IOCC Volunteer Update - March 2018

National Volunteer Week: April 15-21


IOCC is so grateful for all of our volunteers across the country—and the world—raising awareness and support for our work and those we serve. THANK YOU! Please know that you have made a difference in the lives of millions and that no effort is too small. May our Lord reward you abundantly.

Looking for more ways to get involved? Get started here:

  • Join an IOCC Orthodox Action Team this summer to rebuild homes and support long-term recovery after disasters.
  • Raise awareness about IOCC in your local community by becoming a parish rep.
  • Plan a small fundraiser to support IOCC—it can be as simple as a reception after liturgy!
  • Learn about IOCC’s latest projects and stay up to date with IOCC news on our blog.

International Women's Day


March 8 was International Women’s Day. Because of your support, our mother-care groups in Lebanon train Syrian refugee and Lebanese mothers to lead conversations about health. Helping women build community creates networks for learning and friendship. It also connects them to healthcare professionals for additional care. Read the Facebook post here.

Volunteers Needed in the US! 


Help neighbors in need by volunteering 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 for the upcoming summer:

  • June 11-16 in Houston, TX
  • July 16-21 in Houston, TX
  • July 23-28 in Houston, TX
  • August 13-18 in Houston, TX

To register or learn more, click here.

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 part of an IOCC Lenten resource next year.

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

Pittsburgh, PA

On March 4, the IOCC Pittsburgh Metropolitan Committee hosted its sixth annual Syrian Relief Dinner and Prayer Service to support those affected by the Syrian crisis. Orthodox faithful from across the Pittsburgh region came together to pray at a pan-Orthodox Vespers and to share a Lenten meal. His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America offered a reflection on the Orthodox faithful joining together in service. His Eminence Archbishop MELCHISEDEK of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Orthodox Church in America; and His Grace Bishop THOMAS of the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic were also honored guests. Attendees enjoyed remarks by IOCC board member Charles Hinkaty, as well as a musical performance by the Armonia Children’s Choir. Many thanks to Nick Terezis, Zelfa Khalil, Sophie Farah, and the rest of the Pittsburgh committee for their tireless effort to remember those in great need!

This special evening also received local press coverage from WPXI Local 11 News and The Pittsburgh Tribune.

Denver, CO

On March 3, the IOCC Denver Metropolitan Committee hosted its annual banquet for IOCC at Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral. More than 180 people and 11 Orthodox parishes were represented, and guests enjoyed a delicious Lenten meal and desserts. Emcee Omar Rihani and Denver Metropolitan Committee Chair Elaine Cladis offered remarks throughout the evening, and IOCC Frontliners Fr. Jordan Brown and Fr. Demetrios Kyritsis shared reflections on their time responding to US disasters in places like Houston, Las Vegas, and Sacramento. Development Officer Nick Kasemeotes closed the evening with remarks about IOCC’s current programs around the world. Many thanks to committee chair and board member Elaine Cladis and to the entire committee for making this the most successful banquet yet!

Raleigh-Durham, NC

On February 25, clergy from the Triangle Area of North Carolina celebrated the beautiful Vespers service for Sunday of Orthodoxy, led by Fr. Stavroforos Mamaies, host priest of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Durham. After the pan-Orthodox service, a Lenten meal was served in the social hall and a free-will offering was taken for IOCC. Attending on behalf of IOCC was Lou Zagami, Development Officer, who offered the homily at the conclusion of the service. Pictured from left to right are: Fr. Nicholas R. A. Sorensen of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Raleigh, NC; Fr. James Guirguis of St. Raphael of Brooklyn Antiochian Orthodox Mission Church in Fuquay Varina, NC; Fr. Costa Millard Shepherd of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Winston-Salem, NC; Fr. D. Stavroforos Mamaies of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Durham, NC; Dn. Gavrilo Milkovich of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh, NC; Dn. David Keim of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Raleigh, NC; and Fr. Patrick Pulley of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in Morrisville, NC.

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!

Dexter, MI

Thank you to parishioners at St. Vladimir Russian Orthodox Church in Dexter, Michigan, for assembling 53 hygiene kits—especially parish representative Marina Edwards for helping to organize the drive!

Upcoming Events 

Interested in planning your own event to raise awareness about IOCC? Get one on the calendar today! We’d love to send a speaker to your parish or event, so please contact us at 410.243.9820 or Thank you for bringing IOCC to your community!

Check for updates at

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