In January 2014, intense earthquakes rattled the Greek island of Kefalonia for one week, causing serious damages to the port of Lixouri, road infrastructure, water and electricity networks, hundreds of public buildings, homes and shops, while leaving numerous islanders practically homeless, in the winter heavy rain and low temperatures.
During the following weeks, Kefalonia was in a state of emergency extensively covered by the media: thousands of homeless residents stayed with relatives, on boats, in the make-shift tenament in a soccer field set up by the government, while schools and businesses remained closed. In the wake of this calamity, the public responded to Desmos’ call for help: in just 2 days, thanks to the donations of hundreds of individuals, 16 schools in Athens, companies and charitable organizations, we collected 150 tons of emergency supplies, such as water, food and hygiene products. With the amazing help of our volunteers in Athens and Kefalonia, we were able to send every single item to the Charity Parish of St. Gerasimos in Kefalonia. The vital goods were sorted and distributed by volunteers of the Parish, Desmos and the municipality to 561 families in Lixouri, the most afflicted by the earthquake area.
Having identified reliable key partners on the ground, we moved from responding to emergency needs to helping afflicted areas and populations rebuild and return their lives to normal.
Recommending specific infrastructure projects related to the earthquake aftermath to companies and foundations we were able to channel resources in support of the areas’ home for the elderly.
Thanks to TIMA Foundation we were able to to provide the Municipal Home for the Elderly of Lixouri, the oldest charity in Kefalonia with continuous charitable work since 1912, with 27 much needed new hospital beds for the proper care of the bedridden seniors.
With the support of Ancient Greek Sandals and their 1€ donation for every pair of shoes sold during the summer of 2014, we were able to replace old and extremely heavy portable oxygen tanks for the elderly (14kg each) with contemporary slick ones (at 4kg), 10 new beds and more state-of-the-art equipment, bringing the Municipal Elderly Home of Argostoli into the 21st century.
The most precious Desmos memory from the Kefalonia experience was primarily the public’s genuine outpour of help and how seamlessly volunteers, donors and local authorities worked together to accomplish an incredibly important goal: to provide support quickly, efficiently and respectfully to the people of Kefalonia afflicted by a natural disaster beyond their control. It really can happen to everyone and we must all stand by each other at such times!
We are so proud to have been part of this tremendous effort and extremely grateful to each and every person involved in this collective effort.
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