New video release from FOCUS’ partner charity: Renovation Angel

We are proud to be the 2016 charitable partner of Renovation Angel!

Renovation Angel is a 501(c)3 non-profit which states their charitable mission as:

a) Creating Jobs – The white-glove removal, transportation, and resale of these items creates numerous construction, logistics, and retail jobs as these items are prepared for re-purposing.

b) Protecting the Earth – Recycling luxury kitchens, bath fixtures, home furnishings, and architectural elements diverts millions of pounds from landfills.

c) Supporting high quality non-profit outreach programs – Proceeds earned from selling recycled luxury creates support for innovative and life-changing outreach programs in the areas of: at-risk youth, addiction recovery, job creation, and social entrepreneurship.

source: http://renovationangel.org/about-us/

Check out this new video to get a better idea Renovation Angel does, and how they are partnering with FOCUS North America to move individuals from lives of dependency to self-sufficiency!

 

 

14 DAYS LEFT to support YES buy buying a shirt!

With grateful hearts, we ask you for your prayers and support for the YES ministry. We hope to host at least 25 trips, and to double the number of students we are able to train up as service leaders. With your help, we will be able to provide scholarships for youth that are not able to afford the YES weekend trip registration fee of $150, and grow our new College Day and Family Day programs. Your gifts will also make it possible for us to meet the needs of the people we serve all over North America. The greatest gift you can give the YES Program is to spread the word about this vital ministry.

You can purchase your shirt here https://www.booster.com/yesnorthamericawinter2016

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Renovation Angel makes donation at FOCUS Pittsburgh Gala

This past Thursday evening, FOCUS Pittsburgh hosted “The Light on the Hill celebration” at the Heinz History Center in downtown Pittsburgh. It was a wonderful night and there was an amazing turn out of support. One of the biggest moments of the night was receiving a $20,000 donation from Renovation Angel. FOCUS North America is honored to be Renovation Angel’s 2016 charitable partner!  

You can read the story here. 

 

Phoenix Summer Feeding Kick-Off!

FOCUS North America to Serve 16,000 Meals to At-Risk Children in Phoenix

June 18, 2015

In Phoenix, Arizona, a city with a rapidly increasing child hunger problem, FOCUS North America has launched a program that will provide more than 16,000 free meals to underserved children.

“Feeding hungry children and their families is a core component of FOCUS’ programs and this new initiative in Phoenix will allow us to help children during the summer months, when they do not have access to free or reduced price meals through school,” said FOCUS North America Executive Director Nicholas Chakos.

Children need healthy food all year long. During the school year, 21 million children receive free and reduced-price meals through National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. However, when school lets out, only 3.8 million participate in summer feeding programs, leaving millions of children at risk for hunger. Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process. Lack of nutrition during the summer months sets a cycle for poor performance once school begins again and makes children more prone to illness and other health issues. FOCUS’ summer feeding program is designed to fill that nutrition gap and make sure children get the nutritious meals they need.

Working with The Sodexo Foundation and local branches of the YMCA, FOCUS will provide breakfast and lunch to approximately 200 children every weekday during the summer. Meals are prepared by Sodexo at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and distributed to children who participate in Phoenix-area YMCA day camp programs. Approximately 16,750 meals will be served through August 7. This Phoenix initiative with FOCUS is part of Sodexo’s Feeding our Future initiative, a national program that has provided more than 4 million free meals to children in 24 cities across America.

Facilitating the health and education of children, through programs such as summer meal service, is a key activity of FOCUS. For the past six years, FOCUS has helped more than 252,000 disadvantaged children with educational support services while assisting their parents through vocational training, job placement and housing services. Each summer, in addition to summer meal service, FOCUS helps families in need get ready to go back-to-school by providing children with medical and dental checkups, school supplies, new backpacks and new athletic shoes so that they can attend school ready to learn and succeed.

 

FOCUS North America Participates in White House Forum on Ending Child Hunger in the USA

 

FOCUS North America recently participated in a forum to expand food security and child nutrition programs aimed at ending child hunger in the United States. Held at the White House, FOCUS Executive Director Nicholas Chakos joined leaders from 25 domestic charities in a pledge to become champions of feeding the millions of American children who are hungry through no fault of their own.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to expand FOCUS’ existing feeding programs, which has provided over 450,000 meals to hungry children and their families over the past three years and to engage Orthodox Christian parishes in feeding hungry children in their own communities,” Chakos said.

Feeding hungry children and their families is a core component of FOCUS’ programs. According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 15 million children lack access to enough nutritious food to provide them with a healthy life. Through no fault of their own, these children often go hungry during critical years of growth and learning.

While child nutrition safety nets are in place at schools to provide children at risk of hunger with free or reduced-price meals through school lunch and breakfast programs, many children do not eat adequately outside of school hours, over weekends or during the summer when schools are closed.

Working with 250 school districts in 30 cities nationwide, FOCUS has provided important food and educational support programs that help kids when they are away from school.

Now, FOCUS plans on expanding our feeding programs to engage Orthodox parishes and feed hungry children during summer months when children often suffer from hunger.

“Feeding children during the summer is critically important,” says FOCUS’ Chakos. Our evening and weekend feeding programs have shown us the importance of keeping kids fed, healthy and ready to learn all week long. But why should our work stop at the end of the school year? Children have even less access to nutritious food over the summer and FOCUS’ feeding programs should continue to help end children’s hunger all year long.”

Together with FOCUS, Orthodox parishes, youth groups or women’s groups nationwide can feed hungry children during the summer months when child hunger is at its peak. FOCUS will work with you to provide all the necessary resources, information and support so that you can engage your friends and family in an important that will engage your parish in active outreach and provide hungry children in your community with the access to healthy and nutritious food that they need.

Contact FOCUS via phone (toll-free 1-866-267-3083) or email ( JavaScript required to view address ) for more information on how to get involved with this important program to help end hunger in the United States.

 

 

Bay Area Runners Show Support for FOCUS

SF Race

Athletes and FOCUS enthusiasts alike recently gathered to participate in the inaugural San Francisco Bay Area Run for FOCUS. Hosted by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco and organized by local volunteers, the event featured 1 mile, 5K, and 10K races. Awards were given to competitive runners, while other participants enjoyed walking the course.

“I’m glad we had a very good turnout and I’m glad it benefits FOCUS,” said local event coordinator Alina Astilean. “This was the first time for a lot of these people to do a 5K and it was the cause that got them out. It’s great that FOCUS can promote physical fitness while gaining local support!”

“We were blessed with perfect weather, it was fun, and everyone had a great time being active and meeting people from other parishes in the area,” said George Pettis of San Jose, one of the runners.

Many participants are hoping to make it an annual event based on the success of this first race. “It would be incredible to see this model grow for next year and spread throughout the country!” said volunteer Johanna Duterte.

Proceeds from the race will go to benefit Operation Lace Up and other FOCUS programs.

If you or your parish is interested in hosting a FOCUS event, please contact our national office.

Spread the Word!

Everyone knows that FOCUS helps people and families in need, right here in America.  But what many people don’t realize is that through helping others, it’s often our own lives that are transformed the most.

FOCUS has produced a series of short films, directed by award-winning filmmaker Kevin Bryce, that showcase our powerful work and the life-changing effect it has on all involved.

Watch a 2-minute video about a successful businessman who lost it all and became homeless.  His inspiring story is a powerful testament to God’s limitless love. 

Share this link on Facebook or by forwarding this email to your friends and family and look for more videos from FOCUS soon!< FOCUS North America’s philanthropic activities continue to be an outgrowth of the love and mercy that naturally emanate from our Orthodox communities throughout the United States. We provide practical opportunities for Orthodox faithful to come and put their faith into action.  Through our Centers, our “day of service” activities for families, the YES program and our nationwide on-the-ground volunteer network, FOCUS engages tens of thousands of people in almost 30 cities across America to come and witness God’s limitless love and to provide help and hope to the poor and homeless. This Lenten season, remember FOCUS as one of the many tools available to you in your Paschal journey. By uniting to help others, we are drawn closer together as a community, a people, a nation – so that together we may draw nearer to Christ.