In the last two months, AHEPA Victoria has been assisting the Archdiocesan District of Northcote at Axion Esti packing food boxes and bags of vegetables and delivering them to hundreds of Greek and Non Greek families in Melbourne from Werribee to Cranbourne who are facing desperate times due to the second lockdown in Victoria due to COVID-19.
Many people, mainly newly-arrived immigrants from Greece, who survived the first lockdown with the help of Greek organisations, are now facing tougher circumstances. They are without work how that hospitality has shut down, and they are not entitled to any support from government as they are not permanent residents. Having run out of savings, they are left with nothing, not even funds to return to Greece.
Greek organisation AHEPA is working with Father Evmenios and his slew of volunteers to help the most vulnerable. Over the last six weeks of lockdown, members of AHEPA have been preparing food at Axion Esti to deliver with special thanks going to Sofie Mercoulia, Penny and George Natsioulas and George Keskerides from Terry White Pharmacy in Camberwell. Support and donations were also given to an elderly woman who had been left stranded following the closure of St Basil’s Aged Care home, along with many other needy people in the community.
Greek businesses got together to donate food and vouchers from as far as Ballarat, whereas a GoFundMe campaign organised by the AHEPA Philanthropy Committee raised funds of more than $6,000, surpassing the initial $5,000 goal set.
“Many members and friends of AHEPA have generously donated to our fundraising effort and we are very grateful for their suppor,” AHEPA Victoria President Peter Mercoulias said. “This helped us purchase substantial quantities of basic food items such as meat, milk and vegetables which are distributed by volunteers to over 140 food packages to needy families all over Melbourne.”
An online campaign was shared through AHEPA’s social media such as Facebook and emails. “We are particularly thankful for the large donation of $2,000 from Dessie Kontis,” campaign coordinator Elias Doufas said.
AHEPA Victoria has already donated to various community groups including Pronia, Mirabel Foundation and the Archdiocese fundraising at “Axion Esti”.
To help in their continued efforts, make a donation via the GoFundMe link or make a Direct Deposit into the AHEPA VICTORIA Philanthropy Account: AHEPA VICTORIA INC. Philanthropy, WESTPAC BANK, BSB 033089, Account 609293.