Marking US Independence Day with Service

As I reflect on the many years God has granted me, with my 92nd birthday approaching, I am humbled to have had so many opportunities to serve. This July 4, I think of the freedoms that the United States affords and of how those liberties have allowed me to give to those in need—especially my fellow Greeks, our Greek American community here in the United States, and our beloved ancestral homeland across the Atlantic. I am deeply grateful.

Whether partnering with great universities to expand opportunities for young people to learn and innovate; whether standing in solidarity with Greeks or Americans in times of crisis; whether honoring heroes through the Medal of Honor Foundation—wherever I have worked, the goal has been to contribute to meaningful change and fresh opportunities.

One recent contribution, I am gratified to share, is the $100,000 matching challenge for Greece that I set for International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), an institution I have long supported. This Orthodox humanitarian agency, which I was privileged to help guide in its earliest days, is truly a gem in the US Orthodox community. With ongoing programs around the world, including emergency aid for families in need in Greece and support to help small businesses there grow, even amid economic crisis, IOCC relentlessly seeks ways to equip people to improve their lives. I am so thankful for all the donors who contributed to meet and then exceed the $100,000 target: their generosity is now part of IOCC’s tradition of service.

Service has been a guiding principle for me, a thread through many years. It is a Christian way of life, to reach and help others, even those we may never meet on this earth. It is my hope that you might also be inspired to share your gifts with our fellow human beings, taking up the baton and looking to the promise of tomorrow. For every one of us has something valuable to give, to the glory of God, in service to our neighbor.

— John G. Rangos Sr., Co-Founder International Orthodox Christian Charities

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