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VIDEO: Philoptochos Feeding the Hungry 

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Bridgeport, CT
March 19, 2016

(Click on the image above to open the YouTube video.)
Register for the 2016 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention
 
Irene Arsoniadis and Theone Dickos, Convention Co-Chairs
The 2016 National Philoptochos Convention Co-Chairs greet you with love in Christ, and wish all a Blessed Lenten Season.

The momentum is continuing to build for our July Convention, and we are developing an inspiring program!  We look forward to making new friends and reestablishing bonds with women across the country.

Among the many exciting events on tap are Interactive Discussion Groups on Membership, How to Assess Social Service Needs, Finance, and Philoptochos in Our Changing World.  These discussions will allow delegates to participate and express their views. 

We also have a number of speakers and programs that are new this year.  These include: Miss America, National Goodwill Ambassador for the Children’s Medical Network Hospitals; Philoptochos Leadership Institute, Inspiring future leaders to serve with a servant’s heart; a Hands-On Workshop for Philoptochos and Clergy-Laity Delegates for the Feeding the Hungry Initiative and most triumphantly, Celebrating 85 Years of Love, Caring and Hope of our Beloved Philoptochos.

Please look for and share the Convention Registration Brochure mailed to each chapter three weeks ago.  Registration information is also posted on the National Philoptochos website.  There, you will find the option to register online at this web address: http://bit.ly/1N8zyKs.  Be sure to register as soon as possible.

For your convenience, Rules for Chapter Delegates and General Information follow this update, as well as links to the Registration Application, Online Registration and the 2016 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention web page.

A highlight of every Convention is the National Awards Program.  Applications are due by May 15 and can be found on the Convention web page.  It is also a time for all chapters to make sure that they have participated in the National Ministry Commitments Program.   Certificates will be awarded to all chapters that have fulfilled these Commitments.  By participating fully in the National Commitments Program, chapters join with others across the nation to maximize philanthropic outreach.

Information regarding submitting a request for a Resolution for a Bylaws or Procedural change at the Convention has been sent to Chapter Presidents.   For those that intend to submit a request, please review it carefully with your Direct Archdiocesan District or Metropolis, Metropolis President and Board.  All Bylaws/Resolutions “Requests for Change” must first be reviewed at the Metropolis level. Detailed guidelines are posted on the Philoptochos website.  

Strike a beautiful chord with us in Music City.  Brush off your cowboy boots and come join us in Nashville, Tennessee from July 3- 8.  Cannot wait to see you all there!  
2016 National Philoptochos Convention meeting in the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy on March 29, 2016
NATIONAL PHILOPTOCHOS BIENNIAL CONVENTION
CHAPTER DELEGATE REGULATIONS
A delegate is a Philoptochos member chosen by a Chapter in good standing with the National and Metropolis Boards (i.e. elections have been ratified, and per capita for 2015 and 2016 has been submitted) to represent that Chapter at the National Philoptochos Biennial Convention. The delegate is entitled to be heard and to vote in accordance with prescribed rules governing the Convention and is required to attend all general sessions of the Convention and the assigned workshops.
 
A Chapter in good standing is entitled to have a total of three (3) delegates at the National Philoptochos Biennial Convention. The Chapter President is automatically a delegate (or, in her absence, another officer as prescribed by the Bylaws, Article V, Section 12, Para. 2).
 
Up to two (2) additional delegates, from among the full members, shall be elected from the floor at a General meeting of the membership. 
 
NOTICE - Please elect a(n) alternate delegate(s). In the event a delegate cannot attend, please notify the National Office, if an alternate, in fact, will be attending in place of your delegate.
Click below for

REGISTRATION APPLICATION

ONLINE REGISTRATION

and for further information,
2016 NATIONAL PHILOPTOCHOS BIENNIAL CONVENTION WEB PAGE
Before She was Miss America, She was Feeding the Hungry
Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell was the Metropolis of Pittsburgh Philoptochos Society’s honored guest at the Daffodil Luncheon on March 5, 2016, at the Historic Silver Grille in downtown Cleveland, OH. The Daffodil Luncheon is held in a different location in the Metropolis each year and is the single fundraiser for the Metropolis Social Service fund.
 
The four Cleveland, Ohio area Philoptochos chapters hosted this year’s fundraiser: Annunciation, Cleveland; Sts. Constantine & Helen, Cleveland Heights; St. Demetrios, Rocky River; and St. Paul, North Royalton. In addition to the Metropolis Social Service fund, two local organizations, the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Project and Zoe for Life, were beneficiaries of the Luncheon proceeds.
 
His Eminence Metropolitan Savas inspired his Philoptochos chapters with spiritual reflections about the true meaning of Philanthropy. Melissa Reid, a reporter for Fox 8 News, served as Emcee for the afternoon, and the guests were entertained by the Fairview High School String Quartet. National Philoptochos First Vice President, Arlene Siavelis Kehl, also attended the luncheon.
 
The host chapters chose Miss America 2016 as their guest speaker because she perfectly exemplifies the ideals of Philoptochos. Betty Cantrell hails from Warner Robins, Georgia, and is named for her Greek grandmother, Baciliky. She is a member of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Macon, Georgia, where she sings in the choir, chants, performs with the Greek dance troop, and helps at the annual festival. Since her youth, like many daughters of Philoptochos members, she has worked by her mother’s side, helping with fundraisers and projects. Recently, she served as Facilitator and Distributor for a Philoptochos project, which delivered canned goods to food banks and women’s shelters in her community. She also assisted her Philoptochos in raising funds for the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine Initiative, and the Orthodox Christian Mission Fund. As Miss America, her national platform is Healthy Children, Strong America. She has developed and produced a multi-faceted program of healthy lifestyles and eating habits for children throughout Georgia. In addition, she serves as the National Goodwill Ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In concluding her remarks, she said that it was a pleasure to speak at an event where she could talk about her commitment to her Orthodox faith.
              
She is active in her church; she feeds the hungry; and she promotes children’s health. Her interests and programs perfectly align with the ministries of the National Philoptochos Society. She is the living embodiment of the spirit of Philanthropia. Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell is a role model for all Greek-American young women across the country. The Metropolis of Pittsburgh Philoptochos Society was truly honored and inspired by her presence at their annual Daffodil Luncheon.
 
Atlanta Annunciation Cathedral Chapter Raises $55,000
for National Philoptochos
St. Nicholas Rebuilding Initiative
On February 28, 2016, the Annunciation Cathedral and Philoptochos (Ypapanti) chapter in Atlanta, Georgia, jointly hosted the “On Sacred Ground” Luncheon and Auction as a fundraiser for the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center.

A small, but very strong committee, chaired by Valine Georgeson and Stacie Nefos, worked with Father Paul Kaplanis, Cathedral Dean. The committee enthusiastically supported the rebuilding and focused on making this luncheon successful, unique and memorable.

New York actor Anthoula Katsimatides honored the committee when she accepted the invitation to be the luncheon guest speaker. Anthoula lost her beloved brother John in the September 11th attacks at the World Trade Center. She also serves as a board member on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

February 28th arrived and the luncheon was attended by over 360 parishioners. The meal was delicious and generously underwritten, and the tables were beautifully decorated, with thoughtful gifts for each guest.

Parishioners were joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, a gracious guest who thanked everyone for their participation. His Eminence had been Anthoula’s priest in Astoria and was delighted to see her after all these years.

Guests watched architect Santiago Calatrava’s short video about St. Nicholas Church which many had never seen. It made visible the radiant beauty that will shine from the church. Anthoula’s speech was beautiful. With love, tears and laughter, she shared her story with the audience. The packed ballroom was completely silent as she spoke. Her words will not be soon forgotten and she captured the hearts of all.

The luncheon continued with a fantastic live auction. The energetic auctioneers inspired great bids on the fabulous array of items. There were lots of happy smiles in the crowd! The day ended with inspired parishioners eager to visit the St. Nicholas site, knowing that their participation had helped play a small part in the rebuilding.

Thanks to the tremendous generosity of individual and organizational donors, luncheon attendees and a successful auction, the Atlanta Annunciation Cathedral Philoptochos chapter will send $55,000 to the National Philoptochos Society for the St. Nicholas rebuilding. In addition, the Annunciation Cathedral will send $55,000 and a private donor will send $50,000 to the Archdiocese, for St. Nicholas. It was truly a great and fulfilling day!

For information and resources, visit www.philoptochos.org/news/saintnicholas.  To be part of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center Philoptochos Fundraising Initiative, please donate directly to your local Philoptochos Chapter or your Metropolis Philoptochos.

100 Acts of Kindness for a 100 Year Anniversary

Chapter News Submitted by Maria Macris
 
The Greek Orthodox Church of All Saints in Joliet, IL, was founded in 1916, and on September 18, 2016, we will celebrate 100 years of parish life and the legacy and prosperity of our Greek Orthodox community in the Joliet area.
 
To honor the contribution of the Greek Orthodox community to the Joliet area, our Religious Education students will perform 100 Acts of Kindness throughout the 2015-2016 Church School year and summer.
 
These include acts that support the quality of life of our membership, friends and family, and the community at large. Our aim is to offer our children fun and meaningful opportunities to understand what it is to be our “brother’s keeper” and to “pay it forward.”
 
We have completed collection drives for organizations that serve our nation’s military and for nursing homes and cancer patients. With our Philoptochos Society, we have collected school supplies for needy children in the community and set up a Giving Tree for needy families during the Christmas season.
 
In February, we completed a Philoptochos “Feed the Hungry” project and packed 100 lunch bags for the local homeless clients of MorningStar Mission. Our children made "Lollipop Flowers" (see photo) to be included in the bags.
 
To date, we are nearly half way to our goal of 100 Acts of Kindness by September 18, 2016. This is a huge undertaking, but it is also a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to serve our community and help those in need. The benefits of working together are vast and leave lasting memories. Our parishioners have enthusiastically supported this effort, and with their continued kindness, generosity, and love, we will complete all 100 Acts of Kindness in time for our 100 year anniversary celebration.
Put MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY on Your Calendar for ACTS OF KINDNESS

At its May 2015 meeting, the National Board adopted a cross-generational initiative to honor His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios on the occasion of his Nameday on October 26. In conjunction with National MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY, which occurs each year in October, chapters across the US were encouraged to sponsor projects involving the children in their parishes in acts of kindness in order to teach our youth about giving back to their communities and to directly involve them in philanthropy.

Chapters can continue the tradition by planning ahead and putting these dates on the calendar for MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY: October 22, 2016 and October 28, 2017.

Be inspired by the Greek Orthodox Church of All Saints in Joliet, IL and encourage acts of kindness at any time of year, and/or on MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY.

For more information go to: Make a Difference with Philoptochos
Strengthening Philoptochos Membership in our Communities
Alexis Limberakis and Maria Tamvakologos, Co-Chairs
 
Ideally, there is a Philoptochos chapter in every Greek Orthodox parish that structures its programs to suit the needs of its community.  As Philoptochos sisters, we must encourage new members to work with us on the charity, sisterly spirit and fundraising commenced by the foundation members in our communities.  It is also important that we seize the opportunity to share with non-members the rewards that fellowship and sisterhood offer to enrich our lives.
 
Ask yourselves why potential members would want to be involved in the community initiative guided by Philoptochos.  How will your chapter—
  • Address issues of genuine concern to the greater community?
  • Involve community members (in and out of Philoptochos) in defining and creating a solution to the problems or goals of the community?
  • Have a history of success for Philoptochos that potential members will want to be part of? (Everyone wants to be part of a winner’s circle.)
  • Hold a membership drive?
  • Make special efforts to welcome new members and new ideas?
  • Promote to others the many positive attributes of being involved in Philoptochos?  
Philoptochos chapters should keep in mind the following three “R’s” for members to be involved and continue to contribute:
  1. Recognition: Members want to be recognized for their contributions.
  2. Respect:  Members want their values, ideas and time to be respected and considered.
  3. Role:  Members want a clearly meaningful role in the coalition that makes them feel valuable. 
Our chapters need to bring in new members and create an atmosphere that fosters continued participation by all.
 
Question for National Board Members: Have you participated in the mission of bringing in at least one new member to Philoptochos?

Photo of February 2016 Philoptochos Membership Tea, Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland, California
Michigan Chapter Supports Children and Their Families
Chapter News Submitted by Madelyn Torakis

On Sunday January 31, several women from the Assumption Ladies Philoptochos of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, spent the evening at the Ronald McDonald House in Detroit. They had the opportunity to bring dinner to families staying there. The Ronald McDonald House provides a place for families to live while their child receives treatment at The Children’s Hospital of Michigan. This enables families to stay together and close to their child in an environment that feels like home.
APRIL NATIONAL MINISTRY COMMITMENTS
International Orthodox Christian Charities
Helping others help themselves
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need throughout the world, without discrimination. Through the years, IOCC has distributed nearly $500 million in emergency assistance to families and communities in more than 50 countries and across four continents.

Philoptochos has a long and important association with IOCC and has contributed generously to its work. The mission and focus of IOCC, of helping those in great need, is deeply aligned with the work that Philoptochos members also seek to do.

Some important statistics about Philoptochos support to IOCC during the past five years.

2015……..$50,000 for aid to Greece
2014……..$45,000 in support of the relief efforts of the Podoconiosis program in
                  Ethiopia. Podoconiosis is a disease of the lower
                  extremities caused by exposure to irritant soils, that
                  leads to disfigurement and disability.
2013……..$25,000 in support of the relief efforts of the Podoconiosis program in
                  Ethiopia and $25,000 towards the Jaharis Matching Grant program to
                  Aid Greece
2012……..$30,000 general donation and $25,000 in support of the second phase
                   of the Podoconiosis program in Ethiopia
2011……..$20,000 for famine relief in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia and a
                 $20,000 general donation.

Over the last ten years, National Philoptochos has contributed $472,275 to IOCC. In April of each year, all Philoptochos chapters are asked to support this most worthy national commitment as generously as possible.
Sisterhood Fund for
Saint Basil Academy
In 1960, during the Philoptochos National Conference in Buffalo, New York, the Sisterhood of Saint Basil Academy (SBA) program was founded to provide dedicated support for the children of the Academy, and it has continued with an unbroken record of assistance to date.

This particular fund provides for the physical needs of the children, which includes clothing, furnishings and essentials for their dormitories. In addition, just like any home, there is regular maintenance that must take place.

Over the years, the Sisterhood Fund has replaced roofs, renovated bathrooms and remodeled dormitories, purchased carpet and bought vans to transport the children.

In 2015, National Philoptochos disbursed $6,390 from the SBA Sisterhood Fund. Ten-year disbursements from 2006-2015 total $404,246.

In this Lenten season, it is important to remember that Philoptochos is devoted to helping those in need. Our Saint Basil family thanks and blesses us as their caretakers. Every chapter is asked to remember the children of the Academy and support the Sisterhood Fund with love and generosity.
Copyright © 2016 Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, All rights reserved.