learn, travel, work, and be free. Victims of war, no matter which side they are on or what their age or religion, might never get to live their dreams. If IOCC can make one person smile, get another some much-needed food, help one kid move closer to her dream, then we’ve done something.
None of our work is possible without you. Thank you to our hierarchs, local clergy, donors and volunteers, IOCC staff at home and abroad, board members, and our partners, all who have made IOCC what it is today. It is your dedication to our mission that has made all of this possible in the last quarter-century, and it is your conviction that the Church must serve which will carry IOCC into its next 25 years.