BALTIMORE, MD – Two family foundations, the George and Judy Marcus Foundation and the Jaharis Family Foundation, have jointly provided International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) with a six-figure matching challenge grant to support the long-term response IOCC term to summer forest fires in Greece.
In the summer of 2021, forest fires raged across Evia, Attica and the Peloponnese in Greece, destroying homes, businesses and livelihoods as around 300,000 acres burned. Euboea, Greece’s second largest island, has been hit particularly hard, with a third of its forests burned, including valuable pine trees, the base of traditional beekeeping, honey, and resin collecting industries.
With the Marcuses providing the main donation of $ 300,000 through the George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation, Mr. Marcus encouraged the IOCC to multiply the proceeds to help more people. In addition, the Jaharis Family Foundation has committed an additional $ 85,000, creating a matching donation challenge fund totaling $ 385,000. To meet the vast needs of the fire-ravaged areas, the Marcus and Jaharis Foundations are working with the IOCC to urge others to support recovery efforts.
“We are extremely grateful for the help of these two foundations over the years,” said Constantine Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO of IOCC. “Without these staunch supporters, IOCC could not have the necessary impact for communities facing the devastation of the fires. “
Thanks to these tremendous donations, along with existing support from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the IOCC is already on the ground in Greece, leveraging its extensive experience in emergency response and development. long-term development assistance. The IOCC is committed to long-term programming to help families and communities rebuild their homes, businesses and livelihoods, especially by helping small farmers and microenterprises. The response began with the IOCC’s field needs assessments, which the team used to design personalized short- and long-term assistance in affected areas. Programming began immediately in the municipality of Ileia, in the western Peloponnese, an area which also experienced widespread fires in 2007. The emergency response supported the educational needs and basic necessities of the families.
The IOCC assessment also determined that long-term needs were just as important, especially in Evia. Because the economy of this region depends on the agricultural industries producing honey and resin, the payback will be long as the pine stands slowly recover. Over time, IOCC will help the people affected by the fire restore their honey and resin businesses. In addition, programs will support livestock farmers affected by the fires by providing them with animal feed.
As this work is expected to continue in the months and years to come, the Marcus and Jaharis Foundations urge IOCC supporters to join them in helping communities in Greece restore their livelihoods. Donations can be made online: iocc.org/greecefiresmatch22 or by phone: 877-803-4622.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is the humanitarian and development agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has provided more than $ 742 million in humanitarian assistance and sustainable development programs in more than 60 countries around the world. Today, the IOCC applies its expertise in humanitarian response to natural and man-made crises in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, providing assistance based solely on need.
Learn more at iocc.org and follow @IOCCRelief on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.