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Relief for Victims of Hurricane Katrina
 
Archdiocese Efforts

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Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort

September 2, 2005

New York, NY — The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has established a special web site to assist with information and resources during the Hurricane Katrina relief effort:

www.goarch.org/en/special/hurricane_katrina/

The site features the latest news on the response, along with a link for online donations to the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund, and message boards to assist with information on families, parishioners, and parishes affected by the disaster.

Orthodox Churches Respond
in Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

August 31, 2005

New York, NY — Following the devastating landfall of Hurricane Katrina on the shores of the Gulf Coast, Orthodox Churches throughout the United States and the world are responding to assist with the relief effort. The powerful storm hit portions of Louisana, Mississippi, and Alabama on Monday. Reports are stating that 80% of the city of New Orleans is flooded, and power and communications systems are not functioning throughout the region.

In response to the disaster, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America called on all Orthodox faithful to offer their prayers and resources to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands who have lost property and livelihoods. In a special encyclical he stated:

I write this letter on behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in the wake of the fatalities, heavy damage, and trauma caused by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. This natural disaster has affected entire communities throughout these States, and today many thousands of people are mourning the painful loss of their loved ones, their homes, and their businesses as a result of the violent storm. As an Orthodox Christian community, our first and foremost response must be a call to prayer for the eternal rest of those who lost their lives and for comfort and strength to be granted by the merciful God to those left behind. Our prayers, however, must also be joined by a tangible expression of material assistance, so that those affected by this tragedy may receive the help that they need to recover from this overwhelming catastrophe.

His Eminence called on all of the parishes of the Archdiocese to take special relief collections on either Sunday, September 4 or Sunday, September 11, to be sent to the Archdiocese for the "Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund" or make an online donation on the IOCC website at: www.iocc.org/giving/giving_hurricane8-29-05.shtml.

Relief efforts are also being coordinated by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). IOCC already has response teams working with parishes in the Gulf Coast area, as well as coordinating the Orthodox relief efforts with other private and government relief agencies like Church World Services. More information on the relief efforts and needs of IOCC can be found at www.iocc.org.

Donations are being steadily received through the web site of the Archdiocese. A special donation site has been established to allow individuals to contribute directly to the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund. Donations to this fund will be used to address the needs of the Greek Orthodox communities, as well as for assisting the general relief effort.

Further assistance is being coordinated through the efforts of Orthodox parishes in the region. The Annunciation Cathedral in Houston, Texas, is working with IOCC to determine immediate needs. The school of the Cathedral will be working with Houston area schools to assist with the educational needs of students who may be displaced through the end of the year. The Saint George Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, is also working with IOCC and is coordinating an emergency hotline to help persons in the area locate family members. At the present time, the status of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Orleans is not known, but the area where it is located has experienced heavy flooding.

IOCC Emergency Response Network
Activated To Assist U.S. Gulf Coast

August 29, 2005

Baltimore (IOCC) — With Hurricane Katrina pounding the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is preparing to provide assistance to people in the storm-affected areas. Working with Orthodox Christian churches in the Gulf Coast area, and with national partners like Church World Service and others, IOCC will assist in efforts to house, feed and otherwise assist the more than one million people temporarily displaced by this storm.

IOCC, the humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has activated its emergency response network, and is focusing on areas most severely affected by the hurricane.

IOCC's network of trained emergency responders, led by Fr. David Kossey, will dispatch Fr. Angelo Pappas, a qualified emergency "first responder," to the region to work with private and government agencies in order to identify the most urgent needs of those affected and to help meet those needs.

"Right now, the most critical need is for cash contributions to enable IOCC to respond quickly to needs as they emerge," Fr. Kossey said. "I have been heartened by the eagerness of our local churches to set up shelters and provide food and keep people as comfortable as possible during this disaster."

Donations for IOCC's Hurricane Disaster Response Fund may be sent to:

IOCC
"Hurricane Relief
P.O. Box 630225
Baltimore, MD 21263-0225.

Donations may also be made by filling in and submitting the form [at www.iocc.org/giving/giving_hurricane8-29-05.shtml] or by calling toll-free 1-877-803-IOCC (4622).

IOCC's emergency response network, consisting of trained Orthodox priests and their U.S. parish communities, provides emergency services to people struggling to recover from natural or man-made disasters.

Reprint Credit

This information has been reprinted from a distribution of the Atlanta List, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Internet Ministries.

Also see:


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