Greece’s financial and social crisis made many Greek Diaspora communities worried about their homeland, but also about their relatives who still live in the country. Greek-Australians have been trying to find a way to aid people in Greece, either financially or through other means.
Rea Liapis, owner of a children’s clothing store in Melbourne, took it upon herself to find a way -other than fundraising- to aid people in Greece.
“The Greek way of life is always about doing what we can for our families and I realized that I am really lucky I can give my kids everything they need. But how hard some families must be finding it in Greece at the moment, with the thought that they may not be able to keep their children warm this coming winter,” Liapis said to Greek Diaspora newspaper Neos Kosmos.
Through the Hellenic Heart initiative, Liapis decided to gather as much as possible from the Greek-Australian community and send it over to Greece, collecting clothing for adults and children, blankets and other linen, nappies and hygiene products and food. The initiative quickly snowballed, getting help from businesses and individuals across Australia.
Hellenic Heart is in the process of registering as a non-profit organization and is working closely with two NGOs based in Greece, the Smile of the Child and the Salvation Army, two registered charities that look after disadvantaged families. Liapis is also working on ensuring that all donations reach the Greek families in need.