The International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) ministers in the United States  with emergency response, community development, and supporting literacy and education. Two recent stories are a reminder of this.
Religious leaders gathered at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Chicago to dedicate more than 10,000 new books provided by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). The trove of colorful, age-appropriate reading materials will benefit thousands of schoolchildren participating in after-school enrichment opportunities, mentoring and summer learning programs in the Chicago area. The leaders were joined by wide-eyed youngsters from some of the city's most impoverished Southside neighborhoods who were grateful beneficiaries.
The books will be distributed directly to educational programs and outreach efforts by members of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC), an alliance of chief religious leaders of the Greater Chicago faith communities. The books will also benefit the educational programs and schools of the CRLMC. Bishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, past president of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, facilitated the gift on behalf of Orthodox Christians in Chicago.
In other U.S. locations, IOCC is bringing relief to the families who recently suffered great losses due to tornadoes that touched down in six different states: Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa. "We are saddened by the loss of life and destruction that has accompanied the recent severe weather impacting the US heartland, and pray that our Resurrected Lord grant eternal rest to the departed and raise up those whose lives have been torn apart by these events," stated Dan Christopulos, IOCC U.S. Country Representative. "We are working through our Orthodox and ecumenical network to see how to best marshal our resources for the benefit of those impacted by this natural disaster."