Philoptochos Perspective

Philanthropy • Fellowship • Faith in Action

Fall 2022

President's Letter

Dear Fellow Philoptochos Sisters and Friends of Philoptochos:

Thank you to all who attended and supported this year’s September Luncheon,”Our Future: Faith, Philanthropy and Youth”. Special thanks to our co-chairs, Marilynn Jemas and Joanne Stavrakas for involving all ages, especially with the Kids for Digs project. Many chapters participated, not only supporting Digs for Dignity in the Chicago area, but various homeless to home charities in their local areas in the outlining chapters. Both our speakers, George Cantonis, President of Hellenic College/ Holy Cross Seminary and Arun Modayil, Director of Operations at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center emphasized Philoptochos’ continued assistance and love to their institutions. Again, thank you to all the chapters and donors that contributed to another successful luncheon. THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING THE MISSION AS WE CELEBRATE 90 YEARS OF PHILANTHROPY!

In October, we had our President’s meeting at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. His Eminence attended and thanked us for all we do to help the less fortunate. He asked that we support the Metropolis through the Friends of the Metropolis program. Many participants had not been to the Retreat Center, and had a tour on a wagon of the area. The staff, led by Arun Modayil, was most thankful and accommodating. Arun spoke of the role of women in the Church that are always the most supportive of their time and love.

We celebrated our Patron Saints, Cosmas and Damianos at St. Demetrios Elmhurst on October 31st and November 1st. We thank the Very Reverend Dionysios Anagnostopoulos and Father Theofanis Rauch for their services and Christina Panousis, President of the St. Demetrios Elmhurst, her Board and members for their generosity and being our welcoming hosts. The Metropolis Philoptochos had an Artoklasia for our current Board and honored our Past Presidents that have fallen asleep on the name day.

November 13, designated as Philoptochos Sunday, by Archbishop Elpidophoros was celebrated throughout the Metropolis by all our chapters.





Yours in Christ,


Marilyn Tzakis

Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos President


President’s Letter, Metropolis Calendar,

September Luncheon, Kids for Digs with Dignity,

Agape Awards, Presidents Meeting,

HRH Prince Nikolaos of Greece & Denmark,

All Saints - Joliet, Annunciation Cathedral - Chicago, Annunciation - Milwaukee, Ascension of Our Lord - Lincolnshire, Assumption - Chicago, Holy Apostles - Westchester,

Holy Cross - Justice, Holy Taxiarhai & Haralambos - Niles,

Holy Trinity - Schiller Park, Holy Trinity - Sioux City, IA, 

St. Andrew - Chicago, St. Basil - Chicago,

St. Demetrios - Chicago, St. Demetrios - Libertyville,

St. George - Schererville, St. John the Baptist - Des Plaines,

St. Luke - Columbia, St. Mary - Minneapolis,

St. Nicholas - St. Louis, St. Nicholas - Oak Lawn,

St. Sophia - Elgin, St. Spyridon - Palos Hills,

St. Nectarios - Palatine,

Sts. Constantine & Helen - Palos Hills

The Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos hosted the annual September Luncheon. Members, family, and friends gathered to fill the room and celebrate the Philoptochos Story of 90 years. Generations of resolute members attended together and joined with new faces and many of our youth to commemorate the numerous beneficial contributions

and to look ahead to future ministries.

Our Future: Faith Philanthropy and Youth, this year's theme, is an inspiration to embrace our faith with unwavering resolve as Greek Orthodox faithful, to salute the women that came before us and to invite our youth to join us. The luncheon paid tribute to the power of Philoptochos and the major impact it has made on a multitude of lives.

The proceeds of the luncheon benefitted the Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek School of Theology, The St. Iakovos Retreat Center,

and the Metropolis Philanthropic Endeavors.

Our chapters renewed their collaboration with youth to develop fundraising events for Digs with Dignity, an organization that helps people go from homeless to a real home. Kids for Digs with Dignity

was embraced by eighteen chapters who raised funds and

displayed posters of their projects at the luncheon. 

To His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael, His Grace Bishop Timothy of Hexamilion, the Philoptochos Chancellor and Spiritual Advisor, and President Marilyn Tzakis, we are thankful for your love and guidance.

The Metropolis Board would like to express our sincere thanks to Luncheon  Co-Chairs, Joanne Stavrakas and Marilynn Jemas. 

Sincere appreciation is extended to the Luncheon Committee and to all of the Chapters for their continued monetary support and assistance, ensuring a most successful event. The Board is beyond grateful to the many Sponsors for their generosity. You are the important piece

in sustaining the Philoptochos fundraising efforts.

Immeasurable gratitude is expressed to our keynote speaker,

George M. Cantonis, President of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology (middle) for his inspiring remarks and presentation.

Also speaking were The Honorable Emmanuel Koubarakis,

Ambassador, Consul General of Greece (left) and

Arun Modayil, Operations Director, St. Iakovos Retreat Center (right). 


National Philoptochos President, Arlene Siavelis Kehl,

presented roses to the Metropolis of Chicago Chapter Agape Award Winner, St. John the Baptist Philoptochos.

Each of the Metropolis Chapter Agape Nominees were recognized and commended for their outstanding service

in the spirit of Philoptochos. 

Agape Chapter Nominees

All Saints - Peoria

Annunciation Cathedral - Chicago

Ascension of Our Lord - Lincolnshire

Assumption - Chicago

Holy Apostles - Westchester

Holy Cross - Justice

Holy Taxiarhai & St. Haralambos - Niles

St. Andrew - Chicago

St. Demetrios - Libertyville

St. John the Baptist - Des Plaines

St. Helen - Palos Hills

Sts. Peter & Paul - Glenview

Three Hierarchs - Joliet


Oh, the anticiapation!


Kudos to our Kids Helping Kids!

The popular Kids Helping Kids came back! Once again Philoptochos partnered with the children of our Metropolis of Chicago parishes to fundraise for Digs with Dignity, one of the beneficiaries of this year’s September Luncheon. A big shout out goes to the Philoptochos chapters of our Metropolis that encouraged and supported the children of their parishes & led the way to help the homeless begin their new homes!

An amazing 18 chapters and parishes participated! We as Philoptochos members were shining examples to our kids and showed them how philanthropy is put into action. And the real stars are the kids that stepped up to help fundraise! The creativity was astounding. Some parishes sold frappes, lemonade, baklava sundaes, or popcorn. Others hosted a coffee social or an ice cream social after Divine Liturgy. Others collected kitchen tools, small kitchen appliances, bedding, toys, or books. And the chapters in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin partnered with organizations that help the homeless in their respective areas.

Congratulations to:

 All Saints, Joliet

Annunciation, Milwaukee, WI

 Ascension of Our Lord, Lincolnshire

Assumption, Chicago

Holy Apostles, Westchester

Holy Cross, Justice

Holy Taxiarhai & Haralambos, Niles

Holy Trinity, Schiller Park

Holy Trinity, Sioux City, IA

St. Andrew, Chicago

St. George, Schererville, IN

St. Luke, Columbia, MO

St. Mary, Minneapolis, MN

 St. Nicholas, Oak Lawn

St. Nicholas, St. Louis, MO

St. Sophia, Elgin

St. Spyridon, Palos Heights

Sts. Constantine & Helen, Palos Hills

St. George - Schererville, IN

Our St. George children & parents generously & quickly came through with their donations to help with “Digs for Dignity”.

Our contributions of many kitchen items will help those transitioning from homeless situations to homes.

St. Sophia - Elgin

St. Sophia had two events to support Kids For Digs With Dignity.

St. Spyridon - Palos Hi

Collected Kitchen Tools, Gadgets & Small Appliances

Donation Drop-off Visits to

 Digs With Dignity Warehouse

Past President Pam and her husband, Spero traveled to Digs with Dignity and dropped off donations from St. George, Schererville and toy/book/game donations from St. Sophia. The car trunk and back seat were full of boxes! Below is a picture of the staff at Digs and you can see in the background the donations. We took a tour of the facility and it is just AMAZING! Furniture, beds, linens, towels, all kinds of kitchen utensils, dishes, glasses, blankets, sheets, drapery, toys, books of all kinds, games, etc. There was everything needed to set up an apartment/house for a family (usually a mom/kids) moving out of homelessness. This facility has only been in existence since 2019 and they have expanded the warehouse facility three times. They don't just give things away, they go into the apartments/houses to see what is needed and how to best use the space. Every child gets a basket filled with books/toys on their beds to make them feel welcome.

Thanks to our Philoptochos sisters and all the youth that participated to help this group make a difference in the lives of others.

The mission of Digs with Dignity is to elevate the lives of those transitioning from homeless to a beautiful dignified home. The charitable model of Digs with Dignity is simple. This organization values all of your donations and all will be used to help others. Wanita Loupakos & Kathy Korbakes traveled to the Digs with Dignity warehouse to make a huge drop off of our item donations from St. Spyridon & Holy Apostles.

What an impressive setup! This entire warehouse space was loaded with items by categories, by aisles, by sections. They even had a small workshop for their “elves” to do repairs. 

Two other chapters, St. Andrew & Assumption Chicago, have been sent info about scheduling Digs with Dignity to do pick ups at these churches.

If other suburban chapters have additional items to help furnish a nice new home please contact Digs with Dignity at 276-209-8559

to schedule dropping off your items.

Annunciation - Milwaukee

Annunciation collected clothes, socks, towels and toiletries

for Kids For Digs With Dignity.

Ascension Of Our Lord - Lincolnshire

Ascension held a Frappe event to support Kids For Digs With Dignity.

Assumption - Chicago

Holy Apostles - Westchester

St. Nicholas - St. Louis, MO

Our youth sold brownies and cookies.

St. Nicholas - Oak Lawn

Sts. Constantine & Helen - Palos Hills

St. Luke - Columbia, MO

Chapter Held an Ice Cream Social Fundraiser Helping Digs With Dignity

St. Andrew - Chicago

St. Haralambos - Niles

Chapter Held A Pillow & Blanket Drive To Benefit Digs With Dignity

St. Mary - Minneapolis, MN

Chapter Chose To Support A Locally Based Shelter

Holy Trinity - Sioux City, IA

Chapter Chose To Support A Locally Based Organization

Sleep in Heavenly Peace 

Sioux City IA Chapter

Who We Are

We fully believe that a bed is a basic need for the proper physical, emotional, and mental support that a child needs. All children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads. In Sioux City and across the U.S., too many boys and girls go without a bed - or even a pillow - to sleep on.

These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even floors.

This can affect their happiness and health.


What We Do

That's where Sleep in Heavenly Peace comes in. We're a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need. No kid sleeps on the floor in our town®.

Presidents Meeting

St. Iakovos Retreat Center

A plaque was placed in the Retreat infirmary to recognize Nurse Carol's years of service to

The Retreat Center.

Metropolis Board Team Building

There’s nothing better than seeing a group come together quickly. The Metropolis Board engaged in several team building activities to bring us closer together.

The good feelings, rollicking laughter,

 STICK-TO-IT-TIV-NESS were rewarding and fun!

Our games were: Ball to Basket, Hoop Toss and Get On Board. The best game was Body English, where the teams tried to spell out words using only their bodies!

St. Basil - Chicago

Operation Classroom

As part of its Operation Classroom initiative, now in its third year, St. Basil Philoptochos has provided classroom supplies to a second-grade class at Nathaniel Dett School on Chicago’s Near West Side. Supplies were delivered by parishioners Pat Cole, Steve Cole, and Elias Loumakis, shown below with Dett Principal Eboni Mixon (far left) and second-grade teacher Maria Peña (center). Supplies given to Ms. Pena’s class included a white-board easel. Paints and brushes, canvases, pencils, markers, composition notebooks, pocket folders, glue sticks, earbuds, facial tissues, paper towels, and disinfectant wipes.

To express their gratitude, the students created and signed a colorful painting on canvas, proudly displayed in the photo on right. 

St. Luke - Columbia, MO

Operation Classroom

We continued to collect for two different schools

St. Demetrios - Libertyville

Operation Classroom

Chapter held a loukoumades fundraiser, collected and

delivered items to the Waukegan School.

Reading Power Program

Chapter held an Upscale Rummage Sale to benefit

the Reading Power Program and other local charities.

Chapter began the Ecclesiastical year with a pot luck dinner meeting.

Holy Apostles - Westchester

Chapter held their Annual Fashion Show.

Ascension Of Our Lord - Lincolnshire

Our Fall Kick-off Meeting Was a Fiesta

Maria Lampros (pictured on right in picture to left)

gave a presentation on the Oncology unit at UIC where proceeds from our Walk will make a difference!

Pat Gerbanas,

of the Greek American Rehabilitation Care Centre, made a presentation about daily life at the center & suggested ideas

for future giving.

We assembled gift bags for the residents, including comforts like cozy slipper socks & lotions.

St. Nicholas - St. Louis, MO

The children were delighted to have

His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael attend their "Trunk or Treat".

Check Presentation to Almost Home

President Marilyn Tzakis along with several

National and Metropolis Philoptochos Board members

presented a grant check for $19,200 from the

National Philoptochos Board to Almost Home to support their employee training courses in caring for severely disabled children.

St. Nectarios - Palatine

Hosted a beautiful Fashion Show

St. John The Baptist - Des Plaines

At their Fall Meeting, Vicki Natsis gave a presentation on Habits of Health. Kathy Pappas led us in College Outreach Care Package assembly. And the Board brought a selection of Charcuterie Boards for the meeting.

The chapter brought treats to

The Greek American Rehabilitation & Care Centre.

His Royal Highness Prince Nikolaos

of Greece & Denmark

Philoptochos members were invited to a special exhibit at the National Hellenic Museum featuring the photography of His Royal Highness.

St. Sophia - Elgin

Chapter held their Annual Coat Drive

St. John the Baptist - Des Plaines

Chapter collected and delivered coats to the needy.

This has been a busy fall for Philoptochos.

We have plenty of positive Philoptochos News to share!

The November Perspective filled up so fast that we are already

filling up the December issue!

This is a wonderful time of the year!

It's not too late to submit your chapter events and parties to the Perspective to be in the December issue.

Heartfelt Congratulations to our chapters who have emailed

submissions to this Perspective.

If you have submitted a chapter event but do not see it in this issue it will be in our December issue.

Our Chapters have jumped back into full swing of Philoptochos events this fall. The Perspective is grateful for your submissions.

Your chapter participation is very important to the Perspective.

Each edition brings hardworking, creative and thoughtful news

to share with our chapters.

Chapters in our Metropolis are busy 

being helpful and making a difference. 

Duty and dedication describe all of our Metropolis Philoptochos chapters, and each and every marvelous member.

Our Perspective is a very valuable resource for our chapters. 

Our Perspective highlights and documents our history.

Our Perspective shares new creative ideas. 

Our Perspective proudly displays

our Chapter and Metropolis events and successes. 

Do more than just belong to Philoptochos, participate in the Perspective!

Please help the Philoptochos Perspective by sending in your updated email lists. We want all of our members to receive the Perspective.

We are interested in all the latest Metropolis Philoptochos news.

Please share the Perspective with someone

that is not currently a member of Philoptochos.

If every member forwarded the Perspective to someone who is not a Philoptochos member, we could reach & impress 3,000 new people

every edition. Philoptochos members are aware that

it's not just about good ideas. It's about making good ideas happen.


 The Christmas issue will be distributed in December!


To participate in the Christmas issue, please submit photos of your Chapter events and Christmas Parties to the Perspective. 

We want to see everyone’s smiling faces 

attending meetings, events, parties & having fun!


Our Metropolis Philoptochos Newsletter loves to brag about all that

you are doing, and all the creative, thoughtful ways you 

are helping others.


Please EMAIL photos and information about your chapter event to the Perspective. Designate someone to be the photographer at your meetings and events then submit your Chapter event along with your photos to me as soon after the event to insure it is included in the next issue of the Perspective.

Include a brief description of the event including following info:


Chapter and Church name

Name of Event and Chairperson(s)

Photos are an important addition to the Perspective.

Photos of small groups of 3 to 5 people work best in the page layout.

The higher the resolution of the photos, the better.

It is best to email photos rather than text.


The Perspective is now being emailed directly to you from the Metropolis. If you are not receiving the Perspective this year we can

offer a few suggestions. Make sure your email is included in our email mailing list. To be included contact Juliana Arsoniadis at:


Or you might check your SPAM folder to see

if your email is filtering out the Perspective.


Continue to send your Perspective submissions to:


It is important to share the good works of Philoptochos!

And always share your Smile.


Marilynn Jemas, Editor

Philoptochos Friends

The best things in life

are the people we love,

the places we've been,

and the memories we

make along the way.

Wishing you and your family

a Happy Thanksgiving!

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