During our 2016-2018 campaign, we focused on individuals in Greece who embodied the ideals of humanity, philotimo and community service. The following beneficiaries received funds from Project Hope for Greece during this period. In all cases, we received financial documentation from the individuals and monitored their fine work to ensure that all funds donated on behalf of our generous donors helped the people they sought to serve.
Mama Maria of Samos
Since the beginning of the refugee crisis on her island of Samos, this selfless woman has cooked thousands of meals for helpless refugees. In 2015 she transformed her taverna into a make-shift shelter, feeding dozens at a time and laying out blankets at night for those who couldn’t find shelter. We facilitated a 6-month program with funds we raised from donors, including a $10,000 grant from the Philoptochos Society of Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Glenview, IL, that enabled Mama Maria to keep her pantry full so she could keep cooking.
Vrysa Earthquake Victims
In June 2017 a devastating earthquake hit the island of Lesvos, destroying hundreds of buildings and the homes of dozens of families — the same families who had already sacrificed much of their livelihood during the massive influx of refugees that began in 2015. Just weeks later, Greek America Foundation staff traveled to the devastated village of Vrysa to see the damage firsthand and discuss with local officials how to properly allocate almost $45,000 of funds raised. To date, these funds have provided school supplies and book bags for 37 school-aged children; supported 40 Vrysa families with monthly food stipends between $80 and $120, depending upon family size, in the form of vouchers from a local super market; and hosted a holiday party and Vasilopita cutting celebration for 50 children from the village and their parents where each child received a gift certificate from a local toy store.
Thanos Marmarinos and Kostas Pinteris — two fishermen from a tiny village on Lesvos — were among the Greek islanders thrust into the center of the worst refugee crisis Europe has experienced in generations. For much of 2015 and 2016, the pair stopped fishing for fish and instead became part of an integral team of average people saving lives by plucking children and helpless people from the waters off the coast of their idyllic village. In January 2017, the island experienced a massive snowstorm that destroyed their fishing boats — their sole livelihood. In coordination with the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, an anonymous donor gave the funds to fully repair the two damaged fishing boats, allowing Thanos and Kostas to reclaim their livelihoods and return to fishing.
Project Hope for Greece began in 2013 in order to channel the power of our supporters and encourage them to get involved via fundraising and raise awareness to bring hope to the people of Greece. Thanks to the philanthropy and creativity of our members and supporters, Project Hope has raised almost $1 million to date for reputable charitable organizations and honorable individuals doing important work to alleviate the crisis in Greece.
The people we have supported…
Maria Makrogianni and her partner Michalis distribute food to refugee children on the island of Samos.
Maria at her restaurant with refugees whom she feeds and offers dry clothing.
Food vouchers were distributed to 40 families in Vrysa.
Our Vasilopita party brought joy to more than 50 children and their families.
Fisherman Thanassis Marmarinos.
Fisherman Kostas Pinteris on his new boat.
More news about Project Hope for Greece
The Greek America Foundation proudly announces the launch of our Project Hope for Greece #ChildrenOfGreece campaign that seeks to raise funds and awareness for specific charities in Greece. Since 2013, with the support of donors throughout the United States and Canada, we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthwhile charities and individuals in Greece. In addition […]
Throughout modern Greek history, children have always been the biggest victims of war, poverty and social unrest. During these extreme moments, the Greek diaspora, particularly in North America, always responded in a resounding way. Today, one in four children in Greece face extreme poverty, making the country the worst place for children in the European […]
Since 2013, with the support of donors throughout the United States and Canada, the Greek America Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthwhile charities and individuals in Greece through our Project Hope for Greece campaign. In addition to numerous beneficiary charities, we’ve rebuilt fishing boats for fisherman, provided tons of food and […]
Our Project Hope for Greece #ChildrenOfGreece campaign aims to raise funds and awareness for six charities in Greece — with your support. We have chosen each of these charities because we support their work, which strives to alleviate challenges faced by the most vulnerable members of Greek society today — the children. In all cases, we shall receive […]
When a devastating earthquake hit the island of Lesvos in June 2017, the Greek America Foundation board of directors had just settled into their biennial meeting in New York City. One of the first items of business was to pass an emergency resolution to undertake a fundraising campaign to provide support the people who lost […]
School bells rang this week for the first time in the village of Vrysa on the island of Lesvos, since a devastating earthquake leveled more than a thousand buildings on June 12th. Miraculously, school had just been dismissed on the fateful day of the earthquake and no children were harmed, while the building was completely […]
Far away in Beverly Hills, California— one man with no direct connection to two fisherman in a tiny Greek fishing village of Lesvos— made a gift that would not only impact the fishermen, but their entire community. Thanos and Kostas were amongst the Greek islanders from the tiny village of Skala Sikamnias who were thrust […]
Another Project Hope for Greece grant was fulfilled on July 28, 2017 to Mama Maria, a selfless woman who has cooked thousands of meals for refugees arriving on her island of Samos. Back in 2015 she transformed her Taverna into a make-shift shelter, feeding dozens at a time and laying out blankets at night to […]
A team from the Greek America Foundation visited the village of Vrysa on the island of Lesvos on July 20 where a series of devastating earthquakes hit, leaving one woman dead and almost 1,000 buildings damaged or destroyed completely. Gregory Pappas, founder and president of the foundation, and Jennifer Kellogg, executive director, were given access […]
The Greek America Foundation Board of Directors voted unanimously Friday a their biennial meeting to launch an emergency relief campaign for the Greek island of Lesvos following a catastrophic earthquake last week. Individual board members that were present kicked off the campaign with more than $30,000 in individual donations at the meeting. An appeal to […]