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The Hellenic Initiative Makes A $25,000 Grant To Support Blood Donation Efforts In Greece

Non-profit organization ‘Bloode’ raises awareness of critical issue for healthcare in Greece

Alexandra Hospital is one of the locations for blood drives organized by Bloode

The Hellenic Initiative (THI) has made a $25,000 grant to Bloode, a non-profit organization the primary mission of which is to address the pressing issue of blood shortage in Greece.  The funds provided will enable Bloode to hire one full time employee who will be responsible for running the organization’s blood donation initiatives and fostering stronger partnerships with various public hospitals. 

Founded in 2012, THI is a global non-profit organization that brings together Diaspora Greeks and Philhellenes to invest in Greece today through programs focused on economic development and crisis relief. Since its founding, THI has invested over $20 million in Greece and is one of the largest Greek Diaspora organizations in the world.

Natalia Kritsali, Bloode’s Founder and President, was motivated – like many of Greece’s pioneering social entrepreneurs – by a personal experience. She learned about Greek society’s dire blood donation shortfall when a friend of hers needed blood. 

Kritsali and two of her classmates began to address the problem as they learned about its seriousness and scope. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Greece is one of the six European countries that cannot fully cover all its blood needs through its network of volunteer blood donors. 

In 2019, only 63% of the needs for blood were covered by volunteers despite WHO’s directive that all nations cover their national blood needs from volunteer blood donors by 2020. Annually, Greece needs around 550,000-600,000 blood units, and it is estimated that between 25-30% of those are needed for people below the age of 60. The country’s 37% shortfall in donated blood supply is needed for patients of Thalassemia (19%), with a remaining 18% needed to cover the needs of the chronic cancer patients, both adults and children. 

Bloode’s work is focused on helping the National Blood System to become self-sustaining and able to fulfil all the country’s annual blood needs. They actively support the blood donation process, particularly the communication between hospitals and patients. In addition, Bloode organizes blood drives and is making strides towards its ultimate vision of connecting donors directly with beneficiaries by increasing information available to citizens and doctors.  Patients seeking blood can also make inquiries through the platform at

George P. Stamas, THI Board President, stated: “THI is known for addressing the economic dimension of the Greek crisis. While Greece has made tremendous progress in this regard, the aftermath of the crisis persists, including critical situations in healthcare.  Raising public awareness of critical healthcare issues like blood donation shortfalls is critical to people getting treatment. Organizations like Bloode are truly life-saving.”

Andrew N. Liveris, THI Board Chairman stated: “THI is committed to providing support to worthy and impactful organizations like Bloode. Whether in remote towns or islands, in the summer when the population of Greece expands dramatically through tourism, or in the daily lives of Greek citizens, worthy NGOs such as Bloode can have a meaningful impact in improving healthcare and lives in Greece.”

Volunteers donating blood at Impact Hub, Amalia Fleming Hospital

At Serafeio, Agios Savvas Hospital, volunteers are donating blood