More than 400 contributors from around the world including the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Italy, and Greece responded to the appeal of the leadership of The Hellenic Initiative (THI) and donated $100,000 to the COVID-19 THI Emergency Relief Fund.
The campaign aimed at raising donations from Greeks and Philhellenes of the Diaspora to support community-based organizations, entrepreneurs and the Greek public health system.
"The Hellenic Initiative was built for immediate response and for the long haul. We have helped the people of Greece get through the economic crisis and we will continue to be there as they work to build a better future – but the future also includes surprise and shocks, black swans of all kinds, and we will be there for Greece at those times as well," George Stamas, THI Board President, stated.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has placed many children and families under extreme financial and mental stress. The elderly and the chronically ill had to stop their treatments and found difficulties in receiving much-needed support due to the restrictions imposed.
Peter Poulos, THI's Executive Director, stated: "THI is a crisis relief organisation and so it is our job to respond to these challenges. We are proud of Greece's COVID-19 response to date, and we a pleased that the Hellenic Diaspora has also stepped up with these donations."
Many startups that THI has worked with in the past were now faced with critical problems not being able to raise additional funds from investors amidst the financial turmoil created by the pandemic. THI's response though the funds raised targeted all these problems, offering relief when it was most needed. The recipient organisations include:
- 'Mazi Gia to Paidi' – Together for Children, which, among others, provides psychological support to vulnerable families across Greece
- Agigma Zois, which helps cancer patients, often with weak or impaired immune systems placed in a life-threatening risk due to COVID-19
- Galilee, which assists the elderly and the terminally ill live their lives with dignity and no pain.
Funds raised from this campaign will also support THI's Venture Garden program, which helps Greeks, especially young entrepreneurs, grow new businesses.