IOCC Volunteer Update - February 2018

Great Lent Resource Page and Reflections

February Board Bridegroom

The Service as Almsgiving booklet is now available for download on our website. Visit our Lenten Resources page to read the six weekly reflections, written by IOCC board members past and present, on our website. Here you’ll also find links to past IOCC Lenten materials to help inspire your journey to Pascha.

Souper Bowl of Caring MVPs!

Thank you to all the parishes and volunteers who took action on February 4! Many of you took collections, shared IOCC with your friends and neighbors, or donated to your local food pantry. We can’t thank you enough! Here are some of the highlights: 

Binghamton, NY
Binghamton Feb Volunteer Update

Dormition of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Binghamton held its first Souper Bowl Sunday collection. Young children participated and raised funds for IOCC’s relief work, and food collections were delivered to the local food pantry at St. Michael’s Orthodox Church, also in Binghamton. Thanks to the younger generation for participating!

Des Plaines, IL 
Chicago Feb Volunteer Update
St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church of Des Plaines promoted Souper Bowl Sunday all week and collected nonperishable food items for a local food bank, plus donations for IOCC. Young GOYA members helped out by holding pots as people exited the sanctuary. Thank you for all your hard work in helping people near and far! 

Nashville, TN
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church continued its long-standing tradition of celebrating Souper Bowl of Caring with a chili cook-off! The three-time Grand Champion won a basket of book-themed prizes, as hungry churchgoers supported IOCC with their meal. Thanks to the parishioners at Holy Trinity for rallying another year to support people in need worldwide!

Lake Forest, IL
Lake Forest Feb Volunteer Update

The high-school class at St. Basil of Ostrog Serbian Orthodox Church creatively took advantage of the big game to make a difference for IOCC. They knew many people would be gathering for the Super Bowl, so they voted to sell gourmet homemade cupcakes after liturgy for parishioners to take to their celebrations. Thank you for raising funds and coming together to make a difference! 

Paramus, NJ
Paramus Feb Volunteer Update
Young people at the Orthodox Christian Church of Christ the Saviour participated in Souper Bowl Sunday by raising funds for IOCC. In addition, the community collected 10 bags of canned items for the local food pantry. Thanks so much for this fantastic contribution!

Clinton, CT
Parishioners at St. Alexis Orthodox Church continued their Souper Bowl Sunday outreach activities for another year, collecting 100 items for their local community. They also held their annual St. Alexis Chili/Chowder Challenge, where everyone sampled favorite soups and voted with their wallets. Donations were sent to IOCC for the 15th year in a row. Thanks to Susan Egan and the members of St. Alexis for their loyal support!

Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Feb Volunteer Update
On Super Bowl Sunday, the GOYA, JOY, “Matthew 25,” and IOCC ministries of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, joined forces to help feed the hungry—and carried the excitement of the big game into their community. Thanks to Zaffie Zoubroulis and Debbie Sourias, and their tremendous efforts in organizing the event, a collection of nonperishables was assembled and distributed to the “Matthew 25” food pantry for the hungry in their local area. In addition, thanks to Mary Jaxheimer and Barb Crits-Kelly, IOCC parish representatives, a tray was passed, and the Philadelphia Committee collected funds for IOCC. Under the leadership of Father John Johns, they had a definite “win-win-win” day for their IOCC chapter, humanitarian ministries, and the Philadelphia Eagles!

Submit Your Favorite Lenten Recipes
Hummus Feb Volunteer Update
Calling all chefs! We’re compiling additional Lenten resources, and we need your help! If you have any delicious fast-friendly recipes from around the world (or right here in the US), please submit them to Take a photo of you with your creation—we’ll share your recipe and name as a Lenten resource next year.

Volunteers Needed in the US! 

January Update Build

As a global humanitarian agency, IOCC also works right here in the United States. IOCC’s Orthodox home-build teams support long-term recovery after disasters, because communities affected by these catastrophes often face great need long after the crisis has passed. We need volunteers to help with critical home repairs and builds. Several opportunities are now available in March in St. Augustine, Florida. Stay tuned for additional summer dates and locations here.

Spread the Word about IOCC Internships
Internship January Volunteer Update

Want to learn about humanitarian and emergency-response work from the inside? Check out IOCC’s 2018 summer internship in our US Programs office here.

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

Cleveland, OH
On February 1, some 100 guests gathered to sample European wines over a five-course tasting menu to benefit IOCC, held at the Copper Stone Event Center. This was the first wine tasting for the IOCC Cleveland Metropolitan Committee, and the new event was a hit! Local music group Sarena Orchestra lent a festive air to the evening and even visited tables for personal performances. Guests heard updates about IOCC’s programs in Jordan, Greece, Romania, and Ethiopia, and some went home with curated gift baskets. Thank you to event chair Pete Theodore and the entire Cleveland committee for their work in organizing this new event!

Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee Feb Volunteer Update

On February 3, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Committee hosted its fifth annual Tailgate Celebration at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. The evening began with Vespers, followed by a delicious meal of Usinger’s Bratwurst and tailgate sides, and an entire table of donated desserts and goodies from volunteers across the area. IOCC board member George Djurasovic and Fr. David Moga offered remarks, and IOCC Gift Officer Nick Kasemeotes provided a short IOCC presentation and update. Musician Larry Hinds provided music and entertainment throughout the evening, while more than 100 people enjoyed fellowship and silent auction items, including custom jewelry and sports memorabilia. Thank you to co-chairs Katherine Newhouse and Ana Treptow and the entire group of pan-Orthodox volunteers for making this family-friendly event possible!

Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Feb Volunteer Update

The IOCC Pittsburgh Metropolitan Committee started their year off strong with a fundraising event and emergency-kit drive at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania. On February 3, people across multiple jurisdictions came together to sample international soups and take home a quart of their favorite. In addition, youth from all over the Pittsburgh area assembled more than 1,000 hygiene kits, with generous local donors making the kit drive possible. Thank you to Nick Terezis, Kevin Reck, Marianne Carmack, Deno Pappas, and the rest of the Pittsburgh committee for organizing this event and service project!

Raleigh-Durham, NC
Orthodox faithful across eastern North Carolina gathered together for a Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers & Reception on February 25, in what has become a longstanding tradition in the area. St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church hosted about 200 guests who came to pray and share a meal together, marking the first Sunday of Great Lent. Guests enjoyed hearing updates on IOCC’s work around the world from IOCC Development Officer Lou Zagami, and many generously donated to support these humanitarian programs in the spirit of Great Lent. Special thanks to event chair Helen Paliouras and Fr. Stavroforos Mamaies for making this possible once again!

Volunteers in Action

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

Lexington, MA
Lexington Feb Volunteer Update
Members of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Lexington, MA, recently came together to make hygiene kits for those in need. Led by their teen youth group, the community almost doubled their goal of 600 by assembling 1,125 kits. Amazing work! (Photo: ©2018 George & Melissa Papayannis)

Upcoming IOCC Events 

Check for updates at

IOCC Is Hiring

Bring your expertise to an organization making a difference around the world. Join our team in one of the following positions—some in our Baltimore headquarters and some abroad. Know someone who would be a perfect fit? Please pass this info along to them! For full job descriptions and application instructions, visit

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