Mr. Kostas Almiroudis, a New York native now living with his family in Ohio, is chairing the Greek America Foundation’s summer 2022 fundraiser for Kivotos Tou Kosmou – Aigaiou (Ark of the World – Aegean), our charity partners on the island of Chios whom we have supported for many years.
Kostas, who was born in Chios himself and has spent most of his life traveling back and forth between the island and the United States, has generously and enthusiastically agreed to enlist 13 people and/or families to donate $2000 each – a total of $26,000 — for the purchase of a badly needed pickup truck on behalf of Ark of the World.
Ark of the World is a beautiful facility up in the hills overlooking the main town of Chios and houses about 300 abandoned and at-risk children from throughout the Greek islands.
Kostas and his wife Kelli were moved by Ark of the World’s work after visiting our team of Greek America Corps volunteers who were in Chios supporting the organization through various service projects for almost a month during summer 2021.
Funds from our 2022 campaign will help purchase a pickup truck which Ark of the World has specifically requested based on their everyday transportation and maintenance needs. The staff from their office have repeatedly emphasized this as their most urgent need and that the organization severely lacks funding to cover the cost alone.
On a daily basis, Ark of the World is responsible for taking the children in their care back and forth into town for school and other activities such as doctors appointments and other needs. They also need to constantly transport various tools, supplies and essential goods between their facility and Chios town — about a 45-minute ride each way.
Thanks to Kostas and Kelli Almiroudis’ initiative and desire to support the Greek America Foundation’s charitable endeavors on their ancestral island, our supporters in North America have an opportunity to turn Ark of the World’s request into a reality.
Every summer during our volunteer programs we bring dozens of young adults from the United States and Canada to serve vulnerable populations alongside our Greek charity partners. Our goal is always to leave a lasting impact both on the charities and the volunteers giving up their valuable time to serve those less fortunate.
Our partners, including Ark of the World in Chios, are doing critical work by supporting some of their country’s most under-served populations, including orphaned and disenfranchised children.
These organizations are already providing innovative programming and services for their beneficiaries; however, they are also always striving to do more. What is their most common obstacle? Funding.
Our immediate response plan was to channel the power of our North American supporters and donors who have long supported our initiatives on the island.
If you wish to join the list of supporters for this campaign, click below to make a contribution.
Since 2019, the Greek America Foundation has sent $15,000 in direct financial support to Ark of the World, the most recent grant being in December 2021. This came following a fruitful summer where a dozen of our volunteers supported the organization directly for three weeks by assisting with service projects and organizing and participating in engaging recreational activities with the children.
More than just “orphanages,” Ark of the World operates centers based in Athens as well as satellite locations throughout Greece. The organization helps abused children heal from emotional and psychological abuse and trauma while providing them with critical developmental and life skills.
Kivotos is continuously ranked as one of the best charities in the world by numerous ranking bodies, and Founder Fr. Antonios Papanikolaou even won the 2018 European Citizen award — one of the continent’s most prestigious philanthropic accolades.