The Hellenic Initiative (THI) raised more than $2 million at its Annual Gala in New York on Saturday for pandemic crisis relief and economic recovery in Greece.
The Hellenic Initiative is a global nonprofit organization that brings together Diaspora Greeks and Philhellenes to invest in the future of Greece through programs focused on crisis relief, entrepreneurship, and economic development.
THI was founded in 2012 by Greeks of the diaspora and philhellenes to provide direct philanthropy and aid to Greece and the Greek people.
Hellenic Initiative honors Johnson & Johnson Chairman Alex Gorsky
At the gala, THI honored Johnson & Johnson Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky.
From 1983 to 1984, Gorsky was stationed in Drama, Greece as part of his military service and he learned to speak Greek at the Defense Language Institute.
A philhellene, he was instrumental in developing a relationship between Johnson & Johnson and THI. Johnson & Johnson has been an essential hiring partner for THI’s successful ReGeneration program since the program’s inception.
Launched in 2014 to train, mentor, and place highly qualified millennials in internships at top Greek and multinational companies, the program has created more than 1,600 youth job placements, unlocking more than €11.5 million in salaries. Recognized as the top internship program in Greece, more than 80 percent of participants secure a contract extension or are hired.
Auction items for Greek causes
The event was emceed by one of Greece’s most popular recording artists, Sakis Rouvas.
At the same time, THI offered an array of auction items that focus on giving to those in need. Charitable auction items include those that support programs for hunger relief, health and social welfare support, and vocational training.
As in prior years, Greek artists, food and wine purveyors, luxury destinations, and fashion and jewelry designers from around the world have come together to donate items.
Since its founding, THI has raised USD $17 million for grants supporting NGOs and economic development projects in Greece.
At its annual London Gala on September 30, THI raised more than $270,000 for charities that benefit and protect children in Greece. At the renowned Dorchester Hotel, 300 Diaspora Hellenes and Philhellenes raised funds for ELEPAP, one of the oldest charitable organizations in Greece, and the ELIZA Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.