President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen hailed Elias Giovanidis as an example of solidarity throughout the pandemic. The 24-year-old Greek Roma has been a volunteer at a food bank in Thessaloniki, providing meals for families struggling due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Recognizing the immense weight of the pandemic on many in Europe, von der Leyen celebrated Giovanidis as an example of solidarity and kindness during the difficult period to all Europeans.
The crisis has been tough on many Europeans – but we can rely on each other.
In Thessaloniki, Elias volunteered with a food bank.
With his team, he cooked and packed meals for families in need.
Together, we will overcome this pandemic. pic.twitter.com/shCNAzP6TX
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 2, 2021
In response to von der Leyen’s statement, Giovanidis said in a message: “I warmly thank the President of the European Commission for her acknowledgment of our work. This recognition propels us forward.”
Giovanidis and his team of generous volunteers, including his wife, at Lighthouse of the World food bank, work tirelessly to gather and organize food donations. They also cook and deliver food to families who have been left hungry and destitute due to the pandemic.
As he works full-time at a factory, Giovanidis uses nearly every moment of his free time, even his weekends, to provide meals to the hungry in the poor, primarily the Roma community of Dendropotamos.