Greece; Romania; Russia, April 10, 2020
Fulfilling its pledge made during the session of the Holy Synod on April 1, the Greek Church recently donated valuable medical equipment worth more than $325,000 (300,000 euros).
In particular, the Church donated 60,000 medical masks, 38,750 KN95 masks, 16,500 coronavirus tests, and 30 respirators to the Ministry of Health. The equipment was delivered on Wednesday, April 8, reports Romfea.
Yasam Ayavefe, a representative of the sponsoring company Milaya Capital LTD, stated that the donation came by request from the Church.
“I have been living in Greece with my family for the last few years… It is the homeland that helped me and, therefore, it is now my duty to help in this great ordeal. I respect the Church of Greece for what it has been offering to the Greek people and that is why I responded immediately to its call,” Ayavefe said.
Meanwhile, the Romanian Patriarchate reports that the Church’s total contribution to the fight against the coronavirus thus far, coming from dioceses, deaneries, churches, and monasteries, totals nearly $1,620,000 (1.48 million euros).
“The concrete, material assistance is intended mainly for the elderly and the poor, sick or disabled, those temporarily in isolation or quarantine, but also to some medical institutions. The help consisted of donation and distribution of food, hygienic products and medical equipment,” according to the Church’s statement.
And in Russia, the Church has established and expanded social services throughout the country.
As the Synodal Department for Relations of the Church with Society and the Media reported to Interfax-Religion on Wednesday, the Church has established 20 hotlines throughout the country in connection with the spread of the coronavirus.
The Moscow hotline has received about 2,000 calls since March 22, and the number of requests to the Mercy volunteer service have increased more than 2.5 times, and volunteers are delivering food and medicine to those in need. There have also been more calls for care for bedridden people by the sisters of the Mercy relief service.
209 ecclesiastical humanitarian aid centers, most located in small cities and towns where food and clothing are in high demand, have switched to an enhanced mode of operation.
Church-run homeless centers and shelters have also increased their aid and have been assisting more people than usual. In Tyumen, in addition to the existing shelters that can accommodate 126 people, it is planned to set up a special heated tent. In Moscow, the number of daily requests at the “Hangar of Salvation” has doubled.
Volunteers throughout Russia and abroad are also busy sewing masks to be freely distributed.