Under this title, the U.S. newspaper “New York Times” features an extensive article about the efforts of the Greek-American community in New York to gather money for the relief of their much loved country Greece.
The publication focuses on a Greek-American travel agent from Brooklyn Valerie Markou, who hosted a banquet on Martin Luther King’s Day, a U.S. holiday that has become synonymous with service, in order to raise relief money for her homeland.
“Our mother country needs us,” said the Greek-American to the NYT. “And who else should help but America? This is the country that educated me. This is the country that put food on my table. We’d help any country in need. And Greece is the country of my ancestors.”
Markou’s efforts have met the great support of the local Greek Orthodox Church, one of the primary institutions linking Greece to more than a million Greek-Americans. As the NYT explains, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has on its own sent over $4 million in aid to Greece since 2009.
Markou has also been an active member in the National Philoptochos Society, a philanthropic organization of Greek Orthodox women. The luncheon, which aimed to raise $30,000 for children’s shelters in Greece, was sponsored by five Philoptochos chapters in the boroughs of NYC.
Along with her friends, also members in the Society, Markou has made four relief trips to Greece since late 2008, delivering thousands of dollars and tons of clothing, while witnessing the ongoing social and financial decline of the Greek population.