IOCC Volunteer Update - September 2017

IOCC Volunteer Update: Sept.'17

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 and friends: IOCC is responding. Download a bulletin insert here: full size bulletin insert or half page bulletin insert
  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!

Rebuild in Nassau


As hurricane season continues, 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.

Run or Walk with TEAM IOCC


"Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us..." ~ (Heb. 12:1)

When you run—or walk, or bike, or swim—families around the world win! Celebrate IOCC’s 25th Anniversary and help those in need by dedicating an athletic event to IOCC. Here are two ways you can get started:

Baltimore: October 21 — Baltimore Running Festival: Join IOCC Board members, IOCC staff, and dedicated volunteers in our 5th year running in Charm City.

Your Hometown: Register for your favorite race and run solo or with a team!

Start making a difference today: set up a fundraising page, and share with family and friends. Go Team IOCC!

We Need YOU to DIY


Are you wondering what YOU can do to help those in need? Are you having a birthday, running a race, or looking to celebrate a loved one?

Then we need your help!

IOCC has a way to fundraise: we’re proud to share our do-it-yourself program, or DIY for IOCC. In three simple steps, mobilize your network for positive, lasting change: it’s social media with meaning.

  • Create your own webpage
  • Personalize it with photos and reflections
  • Send messages to friends and family that will inspire

To mark IOCC’s 25th anniversary, we’ve set out to raise $25,000 through DIY for IOCC. You can offer hope to those in need, at home and abroad. Setting up a page takes just a few minutes—get started here!

Coming Up: IOCC Sunday

This year’s IOCC Sunday, “A Day of Sharing,” is November 19—and just around the corner. Plan ahead! 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!

Did You Know ...?


What’s a “muck out,” you ask? You may have noticed this term lately, especially since teams of IOCC volunteers have been busy doing muck outs in the Houston area. Mucking out a home is the first step toward making it livable again after a flood. When water rises, it brings with it all kinds of dirt and debris, and when it recedes, it leaves behind mud, muck, and the danger of mold. Muck-out teams clear away water-damaged furniture, flooring, walls, insulation, and other building materials, stripping damaged rooms down to bare bones so they can be dried out by professional teams and treated for mold before being rebuilt.

giving tuesday one line.png

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!

IOCC Awareness Events

To get your local IOCC event on the calendar, contact

Akron, OH


TEAM IOCC: Akron made another fine showing in the Rubber City Race Series on September 23. Each year, dedicated IOCC supporters have run, walked, and relayed to spread the word about IOCC’s global humanitarian efforts. This year a relay team from St. Elias passed the torch to raise awareness and funds to help those in need, along with several participants from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Many thanks to everyone who participated and kept this fun tradition alive!

Louisville, KY


Parishioners at St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church welcomed IOCC Development Officer Lou Zagami on September 23 for an IOCC Reception and Presentation. More than 60 people gathered to enjoy food and fellowship, and to learn about IOCC’s worldwide efforts to help those in need, including right here in the United States after the recent hurricanes caused so much damage in the southeastern states of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. The parish also hosted a coffee hour after liturgy on Sunday to support IOCC, where snacks included some amazing IOCC cookies! Thanks to Fr. Alexis Kouri and organizer Kat Brasowski for making this special evening and coffee hour possible.

Virginia Beach, VA


As fall approaches, IOCC friends and supporters gathered once again on September 23 to take part in the now annual tradition of the Fr. Sav Memorial Mission Walk. More than 150 walkers made their way through First Landing State Park in support of several charities worldwide, including IOCC. IOCC Outreach Manager Christina Meares presented briefly on IOCC’s work not only along the US Gulf Coast in the wake of recent hurricanes but also in places that make the news less frequently these days—like Ethiopia, Greece, and Syria. Thank you to all who participated, and especially to Ed Ullom and Kathy Stephanitses for organizing such a special day.

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!

VBS Students in Texas Learn about Clean Water


Children participating in Vacation Bible School at Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Carrollton, Texas, this year learned that many kids like them around the world don’t have access to safe water. In presentations about IOCC’s work to make sure schools in Africa and families in Syria and elsewhere can drink and wash with safe water, VBS kids learned about something many of us take for granted—and decided to help by taking a collection for IOCC’s water programs.

Women’s Club Helps Hurricane Victims


Several ladies from the Women’s Club at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester, Massachusetts, gathered this month to help those in need. The group put together hygiene kits to in response to the recent devastation in Texas and Florida caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Thank you to this incredible group of ladies who put together emergency kits several times a year!

Rye, NY, Philoptochos Holds Kit Drive


The Church of Our Saviour Ladies Philoptochos have been hard at work this month to help IOCC hurricane relief! Not only did they assemble 612 hygiene kits, they also continued their efforts with a bake sale and raised $1,000! Thank you so much for your support and all that you do for IOCC.

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