Alexandra Samoilis is a THI New Leader Star
In September, Alexandra began a fundraiser on facebook in memory of her mother Michele Samoilis, who was not Greek herself, yet cherished Greece via her husband and his heritage and roots. Alexandra shared her story and connection to her Greek descent (Corfu, Greece) and has touched many. Alexandra wanted to give back to Greece, a country her mother cherished, and support her community. She chose and trusted The Hellenic Initiative to do this with her. We couldn’t be more thankful.
In Alexandra’s words: “I watched my mother happily embrace Greek culture and Heritage in several different ways from teaching Greek Orthodox Sunday School, perfecting traditional Greek recipes, practicing the Greek language, falling in love with Greek music (Yannis Parios and Sakis Rouvas), and sharing her own beautiful, warm hospitality with family, friends and even strangers in Greece almost every summer.
I first heard of THI when I started to research Greek American organizations aside from AHEPA when I was caring for my mom and realized I would not go back to Corfu or Athens in the foreseeable future. I had signed up for membership for the year in December of 2022 and at that time, the Gala was sold out but I attended the cocktail hour the night before.
At that time, I told myself and even my mom that I would become more active or make myself more available to THI. I work for a corporate reputable elevator company in North Jersey but have a degree in Public Health, and a love for giving back to the community and connecting with others, motivating others and providing a safe space.
When I came across THI – I just knew it was an organization that would provide me comfort and loved that Diaspora is often talked about.
My mother knew this organization meant a lot to me and how I wanted to get involved. When she passed, I read more about the mourning period in Greek Orthodox religion and noted that it is encouraged to donate or fundraise. So THI came to mind. When I went to prepare my fundraising efforts I came across one of THI’s members’ statements that said that as long as you have an appreciation, or connection to Greek culture and our heritage, then you are more than welcome with THI. These words solidified my decision to fundraise her Legacy with THI.
In the days after, a good friend of my mothers from Greece, reached out and told me how much my mother would love this.”
To date, Alexandra has raised over $2,600 in her mother’s memory just on facebook, let alone what she has raised with her cash box at their family bagel shop. Her donation is making a huge difference for the People of Greece. #OliMazi