How easy it is, when hunger or trouble comes to those far away, to shake one's head in sadness, then continue with daily concerns. A group having Greek ancestry and background has decided to provide direct assistance to Greek citizens themselves, many of whom are now homeless, hungry, without medical care, or bereft of hope. Compassionate action has given hope where all hope is gone, and we now stand and render respectful encouragement as these good people of the Greek-American Society in Chicago begin this mission of love. May God grant them success in this most worthy endeavor.
Project Hope for Greece is a new initiative launched by the Chicago-based Greek America Foundation in response to the hardship faced by crisis-hit Greeks.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and funds in support of charities and nonprofit groups on the front line of the crisis in Greece.
“If there was leadership, we would overcome this ambivalence and this hesitation,” said Lefteris Karmiris, 68, of Bethesda, Md., a retired World Bank employee who joined the march last Saturday. “We could give a message to say this is what we should do, but there is a leadership problem.”
In general, man-made disasters do not garner as much largess from outside donors as natural disasters, “because there are humans to blame,” said Sam Worthington, president of a consortium of aid organizations based in the United States called InterAction. Moreover, Greece is relatively affluent, and its fraying social safety net is a symptom of a broader structural problem.
“People tend to focus on the degree to which they can make a difference in a tangible way, and Greece is a challenging environment to do that,” Mr. Worthington said, adding that he was not aware of any recent international relief efforts around a financial crisis, although he noted that emergency aid went to Zimbabwe when soaring inflation put food prices out of reach.