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Greek America Corps is an initiative that has changed the lives of dozens of North American young adults by engaging them in meaningful volunteer programs in Greece. These programs have connected them with their inner-selves — instilling in them the importance of volunteerism, service and philanthropy by allowing them to experience firsthand the smile on the face of someone they are feeding, supporting or serving.

There are three primary aspects to this initiative:

(1) Students are are exposed to the ideals of service and volunteerism, core ideals of the Greek America Foundation’s mission, and experience first-hand their own impact on the causes they are supporting.

(2) At the same time, our program supports the nation of Greece and her people as they grapple with crippling financial crisis and numerous humanitarian issues — not to mention the worst international refugee crisis since World War II.

(3) Finally, our volunteers are exposed to contemporary Greek life and culture.

The program also gives participants the opportunity to earn college credit that can be applied to their university studies in the USA or Canada. We provide this unique opportunity through our partnership with the Hellenic American University, a US-accredited institution of higher education in Athens.

Our first volunteer mission took place in July 2017 in Athens, where participants spent the month supporting The HOME Project, a network of shelters for unaccompanied refugee minors trapped in Greece.

Our most recent mission took place in July 2019 on the island of Chios in partnership with METAdrasi, a non-profit offering support, education and other vital services to unaccompanied refugee minors.

Our program has been supported over the years by companies, institutions and individuals who understand the significance of imparting the ideals of service and volunteerism amongst future leaders of our community.

Donate today to help us sustain this program and continue to instill the values of service and volunteerism in young North Americans — while immersing them in real-world humanitarian challenges.

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Transformative Experience

Our program strives to create human experiences for our volunteers, connecting them with their inner-selves and instilling in them the importance of volunteerism and service by allowing them to experience first-hand the smile on the face of someone they are feeding, supporting or serving.

Desired Qualities in a Volunteer

We seek volunteers who are able to handle quickly changing environments, encountering people from different cultures and sharing viewpoints and the emotional ups and downs that come with working in challenging conditions. Having strong boundaries, knowing your limits and when to take a break are important skills while volunteering.

College Credit

Participants have the option to accrue college credit that can be applied to their studies at their home institution in the United States or Canada via our partnership with the Hellenic American University, a U.S.-accredited institution of higher education in Athens. Students are responsible for checking with their home institutions about transfer of credits and ensuring the transfer of the credits. A counselor at Hellenic American University will be made available to assist, as will a curriculum and coursework.

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Program Specifics

Our programs are usually a month long and require about 5-6 hours a day of volunteering, four days per week. We do offer an "off-day," as well as pre-planned weekend excursions to allow for volunteers to have a physical and emotional break for the demanding work they are doing. Excursions involve the immersion into the local culture, with guided visits to cultural and historic sights, beaches, traditional village festivals or other important locations and/or happenings that may be taking place during the program's duration.

Read more about the 2017 program in Athens with The HOME Project

Read more about the 2019 program in Chios with METAdrasi

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Testimonials

My experience with the kids has been life-changing. I’ve formed bonds with these kids through the weekend activities and seeing them every day. Frankly, I feel like these kids are my equals and friends. I will never forget this experience.

Katerina, 18, Toronto, CA

“I would say that this program has been one of the most important steps I’ve taken in my life… It’s kind of motivated me a little bit more to want to offer my services to the world and to offer help to those who are less fortunate – to those who need it.

Ahileas, 24, Philadelphia, PA

Getting to know these kids on a personal level and building such close friendships with them right off the bat super easily has been an amazing experience… I’m very privileged and honored to have had this experience for sure, and I’m super grateful — beyond grateful. I don’t think ‘grateful’ can put into words how much of an honor it is to have done this.

Vasiliki, 21, Chicago, IL
Our volunteers organized beach excursions for the refugee children

"What I’ve learned in terms of gratitude, in terms of being able to make connections with people… can really go a long way in not only working with kids, not only working with vulnerable populations, not even in a volunteer setting; it can go a long way in our personal lives with other Americans and with other people."

Daniel, 21, Detroit, MI

"This program has given me an education that simply cannot be taught in a classroom. After five years of attending undergraduate and graduate school, I knew something was still missing... While my path isn't exactly clear moving forward, this program has allowed me to realize that my passion for helping those in need exists as strongly as ever."

Heather, 23, Southampton, NY

"This program for me personally was a life-changer. I think it has really defined who I am and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I think the people I worked with are great. They’re phenomenal. Everybody really poured their heart and soul into this project and into the kids."

Harrison, 19, Asheville, NC

Why this program?

A message from Gregory C. Pappas, Founder & President

Offering young adults in our community the opportunity to transform themselves while serving others — and supporting Greece — is a pivotal ideal of the Greek America Foundation.

Since we launched our first summer volunteer program in 2017, dozens of students and young professionals have had life-changing experiences offering their time and talents to humanitarian causes in Greece

Our goal is to continue this program for years to come in order to ensure that more young people have such life-enriching opportunities — and to continue spreading values of philanthropy, volunteerism and service.

More news about Greek America Corps

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Help Us Fund Our Animal Welfare Volunteer Mission in Karpathos & Kasos

As part of our Greek America Corps summer 2020 volunteer programs, we are leading a group of volunteers to serve on Karpathos and Kasos, two of the most remote islands in the Aegean.  Both of these islands are plagued by a persistent animal welfare problem due to overpopulation, lack of a well-designed veterinary care program […]

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Volunteers Leave Parting Gift As They Depart Chios

This past summer, 16 North American volunteers had a life-changing experience offering their time and talents to unaccompanied refugee minors during our summer service program. During the month of July, our volunteers worked diligently alongside a dedicated team of professions from the Greek non-profit organization METAdrasi, which — among numerous other activities — is dedicated to […]

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Volunteers Conclude Life-Changing Experience on Chios Island

This summer, on the island of Chios, 16 young adult volunteers from the U.S. and Canada had a transformative experience participating in the Greek America Foundation’s summer Service Learning program. During the month of July, our volunteers worked diligently alongside a dedicated team of professionals from the Greek non-governmental organization METAdrasi, which — among numerous other […]

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Volunteers’ Fundraising Campaign to Help Unaccompanied Minors

For the past month, the Greek America Foundation’s 16 dedicated volunteers have offered their time and talents to support unaccompanied refugee children on the island of Chios. This team of young people from throughout the United States and Canada has been working alongside a dedicated team of professionals from the Greek non-profit METAdrasi, which is dedicated […]

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Greek America Foundation Announces Strompolos Family Gift for Service Learning Program

The Greek America Foundation is thrilled to announce that a recent donation from George and Kristin Strompolos will support four scholarships for our summer 2019 Service Learning program. Two of these scholarships are earmarked specifically for young people from Colorado’s Greek American community, where George Strompolos was raised. Service Learning is an initiative of the […]

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2019 Summer Volunteer Program on Chios Island

The Greek America Foundation is proud to partner with METAdrasi on the Greek island of Chios for our 2019 Summer Service Learning Program which aims to engage North American college students and young professionals in volunteer programs in Greece. Our 2019 program includes a month-long experience volunteering with vulnerable groups, including refugee children and unaccompanied […]

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In His Own Words: Darden Livesay Describes a Day With The HOME Project

This summer, the Greek America Foundation sent ten North American students to spend several weeks in Athens volunteering at shelters of The Home Project, a non-profit organization founded to protect and care for unaccompanied refugee minors — children who have arrived in Greece from various conflict zones throughout the world and who are alone without […]

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2017 Summer Service Learning Program: A Life Changing Experience

This summer, 10 North American students were sent by the Greek America Foundation to spend several weeks in Athens, volunteering at shelters of The Home Project, an organization founded to protect and care for unaccompanied refugee minors — children who have arrived in Greece from various conflict zones throughout the world and who are alone […]

Greek America Foundation board chair Lea Soupata, Executive Director Jenny Kellogg with the 10 volunteers meeting with Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt at the U.S. Embassy in Athens.

Service Learning Program Volunteers Meet U.S. Ambassador in Athens

The Greek America Foundation’s Service Learning program volunteers visited United States Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 to discuss their work with unaccompanied refugee minors as well as other contemporary issues facing Greece. The nine American and one Canadian students have now spent a week and a half volunteering at shelters […]

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2017 Summer Service Learning in Athens for College Students

Service Learning is a new initiative of the Greek America Foundation aiming to engage North American university students with volunteer programs in Greece.  Our program fulfills a dual purpose. First, students are immersed into contemporary Greek life, while simultaneously volunteering for important humanitarian relief programs and helping to make a lasting impact on contemporary problems […]