U.S Media Coverage of the Fundraising Efforts
Posted on Monday, September 03 @ 20:14:03 EDT by greek_news
New York.- U.S. media gave an extensive coverage to the efforts of
local Greek American Communities to help motherland Greece. Boston
Globe in an article published on Saturday states that Greek-Americans
in Greater Boston and across New England are gathering money and
supplies to aid victims in their home country. Some are even lending
out second homes they own in Greece to put roofs over the heads of
families displaced by fire.
George Markos, owner of Dotty and Ray's Lunch in Salem, is flying to
Greece this Sunday, where he will join his wife and mother-in-law on
a long-planned vacation.
Instead of relaxing, however, Markos said he plans on temporarily
donating his family's house in a small village about 20 miles from Sparta.
"When I go there, I'll tell whoever's in charge that they can have my
house for a year or two for people who don't have a house," said
Markos, who grew up there. "Those people are hurting."
The Rev. Angelo Pappas, chaplain for the Portsmouth, N.H., Fire
Department and the New Hampshire Fire Academy, has been collecting
goggles, gloves, fire-resistant forestry shirts, and other
firefighting supplies to help equip Greece's firefighters.
Pappas is planning to fly to Greece tomorrow, where he will assist
firefighters and people who have lost nearly everything.
"People love Greece," said Pappas, who added that it took decades for
Greece's countryside to recover from the devastation of World War II
and its aftermath.
"It took all of this time to come to this point where Greece was
starting to look lush and green again," he said.
"It's not a matter of just fighting a fire, but fighting a fire in a
county which you saw become beautiful once again."
Telephone calls from Greek-Americans concerned about loved ones in
the country or hoping to help have poured into churches and
Greek-American organizations throughout New England.
"This is the biggest disaster in Greece since World War II," said
Constantinos Orphanides, Greece's consul general for New England.
St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody is teaming with that
city to collect money, supplies, and nonperishable food items for
shipment to Greece, said Speros C. Venios, the church's president.
Although the collection officially began today, people have been
dropping off everything from sleeping bags to dishware at the
church's offices since Tuesday, Venios said.
"So far, the response has been tremendous," he said. "It's all been
word of mouth. We're going to run [the collection] as long as we have
to and keep shipping containers over."
The first container -- bound for Peabody's sister city, Messini,
where officials will distribute the supplies to nearby towns -- will
be shipped for free by Mike's Shipping Line in Revere, Venios said.
Metropolitan Methodios, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis
of Boston, has called for Greek Orthodox churches in New England to
take up an extra collection and to offer prayers for the fires'
victims and survivors, said the Rev. Al Demos, chancellor of the metropolis.
IN RHODE ISLAND
"Providence Journal" reported on Thursday on State Senator Leonidas
Raptakis' efforts during the Church of the Annunciation's 22nd-annual
festival, in Cranston.
"At least 35 to 40 percent of our parishioners are from the
Peloponnese area in southern Greece and most of us still have family
there," Raptakis said. He noted news reports that at least 64 people
have died and more than 16,000 have been displaced as the blazes
destroy villages and lay waste to vast stretches of rural land.
Raptakis said watching televised reports was so upsetting that he met
with other church members in recent days and put together a campaign
to raise money for the Hellenic Red Cross. He said he is counting on
the good will of Rhode Islanders plus the church's tradition of
helping people in need all over the world.
He noted that the church sent several thousand dollars to the New
Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina, in 2005. "We're not just doing
this because it's happening in Greece," Raptakis said.
"We're doing this because there are people who have lost everything.
"I think this effort will show what a strong community we have in the
church and what a strong state Rhode Island is."
Raptakis said he had already planned a family trip to Greece next
month and he will raise as much money as he can before he departs on
Sept. 15. All donations should be made to the Church of the
Annunciation, he said, and it will arrange for him to have a check to
present to the Hellenic Red Cross.