IOCC Volunteer Update - October 2016

IOCC Volunteer Update - October 2016

November 20, 2016

It's here! IOCC Sunday: A Day of Sharing is around the corner. Here are some ways to help:
  • Download materials to include in the Sunday bulletin:
  • Encourage clergy participation. Talk with your priest about reading the IOCC Sunday Encyclical (download it here) from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States, and take a special collection for IOCC.
  • Plan an event or IOCC display. Organize a coffee hour, presentation, or luncheon to introduce the meaningful change that IOCC brings to families devastated by poverty, hunger, and disaster.
  • Get parish youth involved. Encourage the youth group or Sunday School to organize a kit drive ( or their own IOCC fundraiser—a car wash, dance-a-thon, or spaghetti dinner. Get creative!

Contact an Outreach Coordinator (410-243-9820; to request posters, prayer booklets, brochures, icon cards, and magnets, or to talk about your creative ideas!

Your Impact
IOCC Responds after Hurricane Matthew
IOCC Responds in Southern Minnesota
Miss a press release? Catch up here.

Volunteers Needed This Week in North Carolina!
Get your hands dirty with IOCC. Families in North Carolina who experienced wind and flood damage from Hurricane Matthew need your help. IOCC is recruiting volunteers to help our neighbors in need through Saturday, November 5.
  • Meeting Location: First Church of Fayetteville (3813 Cumberland Rd. Fayetteville, NC 28306)
  • Time: Each day we'll meet at 7:45 am and return 4:30–5:00 pm.
  • Day and overnight volunteers are welcome. Housing is available at First Church of Fayetteville. Those spending the night should bring bedding, air mattress, towel, personal hygiene supplies, etc.
  • Wear at the Worksite: Boots or hard-soled shoes, long pants. Protective equipment and tools will be provided.

To sign up, click here or contact Becca Tumm at or 612-454-9452.

Did You Know...?
IOCC not only responds in emergencies but also supports long-term, sustainable change. In Tanzania, IOCC has partnered with St. Paul and St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Churches in California to establish the Holy Archdiocese of Mwanza as an independent provider of safe water. At least 12 new wells on school and church properties will serve nearly 30,000 people in the surrounding villages for years to come.

#GivingTuesday Is November 29 This Year!
Black Friday. Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday. It's never too early to get ready for #GivingTuesday! Share what you're doing for this international day of giving on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and tag @IOCCRelief!

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 Saturday, October 1, the Cleveland Metropolitan Committee hosted its Fashion Show & High Tea for IOCC. About 200 people from across northeast Ohio attended the elegant late-morning event at Copper Stone Event Center, where guests enjoyed a lovely lunch, followed by fashions shown off on the runway. The dining tables were decorated with teapots and fresh flowers, and attendees were served several courses of gourmet delicacies. Some 15 volunteer models, all from local Orthodox churches, wore hand-picked clothing from Christopher & Banks and Sword Furs, and guests had the opportunity to peruse the handcrafted creations of local artists. Thank you to event chair Lissa Molchan, as well as Connie Zimmerman, Popadija Kathy Babich, and the entire Cleveland committee for a fun, successful event!

Chicago, IL

Dimitri Eliopoulos/Elios Photography ©2016

The Chicago Metropolitan Committee organized its 10th Annual Walk the Walk for IOCC on Saturday, October 1, 2016. Over 200 people participated in this year's 5K along Chicago's lakefront, making a great showing in the Windy City despite a bit of rain. St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church once again hosted a breakfast following the walk, where committee chair Bill Vranas emceed and committee members Maria Loukaki and Donna Haddad spoke briefly about IOCC's work, along with IOCC Gift Officer Nick Kasemeotes, who recently visited IOCC projects in Greece and the Middle East. Clergy and walkers from many Orthodox jurisdictions attended, emphasizing the pan-Orthodox nature of IOCC's endeavors. Thanks go to all the walkers and organizers for once again raising awareness and funds—thank you for carrying on a fine tradition in the Windy City!

Salt Lake City, UT

In cooperation with the Salt Lake Valley Greek Orthodox Churches, on October 13, over 85 people from the Orthodox community and beyond attended the third annual Wine Tasting to Benefit IOCC at the Alta Club. Guests were treated to fine wine and to chef's tastings of superb food, as well as the music of a string quartet from the Utah Symphony. Nick Kasemeotes, IOCC Gift Officer, shared a short video about Greece and how IOCC is helping the people of this country. Another feature of the evening was the silent auction featuring many high-end items. Thank you to Elyce Mouskondis and to everyone who made this special evening a huge success!

Bergenfield, NJ

Some 100 guests turned out for A Taste of North Jersey to Benefit IOCC, hosted this year at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John Theologian in Tenafly on Saturday, October 15. Local restaurateurs showcased their delicious specialties, and wine and beers were provided by Stew Leonard's. IOCC Development Officer Lou Zagami briefly presented the organization's ongoing work, thanking those in attendance for their support. Thanks to Fr. Panagiotis Zougras and to volunteers Stratos Mandalakis and Anastasia Economos for their diligent work to put together a wonderful evening!

Baltimore, MD

In what has become a fine tradition for Baltimore as well as for IOCC, the Baltimore Running Festival took place in downtown Charm City on Saturday, October 15. We are so proud of all our TEAM IOCC: Baltimore runners and walkers! Once again, dedicated IOCC staffers and volunteers from the area and as far away as Akron, Ohio, turned out to raise funds and awareness for IOCC. Thank you so much for being part of this exciting initiative! Participants enjoyed a special dinner at IOCC headquarters on Friday evening, and race day in Baltimore was sunny and cool—perfect weather for a race! Our 22-person TEAM IOCC turned out in force to walk and run various courses throughout the city: from the kids' fun run to the half-marathon. So many thanks go to our team members for all that they did – and do – to share IOCC within their communities! Let's do it again next year!

Kansas City, MO
On Saturday, October 22, more than 100 people attended an Evening to Benefit IOCC, representing five local area Orthodox churches. Hosted at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Kansas City, the program featured dinner and special presentations on the Middle East and IOCC's response to the ongoing Syrian crisis by Lt. Col. Brian Steed and IOCC Gift Officer Nick Kasemeotes. Three local clergy attended, host priest Fr. Constantine Sinos, Fr. Elias Issa, and IOCC Frontliner Fr. Timothy Sawchak. Special thanks to Kyle Morehead, Ida Sayegh, and all who helped make this evening a success!

Nashville, TN
St. Ignatius Orthodox Church in Franklin hosted a series of coffee hours for IOCC, dubbed Around the World with IOCC, on successive Sundays in October. The series culminated on October 16, with special displays highlighting IOCC's global work and ways that you can get involved—from assembling emergency kits to raising awareness and becoming a sustaining donor. Thanks to Fr. Stephen Rogers, Valerie Petschulat, and Adam Roberts for organizing this educational initiative and getting the word out!

Charlotte, NC

The Charlotte Metropolitan Committee hosted the 30-member UNC Charlotte chorale under the directorship of Randy Hardeman perform on Friday, October 21, at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church, presenting poignant Orthodox music, spirituals, and country ballads. The crowd gave the chorale a lengthy standing ovation! A reception followed in the church hall, where six buffet tables were covered with Lenten food generously donated and prepared by area restaurants, communities, and IOCC supporters; handmade beeswax candles graced the tables. About 150 guests enjoyed the meal and then attentively listened as IOCC executive director Dean Triantafilou introduced board chair Mark Stavropoulos as the keynote speaker. The soothing piano music of Dina Marinakos formed a background to the evening's enjoyment, and IOCC Frontliner Dn. Dan Gray spoke briefly on IOCC's on-the-ground response following Hurricane Matthew. A big thank you to the hardworking committee, volunteers, and churches who support this annual event! Our chair and IOCC Board Member, Laura Nixon; from St. Nektarios, Missy Davis; from Holy Trinity, Elaine Fagan; from St. Luke, Bill Leonidas; from St. Sarkis, Roberta and Raymond Bozoian – and everyone who worked so hard helping this year. Our success is not possible without you!

Washington, DC

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sophia in our nation's capital hosted a special Evening of Byzantine Chant, followed by a wine reception for IOCC on Saturday, October 22. Guests enjoyed an hour of ancient liturgical chanting in the church's beautiful sanctuary. Protopsaltis George Theodoridis of Saint Sophia led cantors from Hellenic College Holy Cross, as well as from other DC-area churches. IOCC board member John Sitilides spoke briefly at the concert's conclusion, and guests then moved into the church hall to enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres, wine, and good conversation. Many thanks to the DC committee and chair Slav Gatchev, to Fr. Steven Zorzos of Saint Sophia, and to OCN and all the local parishes who helped publicize and promote this event!

St. Louis, MO

The St. Louis Metropolitan Committee held its 14th Annual Banquet for IOCC on Sunday, October 23, at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church. Over 100 guests representing the area's diverse pan-Orthodox community and beyond gathered in the beautifully decorated church hall, among them Archimandrite Theophan Koja (St. Thomas), Fr. Michael Arbanas (St. Nicholas), Fr. Joseph Strzelecki (Assumption), Fr. Christopher Phillips (Archangel Michael), Fr. Anastasios Theodoropoulos (Assumption), Fr. Achilles Karathanos (Ss. Constantine and Helen), Fr. Steven Salaris (All Saints of North America Antiochian), and finally Fr. Radomir Chkautovich (emeritus) and Fr. Ljubomir Krstic of the host church, Holy Trinity. IOCC committee chair Mary Angelides emceed for the evening, and IOCC Gift Officer Nick Kasemeotes made the keynote presentation, which featured a brief video on IOCC's recent work in Greece and a slide show of images from projects in Lebanon and Jordan. Thank you to the Saint Louis committee for their dedicated service each year and for faithfully sharing IOCC in their communities!

2017 Is a Milestone!
Happy birthday, IOCC! Well, almost. Next year IOCC celebrates 25 years of service — made possible by your generosity.

Help us plan ahead by scheduling your 2017 events now!

We'd love to send a speaker to your parish, so please let us know what you're planning so we can make travel arrangements well ahead of time. IOCC will provide specially branded promotional materials for the 25th anniversary, so look for those in the coming months! And thank you!

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!

On Monday, October 17, the Philoptochos of St. Anna's and the GOYA of St. Paul's Cathedral in Hempstead, New York, prepared 227 health kits for IOCC's emergency-kit partner program – and had a very nice discussion on the meaning of philanthropy! Thanks to Callie Papazicos and to all the women and youth who participated – your contribution will make a vital difference to 227 people in need!

Upcoming IOCC Events
  • Thursday, November 3, 2016: Seattle, WA – Reception to Benefit IOCC
  • Saturday, November 5, 2016: Palos Heights, IL – St. Spyridon Annual IOCC Walk
  • Saturday, November 5, 2016: Randolph, NJ – Meatball Contest & Spaghetti Dinner for IOCC
  • Sunday, November 6, 2016: Indianapolis, IN – Annual Evening to Benefit IOCC
  • Sunday, November 6, 2016: San Francisco Bay Area, CA – 24th Annual Remembering Home Dinner
  • Wednesday, November 9, 2016: Rochester, MN – Reception to Benefit IOCC
  • Thursday, November 10, 2016: Minneapolis, MN – Annual Twin Cities Benefit for IOCC
  • Sunday, November 13, 2016: Akron, OH – Thankfulness Dinner for IOCC
  • Sunday, November 13, 2016: Indianapolis, IN – Fall BBQ for 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.