The Greek America Foundation is proud to announce a $13,500 USD grant to 11528 Dipla Sou (By Your Side), Greece’s leading LGBTQI+ helpline which supports young Greeks in crisis with sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
This is the first time that a Greek diaspora organization, globally, has supported an LGBTQI+ charity in Greece.
Our first grant to Dipla Sou comes thanks to the leadership and support of The Honorable Dean Trantalis, Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale. Mayor Trantalis has enthusiastically chaired our project and hosted our kickoff event in his home city in March 2022.
The Dipla Sou Helpline serves more than 1,000 people annually and also provides support to teachers, parents and family members on how to approach sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
“We would like to thank the Greek America Foundation from the bottom of our heart for their generous donation,” Dipla Sou Project Manager Thanos Vlachogiannis said. “This is the first time that a Greek diaspora organization is financing an LGBTQI+ project in Greece and this cooperation fills us with pride.”
Vlachogiannis said the funds come “at a critical time” and will help the organization to hire an additional psychologist and extend hours of operation.
“The Greek America Foundation’s coordinated crowdfunding actions in Ft. Lauderdale and New York have contributed to the uninterrupted and continuous operation of 11528 – By Your Side’ and the extension of its working hours,” he said.
Founded in 2016, Dipla Sou was created through the unity of four Greek LGBTQI+ organizations: Thessaloniki Pride, Lesbian & Gay Community of Greece (OLKE), Athens Pride and Positive Voice.
Suicide rates amongst LGBTQI+ teens in Europe are staggeringly high, with estimates in countries like Greece, Italy and Spain — where the church plays a significant role in affairs — considerably higher.
Dipla Sou has helped thousands of people overcome crisis situations and is a critical social welfare organization that requires more than $100,000 in annual funding. The funds are necessary to secure professional psychologists to answer phone calls and host face-to-face sessions with people in need of support.
Alex Patelis, chief economic advisor to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the first openly gay high-profile member of any Greek government, recorded a special video message to express his support for our efforts.
“We need your help. We encourage you to support in any way you can, whether it’s financial support or emotional support,” Patelis said. “Let’s all move forward together to promote LGBT rights in Greece and build a bridge between the Greek-American community, the United States and Greece.”
More for information about our Dipla Sou fundraising and awareness campaign, visit the dedicated page on our website.
To learn more about Dipla Sou, visit the organization’s website (all information is in Greek).