Category: News

JANUARY 2022

Happy New Year - 2022!

Another new year has arrived and this means something different to every person. Some remember the achievements and disappointments of the past year and look forward to a more successful one. Some don’t bother looking back but simply look ahead to 365 new days which hold unknown journeys.


In the poem that follows, Alfred, Lord Tennyson talks about “the darkness of the land” which he hopes will have cleared by New Year’s Day. He wants to “ring out” all the negatives and “ring in” everything positive.

       In Memoriam,

[Ring Out, Wild Bells]


Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

[This poem is in the public domain.]

As this new year begins—AWOG’s 74th— let’s all stay healthy and, surrounded by family and friends, continue to live full lives while staying true and living up to the mission of AWOG–helping those in need.

May 2022 be a remarkable year for us all!

DECEMBER 2021

AWOG NEWS / DECEMBER 2021

As 2021 winds down, we wind up. The big news this month is, of course, the AWOG Christmas Bazaar which will take place on-line between the third and fifth of the month (Friday-Sunday). There you will find many items for Christmas gifts, but also items that can be gifted year-round. Tell all your friends and neighbors to visit the AWOG site starting at midnight on the 3rd of December.

We are continuing to supply hospitals with heart pillows made by our members. More news about that and our other activities in Year in Review in January. In the meantime, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire. It is the time for home.” Edith Sitwell

NOVEMBER 2021

NOVEMBER 2021

November connotes the beginning of the Christmas season including the frenzy of baking, cooking and shopping as well as Thanksgiving, the most popular U.S. holiday for family get-togethers.

For AWOG it connotes the frenetic last touches on a variety of handmade items for our annual Christmas Bazaar which, with the help of our loyal sponsors, will allow us once more to do what we do best:  help those in need.

This year, for the second consecutive year, our bazaar will be online

December 3-5 at

www.awog.gr

Do ask your friends to support our charity work as all profits from our annual Christmas Bazaar will go to Greek charities.

      In other news, the Literary Club continues its discussion of short stories and the Heart Pillow Project had two deliveries in October to Areteio Hospital and Iatriko Kentro Athinon plus one more coming up in early November to the General Hospital of Kalamata.

      Hope to “see” you at our Christmas Bazaar, even without the shared camaraderie over a cup of coffee and chit-chat.  Remember, without your support, we cannot continue to help our charities!

Wishing all of you a very happy Thanksgiving with loved ones.  Remember to count your blessings and be thankful for everything you have.

OCTOBER 2021

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

            Though hard to believe, October is upon us!  We are still dreaming of summer months, beaches, and carefree moments, but it’s time to turn our thoughts to the future:  our biggest fundraiser of the year always has been and still is the annual Christmas Bazaar!

            Circumstances are such that our second on-line Christmas Bazaar is being planned for early December 2021.  Many AWOG members are working, creating, sewing, crafting, and planning all the details.  Please stay tuned for more details as they become available.

            Our AWOG Literary Club had its latest online discussion in September with a small group of ladies ready to share experiences from their own lives as related to the short stories we read. 

            The Heart Pillow Project is still going strong and it is projected that by the end of 2021 AWOG will have donated—to hospitals throughout Greece– 600 Heart Pillows for mastectomy patients.

This photograph was taken at the Andreas Papandreou General Hospital of Rhodes when AWOG Community Services Chair Anna V. delivered 30 Heart Pillows during the month of July

And the Heart Pillow Project continues!  Here Karen S. and Barbara P., devoted AWOG members, have prepared (stuffed, bagged and tagged) an October shipment of Heart Pillows for the Hospital at Aghious Anargirous with fabric generously donated by Orsalia Parthenis.

The pillows for Ag. Anargyri were delivered this past week.  Rena S. and Linda M. did the sewing using the material donated and cut by our Heart Pillow Sponsor, Orsalia Parthenis.  Bags, stuffing and tags were paid for by our Heart Pillow Sponsor D. Nafpliotis.  Thanks to our enthusiastic ladies and supportive sponsors, AWOG is able to keep on producing these miraculous pillows.  There will be updates on future deliveries currently being prepared by both Glyfada and Halandri/Ag. Paraskevi areas. 

SEPTEMBER 2021

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

Another Greek summer, with much potential at our doorstep; however, it was a Greek summer of Covid and fires.

Just as we began to meet up with family and friends, swimming together, clinking glasses in celebration, watching movies at outdoor cinemas, eating out at old, familiar haunts, long-abandoned, but not forgotten, the fires ravaged large areas of our country.

Forests destroyed; homes and businesses charred. The loss of lives—this time, the numbers were low, though even one life lost is one too many.

So much gone during a summer that looked hopeful after lost opportunities during months of lockdown.

It was difficult to watch the news and difficult not to.

AWOG, once again, found a way to help those in need:  more than 100 handmade masks, crafted by talented members and friends of AWOG, along with headbands and scrunchies were donated to the Halkida branch of Σώμα Ελληνικού Οδηγισμού (Greek Guiding Association) and distributed to people in Evia who are very much in need of masks.  We hope these beautiful, colorful masks, made with love, will help them and perhaps bring them some needed cheer.  We also sent three pallets of household paper and cleaning products with the help of our loyal sponsor Mr. Telis Thanopoulos.  These products were transported, free of charge, by Endless Paper.

The AWOG Heart Pillow Project was sustained during the summer of 2021 with the donations of 30 heart pillows to the General Hospital of Didymotichos, known as the General University Hospital of Evros since 2012.  (Γενικό Πανεπιστημιακό Νοσοκομείο Έβρου) as well as 30 heart pillows to the General Hospital of Corfu –Aghia Irini. (Γενικό Νοσοκομείο ΚέρκυραςΑγία Ειρήνη). 

Γενικό Νοσοκομείο Κέρκυρας - Αγία Ειρήνη
Χειρουργική Κλινική Διδυμότειχου

As September rolls in, our thoughts turn to the work of AWOG and all that lies ahead.  Our first big event is the annual Christmas Bazaar, currently being planned for early December.  Our charities await our help and AWOG awaits the help of its members and sponsors.  Together we hope to help those who need us most.

SUMMER 2021 NEWS

As spring moves into summer 2021, everyone—Greeks and non-Greeks alike, are dreaming of spending some time on a Greek beach.  Crystalline seas in shades of green and turquoise, the ecru tones and whiteness of pristine sandy beaches, and the starkness of sun-bleached rocks all await.

With vaccinations, and newer Covid-19 protocols in place, we are all dreaming of time shared with family members and friends, somewhere special, enjoying delicious Greek food and sipping our drinks of choice.

The lazy, summer months ahead will give AWOG members lots of time for R&R but also time to think about the challenges that await our organization and the new activities we can initiate as well as innovative projects and ventures we can undertake in the second half of 2021.

May you all have a happy summer with sunshiny days, warm nights, bare feet, watermelon, ouzaki with friends, fresh fish and grilled meat.

Stay safe, take care of yourselves and your families so we can all meet again in September with many happy memories that we can share and  cherish for many years to come!

MAY 2021

HAPPY MAY DAY!
HAPPY EASTER!
HAPPY ST. GEORGE’S DAY!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

We begin with warmer weather, renewed energy and the hope that our lives will begin to resemble those of past Mays.  Following the success of our fundraiser in early April, we were able to keep our promise to Lighthouse for the Blind and they can now progress with the production of the Odyssey and the Iliad in Braille.

The first AWOG General Assembly for 2021 took place on Zoom and the Literary Club began its reading and discussion of memoirs with Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.

After celebrating Easter with our loved ones, we will continue our online activities during the month of May with the Literary Club, a lecture on nutrition and a possible surprise event on Zoom.

However you decide to spend Easter, stay safe and enjoy.  This year on May 3rd you will have the opportunity to offer wishes to all the Georges and Georgias in your lives; and there are certainly many of them!  Remember Mother’s Day on May 9th by thanking your mother for every hug, word of encouragement or act of love she has given you throughout the years.  Or take some moments to reflect on the woman who was so important in your life.

God could not be everywhere,
And therefore, he made mothers.
RUDYARD KIPLING

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best,
but his mother the longest.
IRISH PROVERB

APRIL 2021

If we were to say that March was an extremely busy month for AWOG, you may think it’s an April Fool’s Day joke!  We’ll tell you what we did and you can judge for yourselves.

It was necessary to have two Board meetings in order to finalize all the upcoming events.

The first extraordinary event which took place on March 23 was a lecture celebrating Philhellenism with a variety of speakers.  The moderator, Liana Mitrakos, first introduced Cindy Harvey, Public Affairs Officer of the American Embassy, Athens, who spoke about the friendship between the United States and Greece and the various events that have been planned during 2021, ending on December 31.  The main speaker, Mr. Constantinos Velentzas, spoke about well-known Philhellenes like Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, but also others less well-known such as George Jarvis, J.P. Miller, David Farragut, and Dr. Howe’s wife, Julia Ward, author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  It was fascinating to learn about the support given to the Greeks through their fundraising and personal involvement in the Greek Revolution.  Finally, the event came to an end with comments by two of Howe’s descendants, Ms. Gillian Kellog and Mr. Nathan Ticknor.  Once Covid restrictions are lifted, we can all visit the Museum of Philhellenism at Zissimopoulou 12 in Psychico which Mr. Venentzas spent ten years trying to create!  If you missed the presentation on Zoom, here is the link:

https://zoom.us/rec/share/oGVT-rmhkA7ik20fra-N6qVuQRDw0wQMzbvMgxPpI5147Mk89S4bSmDRiG8HRVAV.S1LuwGFgn5Y998y8
Passcode: 0C!v&tXR

The second event that needed further planning was the Bazaar/Fundraiser April 1-4.  During these four days, on the AWOG site, you can shop to your heart’s delight to support AWOG and AWOG’s sponsors for the worthy cause of the Lighthouse for the Blind in Kallithea.  We hope to raise enough money so they can produce Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in Braille for their library.

 

The third event that is in the planning is a General Assembly set for April 15.

We must note here that all the above-mentioned events have taken/will take place via Zoom.

Finally, in celebration of Women’s Day, the AWOG Literary Club met on March 8 to discuss American women who stood up for women’s rights as early as the late 1790s.

Now, do you believe us about having had a busy March?

After what we hope will be a successful fundraiser, a successful General Assembly, and another Literary Club discussion, we will all take a step back to prepare for the holy days of Easter with our families and loved ones.

MARCH 2021

March is Women’s Month so let’s begin with a few inspiring comments:

“If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.”

Michelle Obama

“If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.”

Margaret Thatcher

Behind every successful woman is HERSELF!

Anonymous

As we pay tribute to women as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, mentors, professionals (this and so much more), let us remember the countless hours of work, the endless hours of enjoyment and satisfaction–a woman’s day, a woman’s life.

Our monthly events—Fine Arts, Nutrition and the Literary Club continue but in February we had our first (lots of firsts lately!) virtual pitta-cutting as a way of “getting together” and welcoming the new year as well as our new members. We hope 2021 will be full of health, joy and happy moments for each one of us, our families, and for AWOG too.

VIRTUALLY SPRING, our first (another first!) fundraiser of 2021 will be held April 1-4, on our site www.awog.gr. This will be our opportunity to shop to our hearts’ content from our sponsors’ eshops and to choose among the handmade items created by AWOG members who never seem to run out of ideas!

By the middle of March there will be more information on the Home Page of the AWOG website where you will be able to see our sponsors, but no sneak previews this time. Shopping will begin at 00:01 on April 1 and end at 23:59 on April 4. You will have 96 hours during which you can spend, spend, spend in order to support the individuals and companies that support us. Remember all profits will go to Lighthouse for the Blind for the production of the Odyssey and the Iliad in Braille.

FEBRUARY 2021

Everyone is asking, “Where did the holidays go?  It’s already the second month of the new year!”  In fact, the holidays are behind us and another 11 months lie ahead.

January was a strange month (nothing but strange lately; strange Easter, strange summer, strange holidays, strange, strange, strange) with unusually high temperatures for Attiki, snow in the mountains surrounding Athens followed by unusually low temperatures!  We think we’ve seen everything, but maybe not.

Our monthly events are continuing:  Fine Arts, the Literary Club, and lectures on nutrition and wellness; plans are under way for a virtual pitta-cutting for the new year.

Please remember to pay the 2021 dues to continue your support of AWOG and to participate in the General Election in March.

Following the successful virtual Christmas bazaar last December, AWOG is already planning its first fund raiser of the year, Virtually Spring, currently set for early April.  There will be hand-made items crafted by the Ladies of AWOG as well as a variety of vendors with links to their websites.  All the proceeds will be donated to Lighthouse for the Blind (ΦΑΡΟΣ ΤΥΦΛΩΝ) in Kallithea for the production of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad in Greek Braille.

We leave you with the words of Agatha Christie:

“An archeologist is the best husband any women can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.”

And on that note, we wish you all a wonderful February and a great Valentine’s Day!

JANUARY 2021

The AWOG Board of Directors would like to wish all of its members and their families a safe, healthy and prosperous 2021. As we leave 2020 behind, we remember the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also our successful virtual bazaar, in December, whose proceeds will go a long way to helping AWOG charities.

Looking ahead to January 2021 we have Zoom meetings set up for the Literary Club, and Fine Arts as well as a lecture on nutrition.

This year marks AWOG’s 73rd year and as we forge ahead with plans to stay true to our mission, we ask for your contribution through the payment of annual dues. In this way, you will help our organization and be eligible to attend and vote at our General Assembly in March. The Board is looking at a virtual spring bazaar in April so that we can support more of AWOG’s charities.

December News

December 2020

The end of a year, a very unconventional year for everyone on the planet, is drawing nigh.  AWOG ended 2020 with our first-ever virtual Christmas Bazaar. We want to thank everyone involved for making it happen because it was truly a lot of work.

Without the cadre of our ever-loyal members who spent so generously to keep our AWOG acronym, A Way of Giving alive, it would not have been successful.  To each and every one of you, our heartfelt thanks.

December activities involve a meeting of the AWOG Literary Club, a Fine Arts event and a Christmas “gathering” of members online and then a short break for the holidays.

Our warmest wishes for a healthy, happy holiday season to all of you and your families and friends. Let us take heed of the  words of Charles Dickens who, in A Christmas Carol wrote, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”  They are truly relevant to an organization such as ours.

 

NOVEMBER 2020

NOVEMBER 2020 NEWS

“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto its nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”

Emily Dickinson

This is the final month for our Christmas Bazaar preparations with members working at a frenetic pace to have everything ready for AWOG’s first-ever virtual bazaar to be held December 1-5.
Details will appear on our website’s Home Page (www.awog.gr) later this month as well as on AWOG’s Facebook page. Stay tuned for beautiful handmade items whose sales will benefit Greek charities.

November’s activities for AWOG members—on Zoom– begin on the 9th with a Fine Arts Virtual Tour presentation/discussion, followed by a lecture on nutrition on the 14th. On November 17th, the Literary Club will discuss another short story, and on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26) we will all “meet” online to share a cup of coffee or tea and some Thanksgiving wishes and thoughts. The theme for that day is Memories of Past Thanksgivings.

Remember that to participate in the online ZOOM events, you must be an AWOG member. If you are not, but would like to join, please follow the procedure outlined under “How to Join AWOG” on the AWOG website.

OCTOBER 2020

OCTOBER 2020

September was a difficult month for most of us because after the long, lazy days of summer, it wasn’t easy going back to more rigid schedules and routines.  However, with online discussions, lectures and Christmas Bazaar preparations, we are already in the tenth month of the year.

October promises to be another busy month for AWOG members, full of varied activities, all via ZOOM.  Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be observed with a lecture on breast cancer.  Following our September lecture on nutrition, there will be another one; a chair yoga session will help us feel invigorated; a lecture by a woman who began a second career after she “retired” at the age of 65 will offer a new perspective; a museum tour of Impressionist works of art will certainly bring beauty into our lives, and another discussion of a short story will allow us to exchange ideas.

AWOG members are working hard to create lots of original items for this year’s Christmas Bazaar which will also be an online event this year.  Keep abreast of what’s in store for the Bazaar by following the AWOG Face Book page.

Remember that to participate in the online ZOOM events, you must be an AWOG member.  If you are not, but would like to join, please follow the procedure outlined under “How to Join AWOG” on the AWOG website.

SEPTEMBER 2020

SEPTEMBER AWOG NEWS

The summer of 2020 has come and gone and most of us managed to survive, unscathed by Covid-19.  As we all take precautions, stringently following the protective measures that the Greek government has announced, we look forward to the winter ahead, staying true to AWOG’s mission of being “committed to helping the community through financial and volunteer support of many non-profit, non-political Greek institutions as well as American community projects.”

September has begun with AWOG’s Community Services coordinating the process of cutting, sewing, stuffing, packaging and delivering Heart Pillows to hospitals in the greater Athens area.  There is a constant need, unfortunately, and recipients are always grateful.

The AWOG Literary Club will be meeting around the middle of the month to discuss another short story, this one by David Sedaris.

The culminating AWOG event of each calendar year has been the annual Christmas Bazaar which, this year, for the first time ever, will be an online event!  For this reason, all AWOG areas have been busy brainstorming, creating, photographing and generally preparing items that will be displayed online—on the AWOG website.  Do visit our website often to be informed of the beautiful items you can buy to gift to loved ones during the holidays while helping AWOG to support organizations in need.

During the last week of this month there will be a lecture on nutrition during COVID-19 given by a dietician.  This will evolve into a monthly lecture.

October promises lots of interesting events.  Here is a brief preview:  a lecture on breast cancer, chair yoga, a lecture on new careers after 65 as well as a museum tour.

Remember that to participate in these events (currently online via ZOOM), you must be an AWOG member.  If you are not, but would like to join, please follow the procedure outlined under “How to Join AWOG” on the AWOG website.  Looking forward to an enthusiastic beginning after the summer hiatus.

 

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Athens, Greece