IOCC Volunteer Update - October 2017

IOCC Volunteer Update: Oct.'17

Coming Up: IOCC Sunday


This year’s IOCC Sunday, “A Day of Sharing,” is November 19—and just around the corner. Visit to learn more and download materials! Here are some ways you can help:

  • Encourage clergy participation. Talk with your priest about reading the IOCC Sunday Encyclical 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!

IOCC’s Hurricane Response in the Southeast US


With your overwhelmingly generous support, IOCC continues responding on the ground in Houston and in Florida with staff, volunteers, and Frontliners—offering emotional and spiritual care, food and water where needed, as well as clean-up activities in homes. Local and out-of-town volunteers have been crucial to these efforts; thank you! Please watch for updates in the coming weeks and months: as cleaning up turns into rebuilding, we’ll be organizing new Orthodox Action Teams, especially during the summer.

Ways to Help Today

  1. Tell your parishes, friends, and family that IOCC is responding. Download a poster.
  2. Make a gift to the US Emergency Response Fund.
  3. Assemble clean-up buckets so people can begin the overwhelming job of cleaning up
  4. Share all this info on Facebook!

Out-of-area volunteers are now working in the greater Houston area, as well as in Florida. Those interested in helping with clean-up efforts in Florida and Texas should complete this form. For those signing up to volunteer in Texas, please download this detailed packet of information for what to expect and more.

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Black Friday. Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday.
It’s never too early to get ready for #GivingTuesday! Last year you blew our matching challenge out of the water. Get ready to set a new record this year on November 28 — more info coming soon!

Calling All US Volunteers


The hurricanes are fading from the news, but we’re looking ahead to rebuilding homes and lives. Just one more home build in 2017, and we want you! Join us in Nassau, Bahamas, December 30, 2017–January 6, 2018. Read more and apply here.

IOCC Awareness Events

To get your local IOCC event on the calendar, contact

Chicago, IL


The IOCC Chicago Metropolitan Committee once again organized its annual “Walk the Walk for IOCC” on Saturday, October 7, followed by a fabulous breakfast at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church. In what’s become a long-standing Chicago tradition, more than 100 supporters of all ages walked a 5K course along Lake Michigan to raise funds and awareness in for IOCC’s global humanitarian work. Participants gathered in the church hall before the race for a welcome by Bill Vranas and Maria Loukaki, a viewing of the IOCC 25th Anniversary video, and a short IOCC update by IOCC Outreach Manager, Christina Meares. Thanks, as always, to the entire Chicago committee, especially committee chair Bill Vranas, event chair Maria Loukaki, and hosts at St. Andrew for putting together this great family event!

Parishioners at St. John the Forerunner Greek Orthodox Church enjoyed a special IOCC coffee hour and presentation by IOCC parish representative Eva Economy on October 29. More than 200 people gathered in the great hall, where beautifully decorated tables featured candles, IOCC literature, and the 25th Anniversary icon. Guests were treated to an abundance of food provided by the parish’s Philoptochos, and a private screening of IOCC’s video Help for Families in Greece, which highlights IOCC’s response to the economic crisis there. Thank you to Eva Economy for organizing such a lovely Sunday and for sharing IOCC’s work in the parish!

Salt Lake City, UT


On Thursday, October 8, more than 60 guests attended the Fourth Annual Wine and Chef’s Tasting to benefit IOCC, held at the Alta Club in Salt Lake City. Guests were treated to fine wine and to chef’s tastings of superb food, as well as the music of the Bee Charmed string quartet. IOCC Chairman of the Board Mark Stavropoulos shared remarks, along with IOCC Gift Officer, Nick Kasemeotes. Guests also enjoyed a screening of IOCC’s 25th Anniversary video, as well as a beautiful silent auction featuring many high-end items. Thank you to Elyce Mouskondis and the entire committee who made this special evening a huge success!

St. Michaels in Binghamton, NY


St. Michaels American Carpatho-Russian Church hosted a Thanksgiving Celebration for IOCC Hurricane Relief on October 14. Fr. James Dutko welcomed more than 120 guests who enjoyed a delicious roast turkey dinner and festive sides and desserts. Local parishioner and IOCC Frontliner Marylin Brady spoke about her recent deployment in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Thank you to all who helped organize this evening for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma!

Baltimore, MD


On Saturday, October 21, some 30 runners and walkers came together as TEAM IOCC Baltimore for the fifth year in a row—our largest group ever! This year even some of IOCC’s board members joined the fun, teaming up with IOCC staff and supporters from the Baltimore area, as well as from out of town, at the Baltimore Running Festival. Some ambitious runners drove in especially for the occasion, coming from as far afield as Wisconsin and Ohio to run or walk a scenic course along the Inner Harbor in Charm City. Many thanks to everyone who took the chance to share IOCC with friends and family and to walk or run with purpose!

Richmond, VA


Sunday, October 22 marked the inauguration of a new IOCC event, Serving for Charity: A Mixed Doubles Express Tennis Tournament at the Midlothian Athletic Center, thanks to a partnership with the Community Outreach Committee of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Twelve teams competed, and participants raised money and awareness to support the life-enriching work of IOCC in the United States and across the globe. Special congratulations to champions Zack Pettit and Mary Church. Thanks go to all who generously sponsored the event, and a very special thanks to tournament chair Mark Chronis, who brought together a committee to share his vision and made this special event a reality!

Seattle, WA


On Thursday, October 26, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church hosted the annual 25th Anniversary IOCC Reception. More than 70 people and clergy gathered from four local parishes gathered to enjoy a selection of hand-picked local wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres. IOCC Gift Officer Nick Kasemeotes made a brief presentation and introduced IOCC’s 25th Anniversary video, and emcee Theodore Angelis ended the evening with thanks and an appeal for a special offering. Special thanks to the Seattle Metropolitan Committee for all of their hard work on this special 25th Anniversary celebration!

Charlotte, NC

This year’s Charlotte-area event took place Saturday, October 28 at St. Sarkis Armenian Orthodox Church, where the IOCC Charlotte Metropolitan Committee hosted a choir concert in celebration of IOCC’s 25th Anniversary. Choirs from area Orthodox churches filled the program with traditional music, punctuated by historical tidbits about the pieces offered by committee member Bill Leonidas. A reception followed the music, with a special IOCC presentation by IOCC Development Officer Lou Zagami. Many thanks to all who came out for this special evening, and especially Laura Nixon, the entire committee, and all the Charlotte volunteers for organizing this annual happening!

Indianapolis, IN


On Sunday, October 29, 2017, more than 80 clergy and parishioners gathered from local churches at St. George Orthodox Christian Church for a Wine Tasting and Chef’s Selection to benefit IOCC. Indianapolis guests enjoyed a unique selection of wine pairings and hors d’oeuvres catered by five local restaurants set up around the room. Pianist and musician Jim Rhinehart provided wonderful cocktail music to add to the ambiance. Fr. William Bartz, Dn. Joseph Olas, and Elaine Eckhart all participated in the evening program, and IOCC Gift Officer Nick Kasemeotes offered remarks and presented IOCC’s 25th Anniversary video. Thank you to Fr. Nabil Hanna, Elaine Eckhart, and the entire committee for spreading the word about IOCC’s work around the world! Many thanks also to The Livery, Mark Pi's China Gate, Arni's, Canal Bistro, the Illinois Street Food Emporium, and the Ladies of St. George for the delicious spread of food!

Philadelphia, PA


On Sunday, October 29, the Greater Philadelphia Committee of IOCC hosted its sixth annual benefit banquet, this year celebrating IOCC’s 25th Anniversary. Over 325 guests gathered at Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford, New Jersey, where they enjoyed a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres and an abundant buffet. Silent auction items were also on offer throughout the evening. Fr. Ambrose Bitziadis-Bowers blessed the meal, and IOCC’s Executive Director and CEO Constantine Triantafilou was the evening’s keynote speaker, highlighting moments throughout his career when he was struck by a conversation with some of the people IOCC serves. Thanks go to the Philadelphia committee, especially Tony and Kathy Pantazopoulos, Harry and Connie Bandy, Jane Kelly, and Barbara Dionisos, and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this evening a success!

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!

Chicago, IL


Congratulations to Fr. Kosmas Kallis, who dedicated the Country Sole half-marathon race on October 21 to IOCC. Fr. Kosmas used the new DIY for IOCC online fundraising platform to raise more than $1,000 to those in need. Thank you, Fr. Kosmas!


Whitestone, NY


The Girl Scouts of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Whitestone, NY recently held a fundraiser for IOCC. Their project will help them either earn the silver or bronze award, and will allow them to earn patches based on “Acts of Kindness.” The girls hosted a parish-wide shoe drive through World Wear Project and donated all of the proceeds to IOCC. Thank you to Troop Leader Athena Pappas and the entire group of girls for all of your hard work!

Binghamton, NY


Thank you to the young people of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Binghamton, NY who were able to collect and assembly 40 hygiene kits for IOCC!

Bethesda, MD


Thank you to volunteers at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda for assembling 100 clean-up buckets to help Hurricane Harvey and Irma survivors.

Randolph, NJ


At their October monthly meeting, members of the GOYA youth group of St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church collected supplies and assembled 100 health kits to assist the IOCC in their efforts to aid the hurricane victims and those in need worldwide.

Upcoming IOCC Events - Celebrate with us!

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

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