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Greek-Americans Fund Reconstruction Of Fire-Stricken Greek Hospital In Istanbul

Fire burning Balikli Greek Hospital in Istanbul on August 4, 2022.
Credit: Twitter / Order of St Andrew @OrderStAndrew

The Greek-American community have pledged 350,000 US dollars for the reconstruction of the fire-stricken Balikli Greek Hospital in Istanbul.

The historic building, which also operates as a nursing house, sustained extensive structural damage from the August 4th fire.

Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, who arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday for the third pilgrimage organized by the Archdiocese of America in celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding, informed the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of the fundraising during their meeting at the Phanar.

The Greek Orthodox Archbishop was planning to visit Balikli in the following days.

The Greek-American community responded immediately to the call for donations following the fire, according to the Archbishop, and more funds are expected to come in privately.

The Balikli Greek Hospital is a health care institution for Greek Orthodox Christians of the Balikli neighborhood in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul founded in 1753. Its service continues to this day, and it is run by the Greek community of Turkey.

Elderly residents and patients were dramatically evacuated by staff and neighbors as firefighters were rushing to the scene, but no injuries were reported.

“Human lives matter. Buildings, facilities, material things can be restored, and our Omogeneia will contribute in any way we can to mitigate the material damages that have been suffered so that the Balıklı Greek Hospital can continue its mission caring for the elderly and infirmed,” Archbishop Elpidoforos had commented in response to the incident.

The President of the charitable Philoptochos Society, Arlene Siavelis Kehl stated: “Our love for the institution is profound and we stand ready to assist His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros in any way we can to address the damage that occurred. We are thankful to Our Lord that all were safely evacuated, and there were no injuries.”

The Philoptochos Society pledged 50,000 US dollars for the cause, and the Archons of the Order Of St Andrew offered $100,000.

“It is the mission of the Archons to support and defend our Holy Mother Church, and we are grateful to God that we are able to make this donation,” Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, said of the donation.

The Leadership 100 Fund and the Archdiocese itself also donated 100,000 USD dollars each for the Greek hospital’s reconstruction. The fundraiser aimed at the reconstruction of the hospital continues.

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