Some 80 people have died and 187 have been hospitalized, including at least 16 children, in the wake of the deadliest wildfires Greece has seen in years. Stoked by high winds, the flames quickly engulfed entire villages, particularly the village of Mati, in the area around Athens on Monday, giving people little time to escape the inferno. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared three days of mourning, saying the country is experiencing an “unspeakable tragedy,” per The Telegraph.
“Mati no longer exists,” said the mayor of the nearby village of Rafina, reporting on the decimation, adding that more than a thousand buildings and 300 cars had been damaged. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that the EU “will spare no effort to help Greece and the Greek people,” and NATO head Jens Stoltenberg offered the alliance’s full solidarity with Greece. The government has earmarked financial aid for victims and their relatives.
If you want to help your fellow human beings, here are four ways to get involved:
- Donate to the Red Cross: The Hellenic branch of the organization is already on the ground in Greece, helping the search and rescue efforts and providing first aid to victims. Read about their work in Athens here and donate here
- Donate to Desmos: Desmos, which means “bond” or “link” in Greek, is a nonprofit bridge between the private sector and NGOs. They are on the ground in Athens, helping collect goods and funds to deliver them to people, charities, and organizations in need. If you’re in Greece, they are collecting goods here, and if you’re far away, they are collecting monetary donations here and via GoFundMe here
- Give through the Order of AHEPA: The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is a Greek heritage service and philanthropy organization. They have set up a charitable fund to help the victims of the wildfire. Donate here.
- Donate to the Hellenic American Leadership Council: This Chicago-based group has launched a disaster relief campaign for the victims of the deadly wildfires. Support their Wildfire Relief Campaign on GoFundMe. The funds will provide direct financial aid to emergency services, including the Greek Red Cross, that are working to save lives and rebuild destroyed communities from the ground.