WHY GREECE NEEDS YOUR HELP
The Greek crisis has hit all aspects of life in Greece, but the impact on Greece's Olympic team is a particularly symbolic development. Athletes in Greece barely have enough funds to train. The Hellenic American Leadership Council, in partnership with the Athens Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, is launching an unprecedented grassroots funded effort to help these young, talented atheletes. With your help, we can ensure they have the resources they need to go into the 2012 Olympic games strong!
First, let's look at how dire the situation is for the youth in Greece who are trying their best to represent their country. Ken Maguire in The New York Times details how Greece's Olympic athletes have had their training severely curtailed because of the economic crisis:
"What happens if the country that invented the Olympics cannot afford to produce Olympic athletes?
As this summer’s London Games approach, that notion is causing great angst in Greece, where elite athletes are feeling the sting of austerity measures in the face of a historic debt crisis. [...]
Athletes say their financial stipends are frequently months late, and it is common for coaches to go months without paychecks. Training centers have fallen into disrepair or have closed. A sports psychologist who counsels Greek athletes is working pro bono these days.
Greeks will compete in London, but they will perhaps be limping a bit at the opening ceremony July 27.
“Young athletes are very skeptical about continuing when they see that the top athletes are not receiving what they deserve, that they are not supported as they should be,” Vassilios Sevastis, the president of the Greek amateur athletics association, known by the acronym Segas, said through an interpreter. “This is the major risk.” [...]
The situation directly affects the ability of Greece's top athletes to train and prepare to represent their country:
"Filippidis trains indoors at the Olympic Stadium complex. He said the heat was on for just one hour a day. On a recent visit, just a few athletes were training there, and a large plastic container was positioned in a long-jump lane — not to be leapt over but to catch water leaking from the skylight above.
Alkisti Avramidou, a water polo player, said that “I think twice” before spending even one euro and that it was becoming hard to ask her parents for help."
The crisis has even impacted the torch relay in Greece, but sponsors have already stepped up to help fund that effort:
"Despite the fact that we have huge financial difficulties as a country ... we won't scale down on what we are going to do on Greek soil about the torch relay," HOC head Spyros Capralos said. "It's going all around the country ... to remind all our fellow countrymen of the importance of the torch, the importance of the Olympic Games, that everything started from here."
HOW OUR GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN WORKS
The Hellenic American Leadership Council and the Athens Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International are launching a grassroots sponsorship initiative fueled by you and Greeks across the globe. Here's how it will work:
1. Donate any amount to help the Greek Olympic Team.
Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by applicable state or federal law and will be sent directly to qualified Olympic athletes in Greece.
2 Your donation will be matched.
No matter what amount you give -- $10 or $100 -- your donation will be matched 100% by donors who have already pledged to help fuel this grassroots campaign. What does that mean? By donating today, you'll be doubling your impact and doubling the assistance to Greece's most talented athletes.
3. Your donation goes directly to help Greece.
Our organization isn't going to keep a dime. Every single penny will go directly to the Help Greece Go For Gold Campaign. The only overhead cost that affects the amount of your ultimate donation is a small processing fee (a 4.9% transaction fee) required by Fundly, our campaign processor. All of the other costs, including campaign administration, marketing, design and everything in between is being absorbed by HALC. This way, you can be sure that your donations go directly to assistance efforts for young Greek athletes, not administrative costs.
4. Your donation will make an impact right away.
We've set a goal of raising at least $20,000.
5. You'll see your donation in action.
We'll be bringing you updates from the Greek athletes you'll be funding so you can see how your donation is having a real-world impact on their lives. During the Olympics, you'll be able to cheer on Greece's Olympic Team knowing you were an integral part in their success.
Donate just $10 today and help the Greek Olympic Team!
WHO'S BEHIND THIS CAMPAIGN?
People just like you! The campaign is being administered by the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), a revolutionary new grassroots organization. You can learn more about HALC at its website, www.hellenicleaders.com. HALC is absorbing the marketing and other costs associated with launching the program so that every dollar you donate can go directly to the Help Greece Go For Gold Campaign. HALC is a 501(c)(4) organization which has partnered with the Athens Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, a 501(c)(3) organization that will ensure your donation goes directly to the Olympic Committee in Greece and its athletes.