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Hellenic Society Raises Relief Money

Harvard Group Networks With U.S. Colleges to Help Earthquake Victims

By Kaustuv Sen

The Harvard Hellenic Society (HHS) has raised $1,858 in a fundraising effort over the past four months to help earthquake victims in Greece.

On June 20, the town of Eghio in Northern Peloponissos, Greece, was hit by an earthquake which left 15 dead and thousands homeless.

"Many of these people are still living in shelters and tents in and around the town," said HHS Vice President Georgios Sarakinos, a fourth-year graduate student.

Although the organization is usually involved with cultural and social events, the HHS began fundraising specifically for the earthquake relief this year.

"We opened an account in July at the Cambridge branch of the National Bank of Greece and invited donations," said Ioannis Dosios '97, president of the HHS.

The HHS sent out donation requests by e-mail to people on the mailing lists of Hellenic societies at Harvard, MIT, B.U., Stanford and other colleges across the country, Dosios said.

"Although all donations were made anonymously, by check, we know that many other campus student societies rallied round to help in the fundraising effort," Sarakinos said.

He said the fundraising effort has yielded 39 checks so far, ranging from $10 to $250. The HHS will forward the total amount at the end of this week to the Hellenic Red Cross in Greece, which is organizing the relief effort.

"The fund we have raised is by no means enough to make a difference in the lives of the earthquake victims," Sarakinos said in an e-mail message yesterday. "Yet, with our donation, we want to tell them that we care about them and think about their ordeal, even though we are thousands of miles away."

Dosios said he was pleased with the results of the fundraising.

"I found the response from students across the country very encouraging," Dosios said.

The Harvard Hellenic Society comprises Greek and Greek-American students, from both the College and the graduate schools, and seeks to foster a sense of Greek culture at Harvard.

"From now on, we will leave the bank account open, to facilitate emergency fundraising in the future, since Greece is an earthquake-prone area," Dosios said.

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