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Greek Australian mums rally together to raise over $20,000 for wildfire relief in Greece




In a huge act of filotimo and kindness, Greek Australian mums have rallied together to raise $20,754 (12,786.54 euro) for the DESMOS Foundation in Greece to put towards wildfire relief.

The fundraising was made possible when Effie Moraitis and Tina Tzanopoulos from Greek Mums and Bubs Melbourne,’ Rea Liapis fromThe Hellenic Heart Australia and Kristina Agaliotis from Are You Even Greek? saw wildfires ravage the Greek island of Evia in August this year, and decided they wanted to do something to help.

“Being away [from Greece], not being to go this year, being sort of stuck in Australia when you know there is so much happening that is beyond your control, we really just felt that as Greek mums in Australia, we had to do something,” Rea Liapis, founder of The Hellenic Heart Australia, tells The Greek Herald exclusively.

It started as a simple Facebook post in the ‘Greek Mums and Bubs Melbourne‘ group asking what could be done to help and quickly ‘snowballed in a good way’ into an online auction with around 160 products donated by small Greek businesses.

The women held a fundraising dinner previously to raise money for the Mati fires. Photo supplied.

“There were so many dinner vouchers from local Greek restaurants, we had a lot of Greek products, hampers, Greek frappe machines, things like that. So it was a massive range… and obviously we couldn’t have done it without all the businesses that donated,” Rea explains.

From there, the products were shipped off to their happy buyers and all the funds were collected and given to DESMOS in Greece.

Rea says she’s ‘pleased’ they donated the funds to DESMOS as the women ‘wanted the funds to go to the right place.’ Her foundation has also previously donated a container of clothes to ‘Χαμόγελο του Παιδιού’ in aid of the financial crisis in Greece in 2016.

“They do have a lot of people on the ground. They will be sending us information about where our donation goes… and we thought that was the best option,” Rea says.

Rea donated a container of clothes to ‘Χαμόγελο του Παιδιού’ in 2018.

“They’re very transparent in that they’ve told us 10 percent of the funds get kept for their own administrative expenses but beyond that, 90 percent goes to the people. So that’s where we were quite pleased.”

In a statement to The Greek Herald, DESMOS said they are currently focusing on emergency assistance, including equipment for three firefighting volunteer groups, heating appliances for families in northern Evia and equipment for six peripheral health clinics, among many other things.

“We feel privileged to have received the amazing support of people from all over the world. Thanks to the auction of Are you even Greek, Hellenic Heart AU and GMABS Melbourne, an amazing AUD 20,754 was raised!” DESMOS said.

“We are grateful for the trust and committed to creating the highest positive impact for the fire affected communities of Greece.”

It’s clear this initiative by these inspirational Greek Australian mums will go a long way towards Greece’s fire recovery efforts.

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