An embrace of warmth and love for our fellow people who are in need was offered during the Holy Week of Easter by ‘ELPIDA-Association of Friends of Children with cancer’ and the ‘Marianna V. Vardinoyannis’ Foundation
On the initiative of Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, once again this Easter, products for the Easter celebratory meal, healthcare products, and necessities were sent to Municipalities, Metropolises, organizations and institutions throughout Greece.
Mrs Vardinoyannis sent her best wishes and expressed her heartfelt support amidst the difficult conditions of the pandemic, during her teleconference with agency representatives on Holy Tuesday, 27 April 2021.
“This year, Easter finds Greece and the rest of humanity facing the cruel pandemic, with enormous difficulties and problems. However, our society remains standing, thanks to the continuous efforts of each you, and all of us, with the heroic doctors and nurses leading the way on the front line. All of us together, each from their own side, are struggling to support those in need, and to give them strength and hope. The entire family of the ELPIDA Association and our Foundation are at their side and at the side of each of you, who join the battle on a daily basis to do your holy work. I hope that the pandemic is nearing its end. I am convinced that Greece will emerge victorious; that vaccination and the preventative measures will unfurl a protective net around us, which will lead us to the path of the final “cure”. This Easter we will join our prayers with all of yours and ask God to give everyone health and security, and allow us to quickly return to a normality that will allow us to dream of a better tomorrow for all children and all families”, said Mrs Vardinoyannis.
In response, the representatives of the agencies emotionally thanked Mrs Vardinoyannis for her support and love:
Representing His Eminence the Metropolitan of the Monastery of Lampi, Syvritos and Sfakia, Mr Irineos, father Emmanuel Diamantakis expressed his gratitude by saying: “Once more we experience the personal care you so modestly offer our Metropolis. Thank you so much for continuing under difficult circumstances to spread joy freely, as you know best. I would like to convey the eternal prayers and thanks of His Eminence the Metropolitan Mr Irineos, as well as the gratitude of both the employees and the beneficiaries, the residents, the elderly, and the lonely people that live in the mountainous villages of the southern part of the Prefecture of Rethymno”.
Representing His Eminence the Metropolitan of Nikea Mr Alexios, father Georgios Zorzos stated: “We thank you! We feel that you have been at our side the entire time, because you have faith in God and a love for your fellow people. This is the guarantee that makes us certain that we have a sweet person at our side, in the loving work that are all the meal programmes, as well as in everything else you do: the summer camps and care packages, with which you are always at our side. We thank you”.
The Mayor of Salamina Mr Giorgos Panagopoulos warmly thanked Mrs Vardinoyannis and announced that in recognition of her great support to the Municipality of Salamina, the Municipality will declare her an Honorary Citizen: “I would once again like to thank Mrs Vardinoyannis for everything she has done for our island. Her help extends both to supporting our Municipality’s community grocery store, the institution of the “Student’s Box”, through which we support Salamina’s university students, and, of course, to the major project that was recently completed, the operation of a new wing at the Salamina Health Centre. Our Municipality, at the Municipal Council meeting immediately following Easter, intends to declare Mrs Marianna Vardinoyannis an Honorary Citizen of Salamina. It is the least we can do in recognition of her contribution to our Municipality.
The Mayor of Kifisia, Mr Giorgos Thomakos, thanked Mrs Vardinoyannis for her long and continued support and aid: “You are always at the side of our Municipality. Your contribution is long, very well known throughout the Municipality, and this year, despite the difficult conditions, ELPIDA and you were present and accounted for during Easter. We all thank you very much! May God keep you healthy and may you continue your philanthropic and creative work, which strengthens the efforts of our Social Service, while offering the ideal example for other fellow citizens, a shining example they can follow”.
The President of the Club for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands, Mr Ioannis Maronitis, thanked Mrs Vardinoyannis for her important contribution, and announced that the Cultural Centre, in the building providing services to support people in extreme poverty, will be named after Mrs Vardinoyannis: “Thanks to the blessing of Mrs Vardinoyannis we can continue. We decided that the Cultural Centre, which is located in the building provides support services for extreme poverty, will be named ‘Marianna V. Vardinoyannis’, honouring a person who has brought us great strength and prospects, lots of hope and optimism. A very big thank you, because it is with your contribution that in a few days from today we will be providing more than 2000 packages to beneficiaries, and people and families living in poverty”.
The Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ‘Pammakaristos’ Hospital, Mr Thrasyvoulos Ladopoulos, emotionally thanked Mrs Vardinoyannis: “I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of our staff: the nursing, administrative, and support staff, for your unwavering support in our difficult struggle over the past few months, while facing the pandemic. You are always at our side and at the side of the patients, who, as you well know, are going through difficult moments in hospital beds around the country. People, in the truest sense of the word, like you, help us do our job and bring the light of the soul to all these people”.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of ‘Pammakaristos’ Foundation, Mr Nikolaos Roussos, warmly thanked Mrs Vardinoyannis for her support: “You are the hope that keeps us going. And once again this Easter, your presence gives us hope for recovery. You are always a flame of hope and we thank you”.
Ms Sophia Rista, social worker from the ‘Filothei I Athinea’ Girls’ Shelter, moved everyone with her words regarding the major difficulties faced by the children growing up separated from their families: “Mrs Vardinoyannis, as you know the children growing up in child protection foundations face a life that seems a little like the road to Calvary. They bear their own cross, called “growing up outside my family, far from my own people”. Anyone who contributes in any way they can to make their ascent to Jerusalem easier, is very important. Your continued support of these children so they can bear their cross and reach the resurrection a little sooner is important and we thank you very much for everything”.
The Coordinating Director of the Ecclesiastical Orphanage of Vouliagmeni, Mr Apostolos Kouroumichakis, conveyed the best wishes of His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Mr Ieronymos, as well as of the children of the Ecclesiastic Orphanage: “I could repeat everything that was said about you, but it would still not be enough. It would not be enough to cover what you do, especially for the children, as well as for the foundations, hospitals, and other bodies that contribute to society. I would like to convey to you the best wishes of His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, who is the Chairman of our Board of Directors, as well as the best wishes of our children and the entire staff. Thank you for everything!”
The Director of ‘Agios Andreas’ Paidopolis Ms Maria Apostolopoulou conveyed the thanks of the children: “We would like to thank ELPIDA and Mrs Vardinoyannis for their care. We are always part of her plan. I would like to convey the warmest wishes of all the children and my colleagues for a Happy Easter”.
The Abbess of the Lyreio Children’s Foundation-Orthodox Village, Sister Maria, spoke of the importance of contribution and love: “All of our Church’s celebrations are celebrations of love. They continuously remind us of the love of God, and this unique celebration is even greater because it shows all the Lord’s love, when he sacrificed his life for us. This is the love we must all have in our heart. We must see it, experience it, and it is a great joy when we see people who are dedicated to society. Especially Mrs Vardinoyannis, who has helped soothe human pain with so much care and love, which she displays on a daily basis. I pray that this love remains always in our heart, that our Lord enriches our understanding with actions and not just words”.
The President of the ‘PISTI’ Association, Ms Anastasia Vardoulakis, stressed: “We thank you for your contribution, which has been uninterrupted. All of us who are under your roof and under your care, try follow the example of your honest social work. The radiance of your contribution is a solution for our children, and we truly thank you from the bottom of our hearts for always being aware of our needs and assisting in our work”.
The discussion was moderated by the Secretary General of the ‘ELPIDA-Association of Friends of Children with cancer’, Ms Georgina Ellina.