Who sits back and reminisces about everything they have, at least once a day? Most of us ponder about the things we don’t have or want. On November the 22nd, an incredible charity dinner held in Sydney’s West reminded us that we really have it all. We just don’t see it.
The SHARE WITH THE WORLD 2020 Fundraiser was organised by the revered Father Constantine Varipitas from St Stylianos Parish in Gymea, through The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Of Australia. Approximately 180 people filled the Fontana Amarosa Reception Centre in Blacktown, behind the Greek Orthodox Parish of Saint Paraskevi.
Every single ticket to the charity was sold, and the venue filled to the allowed Covid capacity. The event was also live-streamed on Youtube, with nearly 1000 people tuning in and donating. The charity event was also watched by the young people who attended the weekly Orthodox Cafe, with over $500 being raised by them.
An incredible amount of $250,000 was raised as a collective effort, all of which goes to those in need.
After a very difficult year, those in poorer nations are at an even greater need for assistance, due to Covid-19 pandemic. Under the guidance of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the funds raised go directly to the Orthodox Christian Missions in Africa, Asia and parts of Australasia.
The event’s MC, Asterios Zouriakas commented on the success and meaning behind the event:
“The focus of this year’s fundraising also included Asia and parts of Australasia, as well as Africa. These places include Hong Kong, Korea, Fiji, Tsonga and New Zealand”.
Covid has affected people in these parts of the world, with little no to media attention. The Greek Archdiocese aims to continue spreading the word of God in these countries and Islands, all the while helping and giving where it is needed. Mr Zouriakas continued:
“Do we actually appreciate everything God has given us? These people experience great physical poverty, living in slums with no electricity, running water or proper hygiene. The majority of us in the Western World experience Emotional Poverty. The difference is those with less are grateful for even the tiniest piece of bread. But, we can challenge ourselves for a week and get up each day and thank God by saying ‘Thank you for everything you have given me’. We can add to this by simply giving alms. If we don’t have anything to give, a simple smile at a stranger can go a long way.”
“Jesus calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Your ‘neighbour’ is everyone you meet. The underpinning is to be ‘Christlike’, and tonight’s event was people coming together to spread love, as our Lord did.”
Every single thing at the charity function was donated, with volunteer youths from every Greek parish around Sydney lending a hand in waiting the tables on the night. Catering was provided by Pelopidas Catering, the food was delicious and the drink flowing. The live-streaming was done pro-bono by Alexander James of Alleyway Productions, with the help of Andy Ektoros. Sponsors of the event included:
- Olympia Marble
- Fontana Amarosa Reception Centre
- Masterpiece Pictures
- Pelopidas Catering
- John Skufris of Ray White Paramatta
- The Construction Adviser
- Nio and Tony’s in North Bondi
- St Stylianos Parish Sutherland
- Fr Milton Chrysavgis
- YesArt, Tracey Poniris
- Goldleaf Printing
- Sotiris Perentes
- St George SmallGoods
- Tsigounis family
- Charbel Younis
- Dr Tom Savoulis
and many, many more. We thank every one of you for your help!
To sum up the evening, let’s contemplate these words from St. John Chrysostom:
“ The rich exist for the sake of the poor. The poor exist for the salvation of the rich.”
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