Canadian Healthcare Viagra

FOCUS Member Login

Member Login
donate

Press Releases

Brian Gerich joins FOCUS North America Board of Directors

PDFPrintE-mail

For more information contact:
Fr. Justin Mathews
Executive Director & CEO
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
or 1-866-267-3083
Brian Gerich joins FOCUS North America Board of Directors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 23, 2009 – Kansas City, MO
The Board of Directors for FOCUS North America is now one stronger.Brian Gerich, Senior Vice President of Public Storage Inc., and an outstanding Orthodox Christian, recently joined the board and is committed to help carry out the mission of the organization.
Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Gerich has been one of the most critical members of the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary since 1989 and Co-Chair of their first major capital campaign. He has also been awarded The Order of St. Sava, 3rd Degree, from the Serbian Church, one of the Serbian Church’s highest honors.
And in May 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He was chosen to receive this award  out of thousands of nominees because of his dedication and leadership qualities in community service and helping others.
Charles Ajalat, Chairman of the Board is thrilled to have Mr. Gerich, such a faithful servant of the Church, on the Board of Directors.  He said: “FOCUS North America is blessed to have an outstanding board of directors and is honored to welcome to our board, Brian Gerich, one of this nation’s most outstanding Orthodox Christian laymen, and a leading layman of the Serbian Archdiocese.”
The board is intentionally pan-orthodox in its makeup, composed of individuals from the following backgrounds: Greek, Antiochian, OCA, Carpatho-Russian and Serbian, which is helping to unify the church together. The Board includes Charles Ajalat, Chairman, William Hoeft, Vice Chairman, Dr. Julie Papatheofanis, Secretary, V. Rev. Fr. Tom Avramis, Lory Barsdate Easton, the Executive Director, Fr. Justin Mathews, and now, Mr. Brian Gerich.
###
FOCUS North America and its programs are committed to serve those in need, support Orthodox Christian social action ministries and supply parishes and others with the education, resources and training to initiate social action ministries in their own communities. In all of this, they continue in the work of Restoring Living Icons.
FOCUS North America is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Donations can be made online at www.FOCUSNorthAmerica.org or checks can be made out to “FOCUS North America” and sent to: PO Box 871578 Kansas City, MO 64187-1578
 

Donor Bill of Rights Press Release

PDFPrintE-mail

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Fr. Justin Mathews
Executive Director & CEO
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 1-866-267-3083

FOCUS North America Endorses The Donor Bill of Rights

Monday, October 5, 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

As a part of its strong commitment to financial stewardship and professionalism, the Board of Directors of FOCUS North America, by a unanimous resolution in its September 2009 meeting, along with the Staff endorsed the Donor Bill of Rights.

“Philanthropy is not just a financial means to a programmatic end. Rather it is a critical part of our civic and spiritual lives. Focus North America recognizes that ethical standards and principles are essential for earning and maintaining public trust as a non-profit agency, especially as an agency founded by Orthodox Christians,” said Fr. Justin Mathews, Executive Director and CEO.

In endorsing the Donor Bill of Rights, created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and other non-profit associations, FOCUS North America joins the United Way of America, the National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) and other leading non-profits in affirming our commitment to financial stewardship and programmatic excellence.

The Donor Bill of Rights

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

I. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.

II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.

III. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.

IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.

V. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.

VI. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.

VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.

VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.

IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.

X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

 

 

A TEAM OF 20 YOUTH SAID YES! TO THE POOR OF KANSAS CITY THROUGH FOCUS NORTH AMERICA

PDFPrintE-mail

For more information contact:
Ms. Katrina Bitar,
FOCUS North America YES / OYO Program Director
816.399.0909
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A TEAM OF 20 YOUTH SAID YES! TO THE POOR OF KANSAS CITY THROUGH FOCUS NORTH AMERICA

September 29th, 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This past weekend, a team of 20 youth participated in FOCUS North America’s YES Program (formerly known as OYO), serving our most needy neighbors in Kansas City.

They arrived from parishes in Wichita, KS, Oklahoma City, OK, and Kansas City, eager to be used by God to meet the fundamental needs of His people. They did not expect, however, that they would receive much more from the experience than they would give. After three intense days, the youth gained a new perspective on the poor and homeless: they came expecting to serve them, but, instead, found their own lives forever changed by the encounter.

“They are just like us,” one participant said. Another said, “I don’t know how anyone can come on a FOCUS North America YES trip and not be changed.”

Living out Matthew 25, the youth engaged in several social action projects throughout the weekend. They served and ate dinner with many homeless and working poor in the city, listening to their stories and enjoying fellowship with them. They distributed clothing to mothers who had no means to clothe their children. They walked around the famous outdoor Country Club Plaza in Kansas City with newly opened eyes, looking beyond the glamour to perceive and meet the needs of the homeless on the streets. But, as the youth realized, they themselves were fed and clothed by the face-to-face encounter with real living icons of Christ, with the poor of the city. As one participant said, “They really open themselves to you; they’ll sit and talk to you forever, when most people in school will never give their time to you like that.”

Staying at the Reconciliation Services building, a partner ministry of FOCUS North America, in the heart of inner city, proved to be a further blessing for the group. The experience of living in humble circumstances shed new light on God’s bounty in their lives and fostered their desire to share their resources and love for Christ with those in need.

The youth are now excited to return home and make consistent commitments to the poor in their own communities. This FOCUS North America YES trip not only equipped them with necessary tools to actively become living icons of Christ, but also to truly encounter Him in the poor they meet in their daily lives.

“I am constantly amazed at how God transforms those who have a pure desire to serve Him. It is through seeing themselves in reference to their Creator that these young people grew in their knowledge of who they truly are in God’s eyes. Instead of building their identity from unhealthy influences, the YES program of FOCUS North America provides them the opportunity to allow Christ to live through them and to experience the joy of being their true selves.”

–Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director


To bring the YES Program to your community, please contact Katrina Bitar- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Mission: As an expression of Christ’s love, FOCUS North America serves the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned by providing Food, Occupation, Clothing, Understanding, and Shelter.


FOCUS North America is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Donations can be made online at www.FOCUSNorthAmerica.org or checks can be made out to “FOCUS North America” and sent to:

PO Box 871578 Kansas City, MO 64187-1578

FOCUS-Release-YES-KC.doc and FOCUS-Release-YES-KC.pdf Versions

   

16 Teens and Youth Leaders Served the Poor of Philadelphia

PDFPrintE-mail

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rev. Fr. Justin Mathews,

Executive Director & CEO

816.399.0909

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ms. Katrina Bitar,

FOCUS North America YES Program Director

816.399.0909

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

16 TEENS AND YOUTH LEADERS SERVED THE POOR OF PHILADELPHIA AND INITIATED FOCUS NORTH AMERICA’S NEWEST PROGRAM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 4, 2009– Kansas City, MO

This past weekend, August 28-30, 2009, the Orthodox Youth Outreach Program (OYO), now called the YES Program of FOCUS North America (Youth Equiped to Serve), took its first trip as a ministry of FOCUS North America. A group of 16 eager teens and leaders said yes to the “cry of the poor” (Proverbs 21:13) and gave their time in service to the people of Philadelphia, PA.

The weekend began with orientation, led by Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director. The rest of Friday evening was spent in prayer, the team’s first ministry to Philadelphia. The group traveled around the city and prayed for it and its people. This prayer tour kicks off all YES trips, orienting the team to the past and present of the community they will serve and opening their eyes to the real struggles of its people.

Saturday was a fruitful day of ministry. The team spent their morning preparing and serving lunch to 75 homeless men and women. They then embraced the challenging task of weeding out a neglected garden that had previously been the joy of an impoverished community. Their work brought tears of excitement to the elderly in the community who did not have the strength and resources to maintain the garden themselves. The students concluded their day by bringing food, drink, and fellowship to the people who were spending that night outside in the rain in a Philadelphia park. The impact of this encounter was beyond words.

“Being face to face with the poorest of the poor opens a teenager’s eyes to the true meaning of Christian life. They come to see that God has equipped them for His work. They come to see that they have been given the resources to meet the fundamental needs of people. They come to love God in ways they never have before because they are deeply thankful for what they have been given. Most importantly, they realize what it means to be the Church; they become Christ for all people and learn to see Christ in everyone they meet in their daily lives,” said Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director.

The mission of FOCUS North America’s YES Program is training the youth to follow Christ’s example by dying to themselves. The program transforms them from observers into leaders through a four-step service learning process known as E4. They are Exposed, through interactive curriculum, to the reality of poverty in the world and in themselves. They are then Engaged in practical service to others, losing themselves in the encounter with men and women created and loved by Christ, striving to be flexible, available, and teachable. An intensive leadership training week further Equips those who have participated in at least two weekend YES trips to guide others in their service to the poor. Finally, the youth are Entrusted with continuing the mission of YES in their communities, to inspire, lead, and educate others.

The impact of this process was tangible in this weekend’s debriefing session. The students were asked to fill in the blank to this sentence: “My experience here has been ____.” These answers that were given are common to all YES participants: Amazing. Inspiring. Rewarding. Necessary.

The students’ weekend in Philadelphia is over, but their experience has committed them to dedicating their lives to those in need.

As one of the participants Christina Fakes said, “Now I don’t see the poor and needy as “poor people” or “homeless people,” but as actual people who have names and histories and loved ones, who need our help and compassion.”

“The mission of YES fits perfectly within FOCUS North America because its program guides and equips the youth to love and serve others, giving them the tools to create opportunities for service in their own parishes and, hopefully, to inspire future FOCUS North America leaders to dedicate their lives to Orthodox Christian social action,” said Fr. Justin Matthews, Executive Director, FOCUS North America.

FOCUS North America is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Donations can be made online at www.FOCUSNorthAmerica.org or checks can be made out to “FOCUS North America” and sent to:

PO Box 871578 Kansas City, MO 64187-1578

###

FOCUS-PHILADELPHIA-PR.pdf

 

FOCUS North America Extends Domestic Aid with Hundreds of Orthodox Youth Outreach Volunteers

PDFPrintE-mail

For more information contact:

Rev. Fr. Justin Mathews,

Executive Director & CEO

816.399.0909

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ms. Katrina Bitar,

FOCUS North America OYO Program Director

816.399.0909

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


FOCUS North America Extends Domestic Aid with

Hundreds of Orthodox Youth Outreach Volunteers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 6, 2009– Kansas City, MO

FOCUS North America is excited to announce the extension of its domestic outreach to the poor by receiving the highly acclaimed “Orthodox Youth Outreach” (OYO) program from the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry and Teen SOYO. Added to FOCUS North America’s diverse ongoing operations and partner ministries, the addition of the OYO program strengthens its domestic ministry to the homeless and hopeless by involving youth in urban service learning opportunities and social action leadership training.

“FOCUS North America, its Board of Directors and Staff are honored to receive OYO as part of its ongoing operations, extending and maximizing our programs to minister to the poor and raise up the next generation of Orthodox Christian servant-leaders in North America,” said Fr. Justin Mathews, Executive Director and CEO of FOCUS North America.

“It is with great joy and the blessing of his Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, that the North American Council of Teen SOYO gifts their Orthodox Youth Outreach program to FOCUS North America. FOCUS North America is the ideal home for OYO’s efforts to continue and expand its ministry to those in need in cities across North America,” Archpriest Joseph Purpura, Chairman, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Department of Youth Ministry.

FOCUS North America believes engaging all of the faithful, especially our youth, in the Gospel work of serving the poor in our own communities is essential in keeping the youth faithful to Christ and active in the Church for a lifetime. OYO has dramatically influenced the spiritual lives of its hundreds of participants in the last five years since its founding by Fr. Kevin Scherer.

“It is truly exciting to see OYO find a new home in FOCUS North America. I look forward to seeing what God continues to do through this incredibly fruitful program, forming youth in Christ through meeting him in our most needy neighbors. Now more than ever, we need supporters and enthusiasts for the OYO program. As FOCUS North America thrives in its domestic outreach to the poor with your prayers and support I am confident that OYO and our youth will thrive as well!” said Ms. Katrina Bitar, OYO Program Director.

Fr. Justin said, “We congratulate and are delighted to welcome Ms. Katrina Bitar as FOCUS North America’s newest staff member and Director of FOCUS North America’s OYO Program.”

FOCUS North America is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Donations can be made online at www.FOCUSNorthAmerica.org or checks can be made out to “FOCUS North America” and sent to:

PO Box 871578 Kansas City, MO 64187-1578

   

Page 4 of 5

FOCUS on Social Networks

facebook-128x128 twitter-128x128 youtube-128x128 rss-128x128
donate