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IOCC Tony Pantazopoulos




More and more people get to know IOCC and what it represents

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Deptford, NJ—On Saturday March 15th, 2013 the Greater Philadelphia committee of the International Orthodox Christian Charities hosted the 2nd Annual Benefit Banquet for IOCC at the Panathenian Grand Ballroom of Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford, NJ. Many prominent Greek-Americans in the area participated at the event in order to make a world of difference. The event also featured music and a silent auction while the proceeds will benefit IOCC’s emergency relief and Development Worldwide. The President of the Hellenic American National Council Mr. Paul Kotrotsios as well as the Hellenic News of America also attended the event and supported the great cause. 


International Orthodox Christian Charities, Inc. (IOCC), based in Baltimore, Maryland, was established in March 1992 as the official international humanitarian organization of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas(SCOBA). Since its inception, IOCC has distributed more than US $226 million in relief and development programs in 30 countries. IOCC does not provide funds for Church missions such as religious education or missionary work. All funds collected by the agency (minus administrative expenses) are instead used for humanitarian aid. IOCC has received a rating of four stars from Charity Navigator, the highest rating the organization awards. IOCC is a member of ACT Development, a global alliance of churches and related agencies working on development that are committed to working together.


International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) was formed in the crucible of crisis and has continued to meet the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people and communities in the midst of historic upheaval — from the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the wars in the former Yugoslavia, to the terrorist attacks on the United States.IOCC Pantazopoulos  wife


Over the past 18 years, IOCC has delivered over $330 million in humanitarian and development programs in more than 33 countries. Prior to 1992, Orthodox Christians in North America, numbering more than 4 million, did not have a mechanism for responding in a unified way to emergencies in the United States or to African famines. Additionally, with the Eastern European revolutions of 1989 and the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, the plight of people of all faiths living in historically Orthodox countries came to new light in the West.


The Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) responded in early 1992 by uniting several Orthodox relief initiatives already underway and joining them into one agency – IOCC. The idea was to set a new standard for Orthodox philanthropy, both in terms of quality of service and efficiency of delivery. Since then, IOCC has maintained a steadfast commitment to some of the most vulnerable people in the world – children, the elderly, the disabled, displaced persons – and to its principles of Orthodox compassion and justice.


IOCC’s distinguished service includes its response to the humanitarian crises in the former Yugoslavia. IOCC provided continuous humanitarian assistance during the war in the early 1990s and during the 1999 crisis in Kosovo. It continues to help the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia


and Montenegro recover from a decade of war, international sanctions and isolation. In the Holy Land, IOCC began working in Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1997 by providing emergency assistance to the victims of political unrest. Today, IOCC is addressing issues of deep seated rural poverty among 24 isolated villages in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


From 1999 – 2002, IOCC implemented $38 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs that distributed millions of metric tons of food to vulnerable populations of the former Soviet Union. In 2001, IOCC was selected by the USDA to participate in the Global Food for Education Initiative in Lebanon and Georgia. Through this program, IOCC provided nutritious snacks to thousands of underprivileged children. In 2003, IOCC responded to the war in Iraq by providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people. In 2004, IOCC launched a major new program, partnering with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in a massive anti-AIDS education campaign and in efforts to provide palliative and other forms of care to orphans, HIV-infected adults and their children. IOCC implemented more than $7 million in U.S. government funding to assist Lebanon following the 2006 war, and to repair over 150 public schools throughout the country. In 2007, IOCC began a $4 million program to provide primary education and vocational training to thousands of Iraqi refugees living in Syria. IOCC’s most recent project in 2008 has included delivering $2.2 million in medical supplies to Zimbabwe.


As IOCC concentrates on Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world, it continues to work with the Orthodox Church as a global community of tremendous resources.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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