28 July 2015

SOS Children’s Villages - USA Receives $50,000 Challenge Gift from The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc. to Support Families in Greece

For immediate release: July 28, 2015
Media contact: Stephanie Rendon, srendon@sos-usa.org, 202.470.5182

Washington, D.C. – SOS Children’s Villages – USA announced today it received a challenge gift of $50,000 from The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc. to raise funds to support vulnerable children and families in Greece. The challenge gift was made in addition to a $200,000 gift recently awarded by the Foundation, and comes in response to the prolonged economic crisis that has impacted the lives of children, youth and families throughout the country. 

Active in Greece since 1975, SOS Children's Villages currently operates seven social centers where social workers, psychologists and educators provide immediate and long-term support to 1,150 vulnerable families, including 2,260 children. Due to recent developments, the number of families seeking support from SOS social centers is expected to continue to increase.

“Many children and families are vulnerable due to poverty and high unemployment rates caused by this economic crisis. Parents are having a difficult time providing for their children, and food and other basic necessities are becoming difficult to come by,” said George Protopapas, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Greece. “We hope that we will be able to do everything we can to support them.”

The Directors of The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc. hope this challenge gift will inspire others to take action and support children and families in Greece.  Funds raised through the challenge gift will help:

  • Extend services from SOS social centers to reach even more children and families with counseling services, educational assistance, needed material goods like food and clothes, and more.
  • Scale up SOS Greece’s Food Aid Program to improve access to fresh and frozen food options for families in need. 
  • Provide financial support to help the most vulnerable families cover expenses for housing, utility bills and needed medical care, among other costs.
  • Establish “SOS Crisis Relief Houses” to provide families at risk with temporary housing and support, until they are able to find employment and a stable place to live.
“We are incredibly thankful to The Jaharis Family Foundation for their commitment to addressing the needs of children and families impacted by the crisis in Greece,” said Lynn Croneberger, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages – USA. “This challenge gift will help us raise an additional $100,000 to fund programs that will provide much needed relief to the most vulnerable children and families in Greece.”

Since 2011, The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc. has generously supported SOS Children’s Villages social programs in Greece to help vulnerable children and families in Athens and Thessaloniki. In addition to this challenge gift, the Foundation also awarded SOS Children’s Villages a $200,000 gift to provide vulnerable children with educational support and tutoring and preventative pediatric medical care, as well as crisis intervention and support to families with young babies and infants who are at-risk of being abused or abandoned. Click here for more information about SOS Children’s Villages and its work in Greece.

SOS Children’s Villages is an organization that is committed to the care of orphaned, abandoned and other at-risk children. With nearly 70 years of experience and a presence in 134 countries and territories, SOS Children’s Villages works to ensure every child is raised in a loving, stable family environment.  To learn more about SOS Children’s Villages, visit www.sos-usa.org. Follow us on Twitter at @SOSChildrenUSA.