IOCC Volunteer Update - June 2017

IOCC Volunteer Update - June '17

Don't Miss Out: Orthodox Action Teams


We still have spots left! Come get your hands dirty. After a disaster happens and the media attention has faded, the communities affected still face great need. As part of an IOCC Orthodox Action Team, you can help families rebuild their homes! Teams have already completed projects this summer in Rainelle, WV, and Fayetteville, NC. Read more and apply here:

Upcoming Home Builds:

  • Nassau, Bahamas: July 1 - July 8, 2017
  • Baton Rouge, LA: July 4 - July 9, 2017
  • Charleston, WV: July 16 - July 22, 2017
  • Nassau, Bahamas: December 30, 2017 - January 6, 2018

IOCC at the Antiochian Archdiocese Convention

Will you be attending the Antiochian Archdiocese Convention coming up in Hollywood, Florida (July 23-30)? Stop by and chat with IOCC staff, Christina Meares, Manager of Outreach, Special Events, and Donor Engagement, and Lou Zagami, Development Officer. We’d love to see you!

Share the Love: #IOCC25

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Together, we have achieved great things. Share your passion as IOCC turns 25 by sharing these videos:

In Her Own Words: Natasa’s Story
A Volunteer’s Journey: Steve’s Story
The Power of One: Grace’s Story

And watch for more videos in the coming months. Thank you for your dedication over the years. We look forward to our next 25 years of service together!

Did You Know...?


You offer hope to those facing conflict and its consequences. Hadi shared his story of helping rehabilitate the Joul Hammal School in rural Homs, Syria:

“I am 59 years old, married with three children. My eldest is a university student, while the other two are still in school…We rented a house and since I’m the family’s only breadwinner, I kept looking for a job, as my pension can barely cover the costs of rent and food. I heard about the [employment] projects, so I registered. When the project team called me, I was ecstatic to hear that I had been offered a job that will improve our finances, even for a short time. It was a great opportunity, and I'm immensely thankful it.”

With your support, Hadi not only earned much-needed income for his family but also helped children in his community return to school.

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

Potomac, MD / Greater DC Area


On June 3, the parish communities of Ss. Peter and Paul in Potomac and St. Mary in Hunt Valley co-hosted an IOCC Reception for Syrian Relief. Some 150 guests gathered from both parishes and the surrounding community to support this important cause. After Vespers, everyone moved to the church hall, decorated in IOCC’s signature color, to enjoy a reception of wine and Mediterranean-themed hors d’oeuvres. Lubna Ghanayem, IOCC’s Regional Program Officer for the Middle East, gave an overview of the organization’s work across the region, particularly in Syria, in response to the distress caused by the conflict in that country. Board member John Sitilides also offered a few words and presented a check from neighboring parish, St George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda, Maryland. Many thanks to Fr. Isaac Crow and Fr. Damaskinos Issa, and to event chair Anita Elaraj, parish rep Saydeh Karabatis, and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this evening possible.

Cleveland, OH


On June 9, friends of IOCC in the Greater Cleveland area gathered for a 25th Anniversary Celebration, as the IOCC Cleveland Metropolitan Committee also marked 25 years of energetic service. Over 200 guests attended the occasion, held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Independence, where His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America was the guest of honor and keynote speaker. The evening opened with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a program, which included brief remarks from IOCC Executive Director and CEO Constantine Triantafilou, as well as the presentation of the Diane Zamiska award, this year to His Grace, in recognition of his tireless work as an advocate for IOCC and its service. Read the Diocese’s coverage of the evening here. Heartfelt thanks go to His Grace for ongoing support throughout the years, to event chair Lissa Molchan, to Metropolitan Committee chair Connie Zimmerman, committee officers Julie Hall and Paula Svilar, and to every single volunteer who had a hand in this special 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!

Worcester, MA


12-year-old Maya used a school project on perseverance this spring to raise money to help those in need through IOCC. Maya wrote, “I decided to work on my baking skills because I previously baked and wanted to try more complicated things. My end goal was to do a bake sale, which I did, and donate all my money to the IOCC to the struggling Syrian children and people who need help.” Maya enlisted a classmate to help with the project, and together they raised over $300 for IOCC. Thank you, Maya, for making a difference!

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. Check for updates at And thank you for celebrating with us!

  • August 19 — Denver, CO — Pan-Orthodox Walk/Run for IOCC
  • September 23 — Akron, OH — Team IOCC at the Akron Marathon
  • October 12 — Salt Lake City, UT — IOCC 25th Anniversary Wine Tasting
  • October 21 — Baltimore, MD — TEAM IOCC at the Baltimore Running Festival
  • October 28 — Charlotte, NC — 25th Anniversary Evening for IOCC
  • October 29 — Philadelphia, PA — 25th Anniversary IOCC Banquet
  • November 5 — Castro Valley, CA — 25th Anniversary Remembering Home IOCC Dinner
  • November 9 — Minneapolis, MN — 25th Anniversary IOCC Dinner
  • November 12 — Saint Louis, MO — 25th Anniversary IOCC Banquet
  • November 12 — Akron, OH — Thankfulness Dinner to Benefit IOCC

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

Stay connected to IOCC through our online communities!

Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to keep up to date with IOCC news, view event photos, and get a firsthand look at how your support is touching lives around the world.