The Orthodox Church in Action
Founded by Mr. Rangos more than two decades ago, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has become one of the world’s most effective humanitarian agencies. IOCC’s prime objective is to combine the charitable efforts of all adherents to the Orthodox Christian faith – regardless of nationality or ethnic origin (Greek, Serbian, Russian, Antiochian, Bulgarian, etc.) – in order to help people in need, regardless of their denominational affiliation.
IOCC’s first major effort involved two giant airlifts of food and medical supplies to Russia in early 1992. After the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union, millions of people were living in poverty, and were without access to basic medical care. In conjunction with the United States Government, IOCC airlifted over 115 tons of food and medical supplies from Pittsburgh to Moscow (150,000- and 80,000-plus pounds in two airlifts, respectively).
Those supplies provided thousands and thousands of children and families with the urgent medical treatment and humanitarian care which so many of them desperately needed. The Rangos Foundation gave more than $1 million to transport the goods from American warehouses to U.S. military planes in order to make the airlifts possible.
“If anything in Orthodox Christianity shines out for the whole world to see, it’s IOCC. It’s one of the finest philanthropic organizations in the world today. Its whole purpose is to live the Christian faith. It’s the Church in action. If we see people suffering – if we see our neighbors in trouble – it’s our duty as Christians to try to help them out,” said Mr. Rangos, who continues to be a driving force behind the organization today.