Philoptochos, established in 1931 by the late Patriarch Athenagoras I, means "Friend of the Poor" and is the philanthropic arm of the Archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Philoptochos is a non-profit, tax exempt organization which has earned the distinction of being the second largest philanthropic organization in the United States.
There are nine dioceses which comprise the national Philoptochos organization. The Holy Trinity Philoptochos is a part of the San Francisco Diocese. On this level, Philoptochos serves as the liaison between the national organization and local chapters. Philoptochos is volunteer-driven and initiates or supports many church activities and charitable projects.
The Portland chapter is uniquely organized into a "circle" concept in order to enhance membership participation. Members may join any one of six smaller, more intimate circles. Monthly meetings promote fellowship and spiritual sharing through service projects and chapter activities. The full membership meets bi-annually to review and approve Philoptochos programs.
The Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church has been involved in philanthropic projects for over fifty years. One of the main on-going fundraising activities of the organization is the operation of Philo House, a volunteer-staffed thrift shop established in 1979. Proceeds support welfare and activities for senior citizens.
In 1995, the Holy Trinity Philoptochos initiated Kids 'N' Cancer: Camp Agape. This annual week-long camp, operating out of Camp Angelos on the Sandy River, provides children with cancer and their families a time to be together with meals, lodging, and activities free of cost; all they have to do is enjoy each other.
Other current activities sponsored by the Portland, Oregon Chapter include providing support to the National Children's Cardiac Fund, The Salvation Army, Project Mexico, Ionian Village (a spiritual camp in Greece), the hellenic college/Holy Cross Seminary, local Greek and Sunday School programs, the annual Greek Festival and annual academic scholarships to community youth.
The Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Portland, Oregon embodies the principles of a Christian ministry while offering support, assistance and encouragement to all in need.