Deacon Simon Menya in Uganda with his Philoptochos umbrella!

“This rain never stopped me today from walking to Chruch. So much thanks to Constance Mavrovitis for the gift of this wonderful umbrella from the Philoptochos ladies at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.”

Last Night's Soup Run

by Despina Kartson

The warm summer night, the compassion expressed by our volunteers and the gratitude from our guests made for a beautiful Soup Run last night. We distributed 116 meals to those waiting for us on 33rd Street and to a very appreciative group at a nearby Drop-In Center.

We served chicken, rice and vegetables along with granola bars, oranges, cold bottles of water and coffee. Our guests thanked us and enjoyed their meals while chatting with our volunteers and others. The street was packed with trucks for a concert at Madison Square Garden but we managed to squeeze cars into spaces that our friends from a church in Harlem saved for us.

Every month during the Soup Run, we meet new and interesting guests, re-connect with those we have come to know well and we are pleasantly surprised by the thoughtfulness of others. Last night, a woman to whom we had given a pair of sneakers during the July Soup run, brought them back to us. The sneakers didn't fit her and she wanted to return them so that we could help someone else. She lives in a small room in a homeless shelter with three other women. We also talked with Joe and gave him a backpack that he requested last month. Sheila Sessoms and the parishioners of New Bethel Way of the Cross Church prepared 27 tote bags packed with men's tee shirts, underwear and hygiene products. They previously prepared similar bags for women, promising to return with bags for men - and they did. Four employees of Bombas Socks distributed 150 pairs of socks in just a few minutes. The night ended with James playing Beatles music and patriotic songs on a melodica!

Thank you to the donors, supporters and volunteers of the monthly Soup Run. This month, we express gratitude to our supporters from Westchester County, NY and New York City:

  • AHEPA Evzone Chapter 405 for their sponsorship

  • Manny Louros and Zachary Karounos for cooking and Basil Apostle for packing the meals

  • Minos Samoladas for his generous donation which enabled us to purchase clothing

  • Melina Morris and Bombas (https://bombas.com/) for socks 

  • Sheila Sessoms and the parishioners from New Bethel Way of the Cross Church (NYC) for 27 tote bags filled with men's underwear and hygiene products 

  • Deb van der Heyden for women's clothing

  • Helen Hiotakis and Sappho Papaioannu for men's tee shirts and tote bags

  • May Vlachos (St. George NYC) for preparing the Mental Health Clinic guide and including the Soup Run dates

  • Constance Mavrovitis and Cynthia Herzegovitch for organizing the clothing

  • Georgeann Mavrovitis and Loredana Soravito Curtis for preparing the toiletry kits

Remember those who are hungry and lack sufficient housing. We look forward to you joining us next month on August 29. It is a joyful experience and all are welcome.

Last Night's Soup Run

by Despina Kartson

On a hot, sticky evening in New York City, a large crowd awaited our caravan of cars and more than 25 volunteers as we turned onto 33rd Street to serve 110 meals during Last Night's Soup Run. Anticipating our arrival, some of our guests helped unload bins and set up tables while others patiently stood in line. We served spaghetti with meat sauce, vegetables, oranges, water, juice and coffee.

We met new guests and talked with some of our "regulars" who expressed their gratitude for our food and clothing. One man talked about the beauty of caring for one another no matter the race or ethnicity. He told us how much our monthly outreach is appreciated and that those guests who have come to know us will always look out for our safety on the streets.

Last night, we had an extraordinary outpouring of generosity from our volunteers. Melina Morris of Bombas Socks distributed 250 pairs of socks. Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair purchased. Zoe MacMahon distributed 54 backpacks and tote bags that she collected from students at her high school.

At the end of the evening when all of our food and clothing had been distributed, we walked to a homeless drop-in center on 31st Street and distributed 75 sandwiches that were made by Kathryn Papataros. The drop-in center opens its doors at 9 p.m. every night for homeless to sleep on folding chairs. It does not provide food. The supervisor of the center announced to those inside that our group was distributing sandwiches. Immediately, we were surrounded by a crowd and we gave out the sandwiches.

Without the support of our generous donors and volunteers, we would never be able to help feed and clothe those whom we do every month. This month, we express gratitude to our supporters from Westchester County, NY; New York City; Queens; Long Island and Connecticut:

  • Diane Louros for her sponsorship and clothing donations

  • Manny Louros and Zachary Karounos for cooking and Basil Apostle for packing the meals

  • Kathryn Papataros for 75 sandwiches

  • Minos Samoladas for his generous donation which enabled us to purchase clothing

  • Bombas (https://bombas.com/) for donating 250 pairs of socks and to Melina Morris for joining the Soup Run

  • Zoe McMahon for 54 backpacks and tote bags

  • The Legal Marketing Association for 35 tote bags

  • Maria Dikeos, Irene Drivas, Tina DiMino, Kevin & Christina White for clothing, toiletries and shoes

  • Koula Paloungos and the Martinez family for 25 pairs sneakers

  • May Vlachos (St. George NYC) for preparing the Mental Health Clinic guide and including the Soup Run dates

  • Constance Mavrovitis and Cynthia Herzegovitch for organizing the clothing

  • Georgeann Mavrovitis and Loredana Soravito Curtis for preparing the toiletry kits

Keep those who are hungry and homeless in your minds, hearts and prayers. Give what you can, when you can, and join us next month on July 25.




Philoptochos end of year celebration

Celebrating the end of another year of Philoptochos service, our ladies recognized the leadership of Marina Sirras, outgoing President, welcomed incoming President, Elizabeth Zoulis, and Executive Board Members Agathy Gerkis, Angie Lambros, Stephanie Madouros and Susan Russon. “Taki, Laki and Naki” once again served frappes at the pop-up cafe which raised over $1,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, Greek Division. Ariana Dos Santos and Christina Florakis, recipients of Philoptochos awards, spoke about their service projects in Kenya and on Chios and about the inspiration Philoptochos has given them to go out and do good in the world.

Our Ladies Philoptochos board said thank you to outgoing President Marina Sirras

Our Ladies Philoptochos board said thank you to outgoing President Marina Sirras and warmly welcomed Elizabeth Zoulis, as the newly elected president of our chapter.

Sunday Highlights

Deacon Simon Menya addressed our community this morning at outlined his future ministry within the Orthodox Church of Uganda, including his own ordination to the priesthood next month. He was presented with checks on behalf of our Ladies Philoptochos Society, Ahepa chapter 405 and a personal donation from Presbytera Kay Kyriakos to help him with is task to help grow the Orthodox faith in Africa.

Also, the Oath of Office was administered today by Fr. Nick to the 2019-20 Ladies Philoptochos Board of Directors of our parish. He congratulated outgoing President Marina Sirras for her years of dedicated service to the chapter.

Additionally, Sunday School graduation and recognition to all of the students and teachers of the program was held this morning at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. In addition, members of the Junior Choir and graduating senior altar boys were thanked by Fr. Nick for their participation over the years. Finally, Georgeann Mavrovitis presented a check to the Parish Council for over $5,000, representing final payment for new robes for the Senior Choir. The check was accepted on behalf of the Parish Council by Vice President George Kourakos.

Finally, this extremely beautiful and busy Sunday at church ended with the annual spring concert by the Westchester County Greek Youth Orchestra directed by Thanos Kokkalas.

Last Night's Soup Run

by Despina Kartson

The torrential rain didn't stop us from venturing out to serve our guests during last night's soup run. By the time we arrived at our spot in Manhattan, the skies cleared, the downpour subsided to a drizzle and we served more than 125 meals to the large group who were waiting for us. No matter what the weather, those who are hungry or homeless still need to eat.

Our guests were exceptionally grateful - thanking us for "coming out in this weather", saying "God bless you for what you do", and expressing appreciation for the delicious meal. A couple of our guests helped us set up and serve. One man told us that he remembered we provided food an extra day last month, on Orthodox Good Friday, and remarked about how kind he thought it was that we wouldn't miss one of our regular evenings.

We talked with a homeless Vietnam veteran who stays in various shelters because he cannot afford rent and food - it's one or the other. He showed us the ID card he carries which identifies him as a 9/11 survivor. He was working on the 86th floor in one of the World Trade Center towers when he heard an explosion. The noise reminded him of his time in Vietnam and he knew something was terribly wrong. He said he immediately started making his way down the building, assisting others along the way and noted how "everyone was the same color" when he made it outside to the rubble and ash covered streets. After 9/11, his life turned into a downward spiral as he struggled with addiction and homelessness. Today, he said he is clean, volunteers helping teens with addiction and talking with them about survival - even as he survives every day without a home and wondering about his next meal.

We received an extraordinary financial donation from a close friend of one of our volunteers. The friend owns a restaurant in Florida, knows about our monthly Soup Run and donated money that was inadvertently left by a customer on the counter of the restaurant. When the money was not claimed for quite some time, the restauranteur gave the money to our volunteer so that she could provide clothing for the homeless. The restaurant owner wishes that the customer who left the cash behind knows that the money has been put to very good use. What an amazing gesture!

Every month we are grateful to all who so generously support, through their actions and their offerings, the mission of the Soup Run. This month's outreach was made possible by supporters and volunteers from Westchester County, NY; New York City; Norwalk, CT; New Jersey; Washington, DC; and Clearwater Beach, FL:

  • Kathy Tzortzides for her sponsorship

  • Manny Louros and Zachary Karounos for preparing the meals

  • Minos Samoladas and Paulette Poulos for their generous donations which enabled us to purchase much-needed socks and underwear

  • Maria Altikatis (Clearwater Beach, FL) for her generous donation which provided many new clothing items

  • Emmy Kalmanides for baking koulourakia

  • The New Jersey Philoptochos Metropolis for donating back to our Soup Run money raised from the sale of

  • Last Night's Soup Run

  • Ruth and Kevin Walter from Dobbs & Bishop Fine Cheese (www.dobbsandbishop.com) for a box of new backpacks

  • Nathan Darling of Beveridge & Diamond PC for a box of hats and hand sanitizer

  • Deborah Farone for toiletries and clothing

  • Irene Drivas for the bags of clothing, shoes and special request items

  • May Vlachos (St. George NYC) for preparing the Mental Health Clinic guide and including the Soup Run dates

  • Constance and Georgeann Mavrovitis and Cynthia Herzegovitch for organizing the clothing and toiletries

Please join us on June 27th.