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Nia Vardalos, John Stamos join forces with THI to rebuild wildfires-ridden Orphanage

Actors Nia Vardalos and John Stamos have joined forces with The Hellenic Initiative to help rebuild the Lyreio Orphanage that was largely destroyed during the Athens wildfires in July. Funds raised through the online campaign will be funneled directly to the orphanage that does not receive subsidies and is funded only via donations.

“My heart aches for these orphaned children who’ve been displaced from their home,” said Vardalos whose family is originally from Kalavryta and Sparta in Greece.

“As a new father, the perils these children face hit me particularly hard,” said first-time father John Stamos, whose son Billy was born this spring.” That feeling, coupled with the Greek embrace of philotimo, which is tough to translate, but means a sense of duty and honor and the desire to help others in need, motivated me.” Stamos’ family hails from the village of Kakouri in Peloponnese, Greece.

The wildfires in East Attica claimed the lives of 99 people, injured more than 180 and destroyed properties and forest land.

While there was no loss of life at the Lyreion orphanage in Neos Voutzas, the site remains uninhabitable due to large-scale damages.

The orphanage was housing 65 children in five homes — one of which burned down and two of which were severely damaged, as were administrative buildings.

Other fire losses include the orphanage’s school buses, trucks, farm equipment, and a 1,000-tree olive grove that provided olive oil to the orphanage.

“We are grateful the Greek diaspora has come together to rebuild for the children, who are the future of Greece,” Mark Hadjipateras, board member and supporter of the Lyreion Orphanage said. “My family started the orphanage in 1967, so the work by Nia, John, and THI is close to my heart. Their generosity will go a long way toward making the dream of a new Lyreion come true.”

Hadjipateras noted that the children are in temporary accommodations waiting for their new home to be rebuilt. The Lyreion Children’s Foundation is funded by donations, and does not receive subsidies.

Would you, please, help rebuild the Lyreion Orphanage with a donation, no matter how big or small?

The new online campaign will generate even more funds to be funneled directly to the orphanage for rebuilding. Campaign donations can be made at The Hellenic Initiative Wildfire Relief Fund.

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