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National Philoptochos Biennial Convention

On Friday, August 21 through Saturday, August 22, 2020, the National Philoptochos 2020 Biennial Convention convened virtually with over 600 Philoptochos members from across the country. Approximately 40 Philoptochos members from the Metropolis of Boston participated and His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios extended greetings to the entire convention on Saturday afternoon.
Barbara Pasalis, Convention Chair, opened the 2020 National Biennial Virtual Convention and introduced National President, Maria Logus, who offered her report. President Logus highlighted Philoptochos’ activities over the past two years, including:

⦁ Over $4,000,000 grants disbursed since 2018, including a $275,000 donation to Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology for technology infrastructure
⦁ Creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund and a multi-pronged approach to the pandemic, supplying financial support for rent, mortgage, health and food costs; mental health resources; a “thank you” program for our Healthcare Heroes; and a #MasksOn! Campaign
⦁ New programs addressing Vaping, the Opioid Crisis and Kindness Counts. 
Over the two days, the Convention agenda zoomed updates of National Philoptochos Committees and Initiatives; provided presentations on topics and issues that were relevant to today’s news and challenges; approved the 2021-2022 Budget; approved changes to the ByLaws which will streamline the election process, and clarify the position of Advisor and the waiver process; and received greetings from our Metropolitans.
Highlights included:
⦁ Announcement of the recipients of the 2020 AGAPE Award.
⦁ Denise Frentzos Reed – St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Springfield, Massachusetts winner from the Metropolis of Boston
⦁ Answered the highly anticipated Feed the Hungry Challenge questions: Did we serve 1.5 Million meals? Which Chapter served the 1.5 Millionth Meal? Which Metropolis served the most meals? (If you weren’t there, you’ll have to watch the video to find out!) 
⦁ St. Demetrios Chapter, Weston, Massachusetts Chapter winner from the Metropolis of Boston
⦁ Tony Hoffman’s discussion on Opioid Addiction & Recovery was a personal account of his experiences struggling with substance abuse from the addict’s view. His is a powerful and eye-opening story.
⦁ The presentation on COVID: What to Expect this Fall from Ekaterina Kehl, MD, gave members new insight into the pandemic, what to expect, and what to do to keep ourselves safe.
⦁ The presentation on the Impact of COVID-19 on Education and the Family was very timely as students are heading back to school. The slide presentation “Back to School: The New 3R’s for 2020” outlined how to approach the new world under COVID-19 with all its restrictions. 
⦁ Live discussion of the conversion of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora to mosques, culminating in a Resolution asking the Republic of Turkey to restore their status as museums.
⦁ Cyber tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since we could not go to Cleveland, the Convention Committee brought Cleveland to the participants. #PhiloRocks
⦁ Summary of the National Philoptochos Social Services activities over the past two years.  The Social Services Department truly represents the heart of Philoptochos – helping those in need. #PhiloLoves
⦁ Announcement of the 17 nominees of the Inaugural National Philoptochos Young Philanthropist Award, including quotations from their essays on, “Why I am a Philanthropist.” 
⦁ Anastasia Coclin – Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Cranston, Rhode Island winner from the Metropolis of Boston
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