IOCC Volunteer Update - February 2017

IOCC Outreach is recruiting beta testers for our new DIY (do-it-yourself) fundraising platform. Here's your chance to shape a campaign that matches your interests, passion, and schedule – and to be one of IOCC's first DIYers! Whether you'd like to dedicate a local race, mark a milestone in your own life, celebrate someone special, or you're just feeling creative, get started here to make a difference!

IOCC Is 25! #IOCC25
As we begin celebrating our 25th Anniversary, please join us and incorporate the hashtag #IOCC25 into your social media posts. Tell us why IOCC is important to you – use the #IOCC25 hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – and help spread the word about IOCC's 25 years of humanitarian work.

Did You Know...?
As a global humanitarian agency, IOCC also works right here in the United States. In addition to meeting the needs of those facing hardship overseas, IOCC has responded at home in the wake of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other devastating events. Frontliners are specially trained to provide psychosocial support following disasters, and IOCC's Orthodox Action Teams help clean up and rebuild homes, from New Orleans to Oklahoma, and from North Carolina to Minnesota. Read more – and sign up to volunteer – at

IOCC in the News
Finn Church Aid highlights IOCC's work in Syria
Greek TV features IOCC's agricultural, economic programs (in Greek)
Orthodox Observer on IOCC's 25th Anniversary
Miss any news on IOCC? Catch up here.

Souper Bowl VIPs
THANK YOU to all the parishes and volunteers who took action on February 5! The Souper Bowl of Caring is a chance to help IOCC provide food to those in need – reaching around the world with Christ's love and making a positive difference. Many of you hosted events, took collections, or otherwise shared IOCC with your friends and neighbors. We can't thank you enough!

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
Houston, TX

On February 11, nearly 200 guests filled the hall at St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church to celebrate IOCC's 25th Anniversary with a special banquet. IOCC board member and host priest Fr. Luke Palumbis was emcee for the evening, and IOCC Executive Director and CEO Constantine Triantafilou served as the keynote speaker. Additional speakers included IOCC board member Dimitri Zgourides and IOCC Development Officer Nick Kasemeotes. The Third Floor String Quartet and the Specialty Sound barbershop quartet added ambiance by performing throughout the evening. Iconographer Bessie Zgourides presented Mr. Triantafilou with an icon for IOCC's silver anniversary depicting the parable Christ tells in Matthew 25, the inspiration for IOCC: "I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink ..." (Matt. 25:35). Many thanks to Fr. Luke and his team of volunteers who put together this lovely evening!

Orange County, CA

On February 12, more than 100 people gathered at St. Luke Orthodox Church in Garden Grove for a Valentine-themed evening dubbed Share the Love. Acclaimed local chef Kimmy Tang presented a multicultural menu featuring wine and food pairings from countries where IOCC is serving and sharing Christ's love. Event chair Melody Bahu emceed along with Nick Barson and Linda Adintori, and between courses they took turns offering short vignettes of IOCC's work in several countries like Syria, Greece, and Ethiopia. IOCC Development Officer Nick Kasemeotes also presented briefly on IOCC's global reach and the services offered to those facing hardship. Thank you to Melody Bahu, Kimmy Tang, the entire Orange County Committee, the 15 volunteer servers, and all who supported and worked to make this event a success!

Boston, MA

Now in its second year, All That Jazz: A Musical Reception for IOCC took place at the Maliotis Cultural Center on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline on February 19. Fr. Gregory Floor, saxophonist extraordinaire, together with the talented John Arcaro on the piano, filled the space with the sounds of jazz classics throughout the evening. A lovely buffet of select cheeses, fruits and veggies, and homemade spanakopita was paired with wine poured by the glass. Guests mingled and visited to the music, and IOCC Development Officer Lou Zagami presented an overview of the work supporters make possible. Thanks go to HCHC event coordinator Donna Byers, the fantastic musicians, and especially to event co-chairs Katerina Hazimihalis and Cassandra Chamallas for planning and executing the 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!
Pittsburgh, PA
At the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Committee's Soup Sampling, area youth came together to assemble hygiene kits for IOCC's partner program. Some 25 children of wide-ranging ages formed assembly stations and filled boxes with 300 completed kits. Thank you for your energy and support!

Upcoming IOCC Events – Celebrate with us!
Interested in planning your own 25th Anniversary event? Help us plan ahead by scheduling now! We'd love to send a speaker to your parish. Please let us know what you're planning, so we can make travel arrangements well ahead of time. IOCC will also provide specially branded promotional materials for the 25th anniversary so that all parish members can join the festivities. Thank you for celebrating with us!
  • March 5: Raleigh-Durham, NC – Pan-Orthodox Vespers for IOCC
  • 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: Baltimore, MD – A Big Fat Greek Wedding Reception for IOCC's 25th Anniversary
  • April 22: Cranston, RI – 25th Anniversary Pan-Orthodox Vespers & Buffet for IOCC
  • May 6: Sacramento, CA – Odyssey of Hope 25th Anniversary Gala
  • May 6–7: Pittsburgh, PA – TEAM IOCC at the Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend
  • May 11: Chicago, IL – 25th Anniversary Grand Banquet & Silent Auction
  • May 13: New York, NY – 25th Anniversary Celebration
  • June 9: Cleveland, OH – 25th Anniversary IOCC Banquet
  • August 19: Denver, CO – Pan-Orthodox Walk/Run for IOCC
  • October 21: Baltimore, MD – TEAM IOCC at the Baltimore Running Festival
  • October 28: Charlotte, NC – 25th Anniversary IOCC Evening
  • November 5: Castro Valley, CA – 25th Anniversary Remembering Home IOCC Dinner
  • November 11: Saint Louis, MO – 25th Anniversary IOCC Banquet
  • November 12: Akron, OH – Thankfulness Dinner to Benefit IOCC
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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