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August 2010 E-newsletter


FOCUS North America Latest News

Because of You, FOCUS Orange County Provides School Supplies and Shoes for At Risk Youth

This month, more than 300 church members from 6  Orthodox parishes and missions collected and distributed 350 backpacks filled with school supplies for underprivileged kids living in motels in Orange County.  In addition to the backpacks, 350 pairs of shoes were collected at shoe drives by the local Orthodox community.

On August 28, FOCUS Orange County will be grilling out for residences at the Eldorado Motel, a shelter for recently-made-homeless families. Also, beginning in September we will begin to serve weekly meals at the Eldorado Hotel or another similar venue with our mobile hospitality truck.

With Your Help, FOCUS Appalachia will Soon be Hosting More Short Term Service Groups


The leadership team of FOCUS Appalachia will soon be inviting all of the Orthodox Churches from all jurisdictions in the Eastern time zone to send short term service groups to help out individuals and families in need in the area. A local girls’ mission that recently closed has given FOCUS Appalachia a dormitory to house volunteers. Our first teams will help with the rehabilitation of this building.

Thanks to You, FOCUS Minnesota Celebrates First Divine Liturgy in its New Building


On Saturday August 14, 2010, with the blessing and cooperation of the Minnesota Eastern Orthodox Christian Clergy Association (MEOCCA), the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the newly acquired center for FOCUS Minnesota. Five clergy concelebrated the Divine Liturgy, and we were honored by the presence of Fr. Justin Mathews, Executive Director of FOCUS North America, who traveled from Kansas City with his wife Matushka Jodi, to be with us that day. The premises were blessed, and following that a lunch was served to all. Approximately 40 guests from the neighborhood came to eat with us and share our table fellowship. Eleven Orthodox parishes were represented! This event served as an Open House for FOCUS Minnesota and officially launched our presence in the Twin Cities.  The Grace of the Holy Spirit has opened many doors for us already. A menu of services is shaping up for September that will include weekly AA meetings, a clothes closet, taking our free meals from once a  month to two times a month, an after-school reading circle, and a school-shoe drive. Glory to God for all good things!

Through Your Generous Donations, FOCUS Gateway City Continues to Expand Its Ministry


St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church has generously donated to FOCUS Gateway City space for its ministry.  FOCUS Gateway City is now serving two community meals a month. It will soon be adding a six week money management class for women with crisis pregnancies already being served through its Employment Assistance Program and Working Wardrobe Programs.  The “Seniors in the City Work Day” program, where volunteers help seniors make repairs to their homes, is now happening one Saturday a month.

You’ve Helped Start Ministry at FOCUS Central Florida


Thirty-one volunteers from four local area parishes in Central Florida, as well as two volunteers who drove 120 miles, collaborated to prepare and serve a meal to more than 200 homeless on Friday, August 6. The team plans another feeding on September 24th.

FOCUS San Diego Continues its Weekly Meals, Thanks to You


Because of your help, over the last 30 days the Focus-San Diego team has engaged 120 individual volunteers from seven different Orthodox churches to set-up, prepare and serve more than 800 meals, collectively, on the four Wednesday nights during the time period July 15 to August 15.

YES Program of FOCUS North America Hosts Trip Leader Training Weekend

YES North America

The YES Program of FOCUS North America held a fruitful and joyful trip leader training the weekend of August 13-15, 2010.  Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director, invited 9 dedicated individuals to Los Angeles where they spent the weekend at the Fred Jordan Mission getting to know the ins and outs of the YES program and developing a strong community with each other.  We are blessed to have them as vital members of our ministry team as we move towards eight exciting trips this fall. Visit our website for more information on upcoming yes trips in the following cities: Ypsilanti, MI; Dallas, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Phoenix, AZ; Chicago, IL; Rhode Island and the Carolinas.



Board of Directors:

Mr. Charles Ajalat,

Mr. William Hoeft,
Vice Chairman

Dr. Julie Papatheofanis, MD,
V. Rev. Fr. Tom Avramis,
Mrs. Lory Barsdate Easton,
Mr. Brian Gerich,
Ms. Georgia Kazakis

Fr. Justin Mathews,
Executive Director

Advisory Board

Mr. Andrew Natsios,

Mrs.Theodora Polamalu
Mr. Peter Marudas
Mrs. Maria Foscarinis
Fr. Gregory Matthewes-Green
Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green
Mr. Joel Smith


For a Complete List of Our
Partner Ministries Click Here

Send Donations to:

FOCUS North America
PO Box 871578

Kansas City, MO

Contact Us:

FOCUS North America
Toll Free: 1-866-267-3083

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