The donations were split in two: $6,100 were given to the Lyreio Orphanage and Monastery that was destroyed by the fire and $2,100 to each of four families in Mati selected as most in need by the local municipal authority.
Cherishing transparency, Greek Reporter’s CEO, Anastasios Papapostolou and producer Nasos Papapgyropoulos delivered the donations generously offered by at least 186 people from over 50 countries directly to the victims at the Rafina Mayor’s office on September 19.
Diaspora Greeks and others from the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere responded enthusiastically to the Greek Relief Fund (GRF), set up by the Greek Reporter.
Delivering the donation to Lyreio Papapostolou said: “We hope that this small amount will inspire others to help in any way, not only monetarily, but also through volunteer work, in the orphanage and monastery.”
At the Rafina City Hall, mayor Vangelis Bournous and the families, selected to receive the donations, thanked all those that contributed and spoke about the reconstruction efforts in Mati.
Bournous, who also lost his home in the fire, said that at this stage the priority is cleaning the area from debris and burned trees and rebuilding homes.
2,000 homes were completely destroyed by the fire and another 2,000 are seriously damaged, the mayor said.
“What we need is donations in kind… appliances and other things people need to rebuild their homes.”
A Mati resident said that the donations are of great help as “the Greek bureaucracy has delayed dispersing the emergency aid it promised.”
“The love we received from all over the word is amazing,” he added.
“Greeks unite in difficult times. It is important to know that other people stand by us,” another fire victim said.
The criteria used to select the four families was not having a primary residence and their economic standing as it was determined by the local authorities.