Philanthropy is a Greek Word after All, Isn’t it?

Source: The National Herald

To the Editor:

I have been following the news about Hurricane Sandy and all the people who have been suffering from damage from the storm. My family and I made a donation through the Red Cross, and I am happy that Greek-American groups like the Philoptochos and AHEPA have been helping, but I’m afraid that our community has not stepped up to the degree that it could or should.

Maybe none of our societies and institutions are organized to react quickly, and maybe the Church and the above groups will make an impact over time, but it just seems that we are lagging behind other groups. We are not newly-arrived immigrants any more. Maybe we will never be able to make a stunning contribution like the $10 million raised by the Buddhists, but I think we are up to $1 million worth of assistance. There have been many articles and editorials about the need for the community to be better organized for political action and other things. Since it appears that there will be more and more Katrinas and Sandys in our future, maybe we can create an umbrella organization for philanthropic work, complete with natural disaster rapid reaction capability, with the leaders of AHEPA and Philoptochos and IOCC on its board. Most of the time it can focus on Greek-American needs, but during times like the aftermath of natural disasters, we can play a greater and more visible role in the community at large.

Christiana Gianopoulos
Chicago, IL

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