Philoptochos, the philanthropic heart of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and one of the largest women’s philanthropic religious organizations in the United States, is a Society of spiritually faithful Christians united in love and service for others.
The benevolent works of Philoptochos are a continuation of Christ’s ministry on Earth. Philoptochos not only supports charities, but also spiritually enriches its members through participation in philanthropic endeavors to return a portion of their time, talents and treasures with which God has blessed us.
Our vision today is the same as the one presented at the 1931 Clergy Laity Congress:
“Be a part of this National movement and begin to solicit funds, food, clothing and anything else that will bring relief to our needy brethren; provide housing and cooperate for better results. Indifference to the cries of our suffering brothers is a crime. We must care for the needy through the advancement of the work of Christ.”
The Philoptochos vision was adapted from different passages in the Bible in which Christ enlightened us to what our mission should be as Christians such as:
“If there is among you a poor man….you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs….for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand.” Deuteronomy 15:7 – 10
The Philoptochos vision began in our Past, is with us in our Present and will continue into the Future. Our vision remains ongoing….then….now….and forever!
Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I, who was serving as Archbishop of North and South America, established the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc. as the duly accredited women’s philanthropic society of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in November, 1931.
The mission statement of the Society is:
- To help the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, the handicapped, the victims of disasters, to undertake the burial of impoverished persons and to offer assistance to anyone who may need the help of the Church through fund raising efforts and;
- To promote the charitable, benevolent, and philanthropic purposes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, through instructional programs, presentations, lectures, seminars, and other educational resources;
- To preserve and perpetuate Orthodox Christian concepts and the Orthodox Christian Family, and through them, to promote the Greek Orthodox Faith and traditions, in accordance with its doctrines, canons, discipline, divine worship, usages and customs;
- To promote participation in the activities of the Greek Orthodox community, with the cooperation of the Parish Priest and the Parish Council.
Source – National Philoptochos Society