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Each year, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America designates the Sunday before US Thanksgiving Day as “IOCC Sunday.”  This year’s commemoration falls on Sunday, November 18.

International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC], the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Bishops, is supported by generous donations from Orthodox Christians.  Since its establishment in 1992, IOCC has provided emergency relief, sustainable development and self-help programs to people in need worldwide.  Programs are active in more than 50 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America.  All assistance is provided based on need without discrimination and benefits orphans, refugees and displaced persons, the elderly, school children, families and people with disabilities.  The IOCC web site features news of country programs and of IOCC’s ever-expanding Emergency Response Network.

To assist parishes in highlighting IOCC’s ministries, a variety of resources, including the IOCC Sunday Encyclical from the Assembly of Bishops.  Also available online are bulletin/newsletter inserts and posters.  IOCC suggests that youth can get involved by organizing an emergency-kit drive or hosting a small IOCC fundraiser—bake sale, angel tree, spaghetti dinner, etc.  Parishes wishing to set up an information table during coffee hour are invited to contact an IOCC outreach coordinator—call 410-243-9820 or write to—to request posters, prayer booklets, brochures, icon cards, magnets and other materials for distribution.

Contributions may be made on-line, by toll-free call to 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or by mail to IOCC, PO Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297-0429.