International Orthodox Christian Charities’ (IOCC) work to alleviate the pain inflicted upon the victims of recent hurricanes in the United States has been reinforced by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
The aftermath of the devastating storms, namely Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, has brought on unspeakable damage to the US Gulf coast, with Houston region, Louisiana, and Florida being the areas that have been affected the most.
The hierarchs have urged those who are under the Assembly’s leadership to support the aid given by the IOCC in the best way they can in order to address the victims’ urgent needs for food, water and shelter.
IOCC sent teams of Frontliners, members of the clergy and laypeople who are trained in dealing with disaster and trauma, to provide emotional and spiritual support to those who survived the hurricanes.
IOCC staff and 119 volunteers have been working non-stop in Texas and Florida offering all kinds of practical aid, from repairing roofs to clearing homes from debris as well as helping afflicted families financially so that they can arrange for some of the repairs themselves. IOCC aid also includes the provision of essential supplies, such as generators, mattresses, hygiene kits.
IOCC’s Executive Director and CEO Constantine Triantafilou expressed his gratitude to the Bishops’ Assembly for their support to the organization’s efforts. As he said to The National Herald, the work that IOCC is able to do around the world is possible only because they have such robust support from their hierarchs. He also added that they are extremely thankful for their leadership and to have them as allies serving those in need in the spirit of Christ’s love.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops invited all members of the Orthodox Church to contribute to IOCC’s efforts both spiritually by praying and practically by offering any aid necessary. In a statement he issued, the Archbishop stressed the importance of Christians accompanying their prayers with tangible assistance to those in dire need.
Since its founding in 1992, the IOCC has responded to crises in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States, having distributed aid worth over $625 million in over 60 countries worldwide.