During our recent summer volunteer program, 16 young adult volunteers from North America spent the month of July supporting refugee minors on the Greek island of Chios.
Throughout the month, we shared periodic updates via social media posts, inspiring dozens of people to comment, share, donate — and engage.
One of those generous supporters was Evellyn Tsiadis, a New Jersey native who made a unique, heartfelt financial donation in honor of her husband Steve, who spent his childhood summers on Chios with his grandparents in the village of Leptopoda.
As the daughter of a Greek immigrant orphan mother, Evellyn related deeply with METAdrasi’s refugee children, who have either lost or have been separated from their immediate families.
After seeing our updates on social media, Evellyn was not only inspired. But she decided to act, desiring to support our volunteers’ efforts, while simultaneously sending a bit of love and happiness to METAdrasi’s children — in the form of an ice cream party.
Incidentally, her donation came on July 27, the feast day of Greek Orthodox Saint Panteleimon, who dedicated his life to the suffering, sick, unfortunate and needy.
Evellyn’s simple gesture of kindness provided a beneficial experience for the unaccompanied minors, helping them to feel like kids again after the traumatic experience of fleeing their home countries and being separated from their families.
“I hope others will step up and find their way of giving the children a little hope and happiness,” she told the Greek America Foundation. “For me, it is all about helping children in whatever way possible. I don’t know anything which is more important and special.”
We thank her for her generosity and for helping our volunteers share a small bit of humanity with one of the most vulnerable population groups in the world.