WASHINGTON – A shipping container filled with $650,000 worth of medical supplies and equipment arrived October 21, 2013, in Athens, Greece, thanks to the efforts of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading membership-based association for the nation’s millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes. A donated of $17,000 was made to secure the shipping container and to the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), working diligently to coordinate the assembly of the medical supplies, announced Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis.
This is the fifth shipment of medical supplies AHEPA helped deliver to Greece working in cooperation with IOCC. The medical supplies range from syringes to walkers to catheters and nebulizers. According to Kouzounis, the supplies will be transported to Evangelismos Hospital where AHEPA has a wing named after it. All in all, $3.25 million in medical supplies have been donated and delivered to hospitals throughout Greece through this collaborative effort, he added.
“Austerity measures have had a devastating impact on public health spending,” Supreme President Kouzounis said. “The ability of hospitals to purchase medical supplies and equipment has been hampered. The need is very real, and AHEPA, working in cooperation with the IOCC, is proud to be able to facilitate the shipment of a significant amount of aid to help address the medical supply shortage in Greece.”
AHEPA Region 6 (Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, North and South Dakota and parts of Missouri and Nebraska) raised the funds to secure the shipping container. In August, 6 representatives of AHEPA Region presented the $25,270 donation to then-Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides at the Supreme Convention. In addition, AHEPA Chapter 66, Minneapolis, raised $14,820 of the donation.
“We thank the community for helping to make this important shipment of medical supplies a reality through its contributions and donations,” Kouzounis said. “The spirit of philanthropy is alive and well and it must continue to flourish if we are to meet the dire needs the people of Greece are enduring during this most difficult time. We are proud of the Greek American community’s action, especially of those from Ahepa Region Six, and we encourage individuals and organizations to continue to donate to worthy causes that help Greece.”
In March 2013, AHEPA Canada donated a rigid bronchoscope machine valued at 10,000 euros (or approximately $12,000 Canadian) to Evangelismos Hospital. The rigid bronchoscope is used to prevent lung bleeding while positioning stents in tumors.
Campaign to Feed the Needy Exceeds $100K
As part of the AHEPA family’s (AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope) humanitarian campaign for Greece, the organization has donated more than $100,000 to Apostoli Mission to help feed the people of Greece and will continue to do so. Each $10,000 donation prepares about 500 food package kits. Each food kit contains dry food and goods that will last a family of four about 20 days. Some food packages are tailored specifically for a family’s needs, for example, containing powdered baby formula and diapers for families with babies.
To date, the AHEPA family has raised more than $200,000 for humanitarian aid for the people of Greece.
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered more than $400 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in 50 countries. For more information, please visit www.iocc.org.
Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, to protect individuals from the evils of bigotry and discrimination, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 active chapters across the United States, Canada, Greece and Cyprus. The mission of AHEPA is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org