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September 2012 Observer

Find Philoptochos on Page 7

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National Philoptochos Society Commitments and Programs

  1. Academy of Saint Basil
  2. Autism Fund 
  3. Children's Medical Fund
  4. Ecumenical Patriarchate
  5. Emergency Fund
  6. General Medical Fund
  7. Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology 
  8. International Orthodox Christian Charities
  9. National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Benevolent Fund
  10. Orhodox Christian Fellowship 
  11. Orthodox Christian Mission Center and Support a Mission Priest
  12. Retired Clergy and Widowed Presbyteras Benevolent Fund
  13. Saint Photios Shrine
  14. Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Founders Fund
  15. Social Services
  16. United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund

The National Philoptochos Commitments are adopted by the Chapter delegates at the National Philoptochos Biennial Conventions and approved by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. Each local Chapter supports these commitments through various fundraising activities.  Funds are collected in specified months.

Academy of Saint Basil

In March 1944, Archbishop Athenagoras requested that Philoptochos purchase the beautiful 250-acre estate of Jacob Ruppert in Garrison, NY, which is located on the shores of the Hudson River, directly opposite the U.S. Military Academy of West Point.  With the purchase of this estate, the Philoptochos had the enormous task of completely renovating the property, which included several buildings, the main administration building, the Director's residence, classrooms and dormitories, a reception hall and building a Chapel.  Philoptochos remains a key financial supporter of the Academy through two ministry commitments:

Vasilopita

This event is held in January across the United States by every Chapter in every parish and is a major source of funding for the Academy operating expenses.

Sisterhood

Provides for the ongoing needs of the children of the Academy, such as clothing, furniture, equipment and essentials for the dormitories, kitchen, etc., as well as funding for the Graduation celebrations and special awards for graduating students.

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Autism Fund

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has called Autism a national public health crisis more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. This fund provides assistance and support to persons within the Autism spectrum and promotes education to heighten Autism awareness.

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Children's Medical Fund

Since its establishment in 1989, the Children's Medical Fund seeks to provide medical assistance to critically ill Greek, Greek-American and Orthodox children, whose families are unable to afford appropriate and necessary medical treatment. The Fund identifies and provides grants for innovative research programs to pediatric hospitals throughout the United States.

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Ecumenical Patriarchate

The philanthropies of the Ecumenical Patriarchate such as Balukli Hospital and Nursing Home, schools, shrine and parishes are supported by this ministry commitment.

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Emergency Fund

This fund enables the Philoptochos Society to immediately respond to those in need, in times of national or international crises.

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General Medical Fund

Philoptochos receives numerous requests for financial assistance for adults afflicted with a variety of medical conditions, which are outside the scope of restricted funds now established by the Society. The Society utilizes the Fund to provide assistance in those cases where appropriate funding is not available. 

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Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology

The Holy  Cross School of Theology was established by Archbishop Athenagoras in June 1937, in Pomfret, CT. The Archbishop directed a special appeal to the Philoptochos to "devote" themselves to the School, "where your sons will be educated as priests and teachers." Over seventy-five years later, Philoptochos continues its strong commitment and financial support to Holy Cross through two programs: 

Scholarships

For more than 20 years, scholarships have been awarded to worthy and dedicated students at both Holy Cross and Hellenic College to assist them with their tuition expenses. 

Lenten Event

Philoptochos celebrates on the Third Sundy of Lent, observing the Veneration of the Holy Cross. The Chapters arrange a Lenten Event following the Divine Liturgy with proceeds used for the operational expenses of the School.

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International Orthodox Christian Charities

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is the official humanitarian aid agency of Orthodox Christians which provides food, shelter, economic self-sufficiency and hope to those in need around the world.  Philoptochos partners with IOCC to serve as first responders to major world disasters through aid for education, health and major necessities.

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National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Benevolent Fund

The National Sisterhood of Presvyteres (NSP) was established in 1982, and is comprised of all Presvyteres of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Philoptochos funds provide short-term support for clergy and/or families in a time of crisis.

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Orthodox Christian Fellowship Fund

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) mission is to support fellowships on college campuses, whose members experience and witness to the Orthodox Church through community life, prayer, service to others and study of faith. This fund provides support to the more than 240 local OCF chapters throughout the country.

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Orthodox Christian Mission Center and Support a Mission Priest (OCMC and SAMP)

The Philoptochos Society provides financial support to the OCMC missionary teams, strengthening their ability to empower the Orthodox Church worldwide to carry its message to those who have yet to hear it and bring them within its fold. In addition, this ministry commitment enables Orthodox bishops and priests in mission areas, to build and restore churches, community centers, schools and medical facilities as well as participate in training, teaching and field management, thereby increasing productivity.

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Retired Clergy and Widowed Presvyteres Benevolent Fund

The Retired Clergy Association (RCA) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was founded and established by the late Fr. John Zanetos on April 26, 1988.  Funds raised provide support and guidance for retired clergy who are facing financial problems or living at a poverty level.

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Saint Photios Shrine 

In 1965, the Archdiocese purchased the Avero House in historic Saint Augustine, Florida to commemorate the arrival of the first Greek settlers to the New World in 1768. The Philoptochos continues its commitment to provide financial assistance towards the preservation of the National Shrine.

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Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Founders Fund

This fund, celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Philoptochos Society provides financial support to the Greek Orthodox older adults and their families to assist with housing, utility, unreimbursed or uncovered medical expenses, home health care, hospice, funerals and safety equipment, special approved projects and also provides support to existing, continuing care facilities serving the aging Greek Orthodox population in the United States, and may support the establishment of similar facilities.

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Social Services

Since the late 1950's, upon the recommendation of Archbishop Iakovos, Philoptochos has placed an increased emphasis on the implementation of important programs to benefit the Greek Orthodox community, including, but not limited to, institutions of the Church, the philanthropies of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and assistance to Greek and Greek Orthodox families.  Involvement in social and moral issues encouraged the establishment of several committees to address topics such as child abuse prevention, domestic violence, homelessness, pornography, drug and alcohol abuse, and aging. 

Since 1987, the National Philoptochos office has employed a professional Social Worker to assist the Greek Orthodox community in the United States as well as Greek and Cypriot nationals.  The Department of Social Services is a critical and vital component of the organization.  The mission of the Department is to improve the quality of life of those in need, in a way that maintains the dignity and self-respect of the individuals.  Through confidential and professional services, the office provides outreach, education, information, support, intervention, motivation, advocacy, financial assistance and referral to local and broader resources.  

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United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund

In 1979, to commemorate the United Nation's "International Year of the Child," Philoptochos became a Non-Governmental Organization with the United Nations and UNICEF.  Philoptochos donations help this global organization to protect the rights, health and wellbeing of all children.

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