We Greeks have a custom called “podariko.” I’ve heard it used when people move into a new home, or when a new business opens. The “kalo podariko” is intended to be the good first step for new beginnings.
Of course, podariko is also a big part of the New Year celebrations. Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, people turn off the lights and exit their homes, entering again for the first time with the right foot, sometimes carrying the family icon. The custom is believed to bring the home good luck, health and prosperity in the coming year.
Others believe that good “podariko” at the new year is critical to guide what the rest of the year will be like. It’s a sort of Greek “karma.” Do good and good will continue.
So, in keeping with this old tradition, I decided to start something new, but based on the notion of doing something good to start the New Year. I’m sure you agree, we all could use some good vibes for the start of this year.
I’ve launched a $21 for ’21 campaign to allow a mass movement of “Kalo Podariko”— or a positive start to the new year, by trying to enlist 1,000 of my friends, family, readers and supporters to give $21 to the Greek America Foundation’s #ChildrenOfGreece campaign.
We’re supporting five charities in Greece that tend to the needs of thousands of sick, abused, abandoned and disenfranchised kids.
I made the first donation to the campaign and I made it in memory of my mother and father— an appropriate memorial to the people who first instilled in me the love I have for the country of Greece and whose ideals I try to espouse on a daily basis with my work.
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with these kids over the past few years during my travels to Greece and I can tell you— actually, I can assure you— that the work being done by these charities is critical and your money will go a long way.
You can read more about the five charities here, if you like.
Furthermore, this chart from the European Union might startle you. According to 2019 data, after Bulgaria and Romania, Greece has the third highest rate of childhood poverty. It’s shocking.
Of course, I’m also aware that people don’t like giving to Greece— or anywhere internationally for that matter— which is why we safeguard our donations and offer full accountability and transparency and I personally follow the work of the various organizations we support. (More reading if you would like– This is how the Greek America Foundation handles donations to Greece.)
As of December 2020, we have already sent $30,000 to the charities and with your help, this year we will send more.
Click this link and see the growing list of donors and if you have it in your heart, and wallet— I’d appreciate it if you could give $21 for 2021.
And after you do, please share the link. Let people know you donated and supported the #ChildrenOfGreece campaign and this is your way to start the New Year doing good.