The Hellenic Initiative (THI) has donated $50,000 to the non-profit foundation Desmos in Greece to strengthen the country’s defenses against chronic and devastating wildfires.
The grant was made to seven volunteer firefighting groups on the island of Evia, by providing them with essential fire fighting gear, equipment, and pumping units. Evia was severely affected by the wildfires of 2021.
Founded in 2012, THI is a global non-profit organization that brings together Diaspora Greeks and Philhellenes to invest in Greece’s present and future. Since its founding, THI has invested more than $20 million in Greece, supporting over 250 different initiatives and programs.
THI has been a longtime supporter of Desmos, having provided grants in the past totaling $127,000. In 2014, THI contributed to the creation of ‘Desmos Direct’, a digital giving platform that facilitates automated donations of goods and services by individuals and companies to social welfare organizations.
In 2017, THI funds supported ‘Desmos for Youth’, which provides funding for one-year employment positions at charitable organizations for unemployed youth in their fields of interest.
Hellenic Initiative is equipping local volunteer teams against wildfires
Emily Kern, Desmos’ General Manager, stated “our work is unique because we don’t just give out grants. Each organization gets what it needs on a priority basis,” as a result of diligent investigation.
“We document the needs of the 1,000 organizations in our network and match them to our donors.” Kern emphasized that donated items include food relief, personal hygiene products, clothes, books, appliances, furniture, computers, heating fuel and shelter.
“Desmos’s help is also effective because it endeavors to build trust with its over 15,000 donors – individuals, corporate partners, and foundations, including THI, and has done so since its inception.
George P. Stamas, THI Board President, stated: “Desmos was founded the same year as THI, and we immediately recognized the value of its ability to match donations with actual needs during a time when Greece faced numerous humanitarian challenges.”
Andrew N. Liveris, THI Board Chairman stated: “In Evia, the people lost not only their homes, but their livelihoods. By equipping the local volunteer firefighting teams to prevent such catastrophes in the future, we are making an investment in both the people and economic prospects of the island for the long term.“
The Hellenic Initiative’s 10th anniversary New York Gala which took place in December 2022, raised $2,248,000 to be deployed in Greece to support Greek economic and entrepreneurial development and humanitarian programs.
Since its founding, THI has become the largest Greek diaspora organization in the world, with supporters in over forty-five countries. The New York Gala, THI’s largest annual event, hosted more than eight hundred dignitaries and guests this year at Cipriani Wall Street.