IOCC Volunteer Update - December 2016

Christ is born! Glorify him!

Today Christ is born of the Virgin in Bethlehem. Today He who knows no beginning now begins to be, and the Word is made flesh. The powers of heaven greatly rejoice, and the earth with mankind makes glad. The Magi offer gifts, the shepherds proclaim the marvel, and we cry aloud without ceasing: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men.

— Christmas Canon, Troparion

IOCC wishes all our dedicated volunteers a peaceful, joyful Nativity feast – whether you've already celebrated or will celebrate in January – and a new year filled with blessings for you and your loved ones. Thank you for your generosity in sharing with those in great need around the world; we are so grateful that you do.

From 1992 to 2017: IOCC Celebrates a Quarter Century!
Next year IOCC will mark 25 years of service – made possible by your generosity. Schedule your 2017 event now and help us celebrate our 25 years of work! We'd love to send a speaker to your parish, so please let us know what you're planning so we can make travel arrangements well ahead of time. IOCC will provide specially branded promotional materials for the 25th anniversary, so look for those in January – and thank you!

Did You Know...?
IOCC came into being in 1992. The organization's very first undertaking was to provide food and medical supplies in Moscow. So many people in the former Soviet Union faced hardship because of political and socioeconomic upheaval across the region, and Orthodox Christians in the United States responded to the need. Lay leaders and the Orthodox hierarchy came together, and the immediate result was a cargo plane laden with practical assistance for struggling families. The long-term result, 25 years later, is the official humanitarian agency of the Assembly of Bishops of the United States – your compassion at work around the world.

IOCC Awareness Events
Organizing an IOCC event in your parish or community? IOCC Outreach is here to help you plan and publicize – to get your local IOCC event on the calendar, contact us at
Steelton, PA
On December 18, the community of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church once again hosted the annual charity evening held by the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central Pennsylvania. The evening began with a festal vespers for St. Nicholas, and His Grace Bishop Irinej graciously served as host. Guests enjoyed a special concert of seasonal music, performed by the Pan-Orthodox Choir of South Central Pennsylvania. Thank you to His Grace, the choir, Fr. Chris Rocknage and the clergy brotherhood, and all the volunteers who made this evening possible!

Grand Rapids, MI
A private reception to benefit IOCC's work took place on December 11, featuring a special update by IOCC Gift Officer Nick Kasemeotes. Host and emcee Dn. David Khorey welcomed guests, who heard the latest news about IOCC's programs around the world, including the Middle East, and learned how to join forces with IOCC to help improve the lives of those facing extreme poverty and hardship. Many thanks to the evening's host and all the guests, who braved a blizzard to attend this event!

Volunteers in Action
Let us know about your kit drives and IOCC presentations – email images and brief write-ups to so we can feature them here. And thank you!

Grand Rapids, MI
At St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, children created country posters after assembling health kits, highlighting places where IOCC works and where your efforts are helping improve lives. Here's to the next generation of Orthodox humanitarians!

Upcoming IOCC Events
  • January 28: Milwaukee, WI – Tailgate Celebration for IOCC's 25th
  • January 28: Pittsburgh, PA – International Soup Sampling for IOCC
  • January 28: Valmorel, France – Spartan Race Valmorel Sprint for IOCC
  • February 11: Houston, TX – 25th Anniversary IOCC Banquet
  • February 12: Orange County, CA – Share the Love IOCC Benefit
  • March 18: Denver, CO – Annual IOCC Pan-Orthodox Evening
  • March 19: Bealeton, VA – Around the World with IOCC: Coffee Hour Benefit
  • April 2: Pittsburgh, PA – Syrian Relief Dinner & Prayer Service
  • April 22: Cranston, RI – 25th Anniversary IOCC Event
  • May 6: Sacramento, CA – 25th Anniversary IOCC Banquet
  • May 6-7: Pittsburgh, PA – TEAM IOCC at the Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend
  • May 11: Chicago, IL – 25th Anniversary IOCC Banquet
  • May 13: New York, NY – 25th Anniversary Celebration
  • June 9: Cleveland, OH – 25th Anniversary IOCC Banquet
For information about these IOCC events and more, visit

Stay connected to IOCC through our online communities!

Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and stay up to date on news, IOCC event photos and a firsthand look at how your support is sharing good around the world.

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Daily Prayer for IOCC Volunteers
O Heavenly King, Comforter, who grants all blessings,
we thank You for Your abundant grace and mercies.
Help us to be good stewards of Your treasury through the ministry of IOCC.
Help us to strip ourselves of our earthly adornment,
so that the poor may be sufficiently clothed and fed.
And, by so loving our neighbor, adorn us with the everlasting pearls of virtue instead.
Where there is suffering, help us to bring Your mercy. Where there is despair, Your hope;
Where there is war, allow us to present You who are the Prince of Peace;
Where there is pain, You who are the Comforter; Where there is hatred, You who are Love;
Where there is death and destruction; You who are the Resurrection and Life.
Daily guide our work in IOCC, so that we may do all things,
in every place and at all times, for Your glory. Amen.
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