Meet the Ladies Philoptochos Society

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Her daughter at Fordham University suggested there were people in the South Bronx who needed help.  And that is how BronxWorks became the beneficiary of a generous Christmas gift from the Ladies Philoptochos Society of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan.  

Based on her daughter’s suggestion, Stella Pantelidis, chair of the society’s outreach committee, did some research and discovered BronxWorks via a Google search.  “I was amazed at how big the organization it is and the many things they do,” she says. As a result, BronxWorks’ Family Enrichment Program and Early Childhood Learning Centers this past Christmas received 15 bags of items that included toys, books, clothing, shoes, and pajamas.

Every year around the holidays the Ladies Philoptochos Society decides which organization to benefit this time around.  In previous years, their targets included Ronald MacDonald House and St. Michael’s Home for the Aged in the Bronx.  They also help organizations affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Church.  All the gifts come from church members who are alerted by flyers and told about a giving drive at church services.  A Christmas tree is installed at which parishioners pin their pledges of gifts, this past year focusing on gifts for children ages 2 to 5.

“We’re so touched by the generosity of these ladies and their church,” commented Michelle Edmonds, coordinator of the Family Enrichment Program.  “These contributions serve as a form of hope for families that have experienced significant challenges.”

The Ladies Philoptochos Society was started at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity 80 years ago, and now there is a chapter at every Greek Orthodox Church, serving as the church’s philanthropic arm.  “Philoptochos” means “friend of the poor” and now it means “friend of BronxWorks.”  Ms. Pantelidis’ group embodies the spirit of giving and renewal.  As we approach Easter, Passover, and other spring holidays, we are again reminded of these traits.

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