by Helen Papamichalopoulos
In March of 2020, Montreal, like many cities around the world, were in lockdown.
Greek Orthodox Easter was just around the corner and Despina Giagkos wanted to do something good for the people in the Greek Community.
She called her friend Anna Dritsas and together came up with the idea for the Hellas Hope Foundation.
Their logo, Aphrodite, represents their vision; female strength bringing beauty and peace to the community.
The foundation’s initial aim was to help feed Greek families in the greater Montreal area.
With only seven days before Easter, the girls were able to gather sponsors to donate enough food for a hundred families. Despina and Anna, along with a few volunteers, packed the food and delivered a box to each family.
The foundation reached out to even more sponsors, and during the 2020 Christmas holidays once again put together food boxes for 100 families. Given the Christmas spirit, they even had people adopt some families and buy gifts for their young children.
This Easter the foundation is at it again.
Their aim is to feed over 100 families. The founders, which now include Dora Tzavaras, reach out to local Greek businesses for food donations. With more people becoming aware of the foundation and the good it’s doing, people are stepping up to do their part.
Opacize, a local Greek aerobics class, held an online class and all proceeds went to the foundation.
A group of women got together and made lambades for each family. “
It’s really great to see the Greek Community coming together to help. It’s all about Philotimo which is part of our DNA,” says Despina Giagkos.
The Hellas Hope Foundation has plans to do more for the Montreal Greek Community.
“This is just the beginning. We hope that we can reach out to more families in need as the foundation continues to grow,” says Dora Tzavaras.
As of now, they have 35 sponsors, most Greek companies, and 35 volunteers to help deliver the boxes.
“We also have plans to help people in other ways, not just with food,” says Anna Dritsas.
"Bringing people and communities together during these unprecedented times, is what gives us hope for the future."
The Hellas Hope Foundation
To find out how to get involved, contact the Hellas Hope Foundation:
Facebook: The Hellas Hope Foundation