IOCC Volunteer Update - June 2016

IOCC Volunteer Update - June 2016

Join IOCC at Clergy-Laity Congress and Parish Life Conferences!

Look for IOCC staff at the following gatherings – we'd love to talk with you!

June 29 – July 3Antiochian Orthodox Dioceses of Los Angeles and Eagle River –
Nick Kasemeotes
June 29 – July 3Antiochian Orthodox Dioceses of Charleston & New York –
Lou Zagami
July 3 – 8Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Clergy-Laity Congress –
Lou Zagami, Christina Meares

Summer Days Too Long? Spend Them Sharing IOCC!

Take advantage of less-hectic schedules this summer to share what you love about IOCC's programs with your church, neighbors, and co-workers. Get a jump start on the busy fall calendar now: sign on as a parish representative or set up a personalized webpage and challenge your colleagues to a creative competition!

Your efforts support the areas of greatest need, giving IOCC the flexibility to respond quickly and effectively during disasters and to continue life-saving programming in forgotten corners of the world – serving some of the world's most vulnerable people with clean water, education, nutrition support, and so much more. Thank you! To learn more or to get started, call an Outreach Coordinator today at 410-243-9820, or email

IOCC Press Releases
West Virginia Floods
IOCC Basketball Clinic for At-Risk Youth
Syrian Refugees in Foreign Lands
A Tragedy in Orlando
Miss a press release? Catch up here.

IOCC in the News
IOCC Partners in New Orleans Area Habitat Build
IOCC/Apostoli Support Greek Efforts to Accommodate Refugees

Race to Respond: Run (or Bike, or Swim) for a Cause!

"I do not run aimlessly." 1 Cor 9:26

You can help those in need by dedicating your upcoming race to IOCC! This past fall, dozens of enthusiastic IOCC volunteers from across the country and IOCC HQ staffers ran and walked in races ranging from a 5K to a full marathon at both the Baltimore Running Festival and the Akron Rubber Race Series. They committed their time, training, and perseverance to IOCC's mission – and you can too!

Join our Race to Respond team, and IOCC will help you set up a personal fundraising page to share with family and friends, as well as provide IOCC promotional materials to help you spread awareness. Rather race with friends? Contact an IOCC Outreach Coordinator for more information on how to get a group Race to Respond event started in your hometown. Choose your favorite local race, and get the word out to start building your team now! Team Akron, start at

Contact us to get started (, or visit our website ( for more information. Go Team IOCC!

IOCC Awareness Events

Warmest thanks to all the volunteers and committees who organize events all year round. Your efforts reach around the world with Christ's love. Join us, and support IOCC in your hometown – and thank you!

Washington, DC

On June 3, friends and supporters of IOCC in the greater DC area gathered for an IOCC Awareness Happy Hour at Sugar, a new venue on K Street in the city. Board member John Sitilides introduced IOCC's work, touching on projects across various humanitarian sectors: water, education, health, and emergency relief. Incoming committee co-chair Slav Gatchev exhorted guests to take Christian philanthropy to heart by getting involved. Thanks to outgoing committee chair Elisavet Serti and incoming co-chair Linda Manus for organizing this fun evening and getting the word out!

Virginia Beach, VA

A cloudy sky didn't put off walkers and runners in the Third Annual 5K Race to Respond, hosted by Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral on June 4. Over 75 participants from four local Orthodox parishes gathered along the oceanfront and then ran, walk, and strolled along the boardwalk to raise awareness about IOCC's global humanitarian work. Fr. George Bessinas offered a benediction, and everyone enjoyed breakfast on the waterfront afterward! Thank you to Maria Herring and the entire Annunciation community for building up this fun event over the last three years and for faithfully supporting IOCC!

Pittsburgh, PA

Bringing attention to one of the world's largest neglected humanitarian crises, St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh hosted an IOCC Ethiopia awareness coffee hour on June 12. Mekael Teshome, an IOCC supporter with personal connections to Ethiopia, presented on the drought currently affecting over 10 million people and highlighted IOCC's ongoing efforts there to support irrigation, seed access for rural farmers who have had to use their reserves for food, and nutrition initiatives to alleviate the threat of malnutrition – especially among women, young children, and people with HIV/AIDS. Many thanks to Mekael Teshome and Pittsburgh committee chair Nick Terezis for making this event possible!

More than 55 connoisseurs gathered at the Spoonwood Brewing Company on June 14 for a craft beer tasting to benefit IOCC. Guests were treated to a tour of the facility and samples of the Spoonwood brews, as well as to an overview of IOCC's global humanitarian work. Thanks to event chairs Kevin and Mary Ann Reck, as well as committee chair Nick Terezis, for organizing this fun evening in support of a great cause!

Baltimore, MD

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation hosted a Be the Bee Retreat for youth, young adults, and youth workers on May 28. As the service component of this day-long event, the young people – representing the Baltimore-area parishes of Annunciation, St. Nicholas, and St. Demetrios – were treated to an intro to IOCC by CEO Dean Triantafilou and then assembled IOCC hygiene kits, putting into action the concepts they'd discussed in their retreat sessions. Thank you for serving those most in need around the world by helping meet their material needs!

Yara Cheikh and Firmin Debrabander organized and hosted a dinner on June 24 featuring conversation about IOCC's response to the Syria crisis. Lubna Ghanayem, IOCC's Regional Program Officer for the Middle East, offered an overview of IOCC's projects in and around Syria, as well as some personal experiences from her work in the field. In addition, IOCC board member Michael Tsakalos shared the organization's commitment to meeting pressing needs, even when they're not glamorous or media-friendly. Baltimore artist Georgia Efthimiou donated a work of original art to IOCC for silent auction – a mixed-media piece inspired by the journey of those fleeing to Greece from Syria. Many thanks to our generous hosts and to all who attended for your continued support of IOCC's work in the region!

Newburyport, MA

Rallying the next generation of the area's Orthodox parishes, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church hosted a special young adult event on June 26. Dubbed Witness to the Middle East, the gathering featured a presentation by IOCC Development Officer Lou Zagami highlighting the philanthropic work IOCC around the world, as well as personal stories from Zagami's own recent visit to IOCC projects in Jordan and Lebanon. Thank you for joining IOCC's efforts to answer Christ's call to serve!

St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral Women's Club
Volunteers in Action

Worcester, MA

The Women's Club of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral gathered to assemble emergency kits that will be distributed to families who need them in many countries. Through your help with these kits, IOCC offers assistance to those most in need around the world, including refugees, displaced persons, the elderly, schoolchildren, orphans, and people with disabilities. Thank you for seeing Christ in the faces of those you've never met – and responding to their needs!

Tulsa, OK

At the recent Parish Life Conference in Tulsa, young people from the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America Teen SOYO put their faith into action! Inspired by the great needs of those directly affected by Syria crisis, as well as by IOCC's nondiscriminatory provision of aid , the teens created t-shirts and raised proceeds for IOCC's Syrian Relief Fund. Kudos to this energetic and enterprising group of young people – and many thanks for your support!

Upcoming IOCC Events
  • Saturday, July 30, 2016: Cleveland, OH – IOCC Baseball Night at Progressive Field
  • Saturday, August 20, 2016: Denver, CO – Pan-Orthodox 5K Run/Walk for IOCC
  • Saturday, October 1, 2016: Cleveland, OH – A Fashion Show & Tea Party for IOCC
  • Saturday, October 15, 2016: Baltimore, MD – Race to Respond at the Baltimore Running Festival
  • Thursday, October 20, 2016: Salt Lake City, UT – Wine Tasting to Benefit IOCC
  • Friday, October 21, 2016: Charlotte, NC – Annual Banquet for IOCC
  • Sunday, October 23, 2016: St. Louis, MO – Annual Banquet for IOCC
  • Friday, October 28, 2016: Philadelphia, PA – Annual Banquet for IOCC
  • Sunday, November 13, 2016: Bay Area, CA – 24th Annual Remembering Home Dinner

For information about these IOCC events and more, visit

Orthodox Action Teams 2016: Building Homes – Restoring Hope – Repairing Lives!

Put your faith into action! Sign up to join an Orthodox Action Team, and spend a week siding, roofing, and framing homes, painting, landscaping, and more. Jump into hands-on action in places across the United States that have been affected by natural disasters. You don't need to be skilled – just energetic!

Space is limited, so register early. Visit for more info and to register today!

July 10–16Columbia, SC
July 18–23New Orleans, LA: Fr. Michael Rosco Memorial Build
Aug. 15–20New Orleans, LA: Fr. Michael Rosco Memorial Build

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.

Linked In

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.