Holiday Toy Drive for the Ronald McDonald Greek Division hosted by HYPI at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church a Huge Success
By Nikoleta Tzaferos
On Sunday, December 23rd, 2012, the Hermes Young Professionals Initiative (“HYPI”) held a toy drive to benefit the Ronald McDonald House (Greek Division) of New York at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Jeffersonville, PA. Members of HYPI, Elias Degermentzidis, Alexia Tsikouras, Marina Tsikouras, Dino Koutroubas, Nikoleta Tzaferos, Ioanna Kotrotsios and Aphrodite Kotrotsios collected toys that were donated by church parishioners and other members of the greater Philadelphia area Greek community. During church service on the 23rd of December, Father Peter Thornberg of St. Sophia praised HYPI’s philanthropic endeavors, stating, “We encourage you to keep up the philanthropic work that, not only our Greek heritage inspires, but our Orthodox faith as well, to help those who are in need.”
During the coffee hour, members of HYPI met and greeted Board and community members of the parish and had a chance to observe the magnificent work of the new church. St. Sophia church opened its doors just a few months ago to the parishioners and their friends in the Greater Philadelphia Region. Father Peter Thornberg, Dr. Peter Patukas, Dean Laskaris and others, proudly showed HYPI the works of their teams and discussed future projects. We would like to thank the Hellenic News of America for promoting and covering the Holiday Toy Drive event, connecting us with members of the Greater Philadelphia Region and beyond as well as keeping us up to date with St. Sophia’s progress.
HYPI Board members delivered the donated toys directly to the Ronald McDonald House in New York on December 28th. “We are so proud of our Greek community for generously donating to such a wonderful cause and helping to brighten the days of children in need. This is what the holiday season is all about,” said Aphrodite Kotrotsios, Executive Director of HYPI. "It was beautiful to see the healing powers that generosity has on young children who are in need, as well as the power philanthropy can have on a community," she elaborated.
The director Spiridoula Katechis and the children were amazed by the contributions made specifically by St. Sophia, Hellenic News of America, Pat’s Pizza, Philly Greek Beat and the Greek-American Community. It was a very heart-warming and emotional moment to see how many children know that others are thinking of them this Christmas. Established in 2007, HYPI is dedicated to helping young Greek American professionals to succeed as well as helping those in need. HYPI looks forward to working with St. Sophia in conducting another holiday toy drive next Christmas and to continuing its philanthropic work throughout the New Year.
A special thank you to everyone!
Photo 1: L-R: Dean and Nina Laskaris, John Papademetriou, President, Harry Papadakis, Erietta Fotiadis, Teacher, Dino Koutroubas, Fr. Thornberg, Aphrodite Kotrotsios, Alexia Tsikouras, Marina Tsikouras, Dr. Peter Patukas, Nikoleta Tzaferos, Elias Degermentzidis, Ioanna Kotrotsios, Linda Kotrotsios and a member with his two daughters displaying the gifts for Ronald McDonald
Photo 2: Ioanna Kotrotsios, Aphrodite Kotrotsios, Alexia Tsikouras, Dr. Peter Patukas, Nikoleta Tzaferos, Marina Tsikouras & Elias Degementzidis
Photo 3: Spiridoula Katechis, Director of the Ronald McDonald Greek Division, Aphrodite Kotrotsios, Director of Hermes Young Professionals Initiative and families of the Ronald McDonald House