Greek Consul General Ilias Kremmydas (left) and Mothers Assisting Humanitarian Initiatives’ secretary Christina Zambus (right) listen as Golfo Tsakumis describes contents of the group’s shipment to Greece.

Greek Consul General Ilias Kremmydas (left) and Mothers Assisting Humanitarian Initiatives’ secretary Christina Zambus (right) listen as Golfo Tsakumis describes contents of the group’s shipment to Greece.

Peninsula group sends aid Athens’ way

Local Greek community comes together to aid homeland

In the Greek language, ‘mahi’ means fight or battle.

In the case of MAHI (Mothers Assisting Humanitarian Initiatives) – founded by White Rock resident Golfo Tsakumis – it’s clearly a matter of fighting the good fight.

This month, Tsakumis celebrated the assembling of a container-load of humanitarian-aid items for her native Greece at the Avra development on George Street (built by Tsakumis’ family, and where she and husband Bill now live).

Tsakumis noted it is the third such shipment created by her “group of seven moms” since last September.

Her organization received high-level recognition May 16, as Greek Consul General Ilias Kremmydas and Port Metro Vancouver harbour master George Giannakis came out to inspect the truckload of goods – which range from clothing, school and medical supplies to a disabled scooter – that will be shipped to Athens over the next month, expedited by Giannakis.

“Things are getting worse in Greece – there is much that needs to be done,” said Tsakumis, who was joined by MAHI secretary Christina Zambus – owner of White Rock’s Cosmos Restaurant – and other supporters, including members of the Patrides international Greek-language newspaper group.

Economic and political chaos in Greece has been compounded by natural disasters, including a recent earthquake on the island of Kefalonia, they explained.

“Children and mothers are suffering, as well as older people – our hearts couldn’t take it as mothers,” Tsakumis said of her decision to form her ad-hoc group, which was granted charitable status in 2012.

“It’s great to have such help from the Greek community here,” said Kremmydas. “This initiative has put the Greek population of the Vancouver area on the world map. They are less than 20,000 people, but of all the Greek communities around the world, this is among the top five (in providing aid).”

Also on hand to celebrate was Marianne Brown of the South Surrey Rotary Club, which, together with the White Rock Rotary Club, contributed the scooter. It is earmarked for a man who was disabled by strokes at an early age.

“Bless them – we can’t thank Rotary enough,” Tsakumis said.

She said her organization also partners with – and receives support from – SOS Children’s Villages International and the Big Sisters of B.C.

“We share some of the clothing we collect that may not be suitable for the climate in Greece,” she said, noting that among the current shipment to Athens is about 175 boxes of used and mostly new clothing.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock council say closure of the city’s pier, promenade and parking lots are not under consideration at this time, but have approved other COVID-19 options for the waterfront including stepped-up RCMP patrols that are already part of detachment planning. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock pier, promenade, parking lot closures off the table – for now

Council members warn decision subject to future provincial health orders

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
South Surrey, White Rock MLAs call Tuesday’s provincial budget ‘disappointing’

MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Trevor Halford say residents are getting less for more

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

(File photo)
Three young girls followed while walking home from school, Surrey police say

RCMP say suspect took off after girls went into nearby store for help

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read