Why this program?
From Gregory C. Pappas, President & Founder
Offering young adults in our community the opportunity to transform themselves while serving others — and supporting Greece — is a pivotal ideal of the Greek America Foundation. Since we launched our first summer volunteer program in 2017, dozens of North Americans have had life-changing experiences offering their time and talents to humanitarian causes in Greece while immersing themselves in local society and culture. Our goal is to continue this program for years to come to ensure that more young people have transformative experiences and continue spreading the values of philanthropy, volunteerism and service.
About this program
Greek America Corps is an initiative that has changed the lives of dozens of young North Americans by engaging them in meaningful volunteer programs with accredited non-profit organizations in Greece. These programs have connected them with their inner-selves — instilling in them the importance of volunteerism, service and philanthropy by allowing them to experience firsthand the smile on the face of someone they are feeding, supporting and serving.
There are three primary aspects to this initiative:
(1) Participants are exposed to the ideals of service, volunteerism and philanthropy — core ideals of the Greek America Foundation’s mission.
(2) Participants support our charity partners serving the most vulnerable population groups in Greece, which has recently endured financial and humanitarian crises — not to mention the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
(3) Finally, our volunteers are exposed to modern Greek life and society through unique and immersive cultural experiences.
Summer 2023 applications open
Deadline extended: January 23, 2023
The 2023 season consists of five separate programs – one in Hania, on the island of Crete, one in Athens, one on the island of Chios and two in the city of Thessaloniki — each with a different duration. Click here for details on each program.
For the second consecutive year, we are proud to have the Chios program underwritten by the family of Mr. Michael Psaros. Furthermore, the inaugural program in Crete will be funded by Mr. Andreas Koutsoudakis, in memory of his father, Andreas Koutsoudakis Sr.
Support our program
Greek America Corps has been supported over the years by companies, institutions and individuals who understand the significance of instilling the ideals of service and volunteerism in future leaders of our community.
Donate today to help us sustain this program and provide transformative experiences for young North Americans while immersing them in real-world humanitarian challenges.
Interested in sponsoring a student? Various options are available. Click here to learn more.
About our past programs
July 2017, Athens: 10 volunteers spent three weeks supporting The HOME Project, a network of shelters for unaccompanied refugee minors.
July 2019, Chios: 16 volunteers spent the month supporting METAdrasi, a non-profit organization offering support, education and other vital services to unaccompanied refugee minors.
August 2020, Athens: Six volunteers supported the work of various organizations including METAdrasi, Emfasis Foundation and Kivotos Tou Kosmou (Ark of the World).
Summer 2021, Athens & Chios: Three volunteer teams and a total of 27 young adults spent three weeks each supporting the Greek Council for Refugees, Boroume, Emfasis Foundation, we4all, METAdrasi and Kivotos Tou Kosmou (Ark of the World).
Summer 2022, in addition to our established programs in Athens and Chios, we expanded programming to Thessaloniki this year and partnered with Elpida Home and the American Farm School.
The 2021 Athens volunteer team met with U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, a longtime supporter of our Greek America Corps program.
Our program allows volunteers to benefit not only from their work with our Greek charity partners but also from interpersonal relationships formed with peers and those whom they serve. Participants also experience modern Greek society in a profound way that broadens their horizons and heightens their cultural awareness.
Desired qualities in a volunteer
We seek volunteers who are able to handle quickly changing environments, encountering people from different cultures and the emotional ups and downs that come with working in challenging conditions. Having strong boundaries, knowing your limits and when to take a break are important skills while volunteering. It is important to note that each program will have its own requirements and specifications depending upon the nature of the work involved.
True to our founding belief in the value of education, some of our programs offer the opportunity for US/Canadian students to receive college credit via our partnership with the Hellenic American University, a U.S.-accredited institution of higher education in Athens. Depending on the program, we will specify if this option is available.
Our programs typically range from 3-4 weeks long and require about 4-6 hours a day of volunteering, five days per week. We do schedule off-hours and excursions to give volunteers a physical and emotional break from their demanding work. Excursions involve immersion into local culture with visits to scenic or historic sights, beaches, traditional festivals and other important happenings. Volunteers also receive plenty of free time to explore and experience Greece independently.
Testimonials from past volunteers
Watch the recap from our 2021 programs
Stay up-to-date with Greek America Corps
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