Church Helps Vets Fill Up New Homes

Photos by Iris De Vita Members of the Ladies Philoptochos of the Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church in Greenlawn are all smiles during the “Shower of New Beginnings,” which was hosted to collect household items for the Northport VA’s Homeless Service Project.

Photos by Iris De Vita
Members of the Ladies Philoptochos of the Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church in Greenlawn are all smiles during the “Shower of New Beginnings,” which was hosted to collect household items for the Northport VA’s Homeless Service Project.

By Janee Law
jlaw@longislandergroup.com

The Ladies Philoptochos of the Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church in Greenlawn recently participated in the Northport VA’s Homeless Service Project by hosting a “Shower of New Beginnings” in March.

The project focuses on helping veterans transition from a homeless situation into apartments through the HUD-VASH programs.

“We became aware that there were 400 homeless veterans on Long Island and every month, through this program, they place five or six in their own apartment, but they go there with nothing,” Dorothy Pantason, veterans project coordinator, said. “We had a committee meeting and decided to plan a Shower of New Beginnings.”

Pantason said the turnout for the event was wonderful, with over 100 people attending and making donations.

Several household items were donated, including bedding sets, coffee makers, vacuum cleaners, frying pans, cooking sets, microwaves, toasters, cleaning supplies, mixing bowls, and more, Pantason said.

She added that it was a very emotional and overwhelming experience, knowing that they were making a difference in the lives of veterans.

This event follows fundraising efforts hosted by the Ladies Philoptochos of the Saint Paraskevi late last year, when funds raised went to homeless veterans and their families.

Pantason said the shower could not have been the same without the help of Joe Sledge, health system specialist and senior leadership of the Northport VA; Mary Kelly, social work section chief of the HUD-VASH of the Northport Medical Center; Georgia Constantine, president of the Ladies Philoptochos of St. Paraskevi; and members of the committee for assisting and organizing the event.