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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Crete For Life

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Emergency Assistance, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, General Hospitals, Health, Human Services

Mission: “Committed to children in need, working from Crete. Crete for Life is a child focused charity that works on practical projects to make an immediate and lasting impact on children’s lives.”

Results: Since 2005, our main project is an annual restorative, fun filled holiday on Crete for disadvantaged children. We have welcomed children coping with poverty, war, violence and life threatening diseases from Greece, Belarus (those affected by the consequences of the Chernobyl’s catastrophe) Syria, Iraq and from other parts of the world. Over recent years, in response to the Greek economic crisis and the unprecedented mass migration and refugee crisis, we have also moved into other areas of support: Helping refugees and migrants on the island of Crete and elsewhere in Greece, giving priority to unaccompanied minors and those most at risk. Supporting Crete’s University Hospital in Heraklion as well as other local hospitals that care for thousands of local and migrant children every year. Providing local children whose families & communities have suffered greatly from the economic downturn with practical help, medical assistance and emotional support.

Target demographics: Children who are the main victims of war, and of natural and man-made disasters

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 250 children and their families

Geographic areas served: Greece, Italy, Belarus

Programs: restorative summer camp, Food bank, online lesson during Covid-19

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Since the very beginning I have been interested in following this wonderful nonprofit organization, charmed by its total commitment to disadvantaged children, and by the brilliant idea of offering them a healthy and happy holiday away from it all in Crete.
Through the years I have had the chance to witness this commitment and its results: unbelievable how these holiday periods, together with a non stop care during the rest of the time, have helped these children, creating an everlasting positive effect, both phisical and mental.
Olimpia and all the people contributing to this project are doing a great job, and I can’t wait to see their future achievements.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Since 2006 I’m acquainted with the nonprofit organization Crete for life. I’ve seen it evolving and change with the demands and possibilities of these much changing times.
What I see is a strongly committed group of volunteers, that works with an almost professional zeal to reach the goals they set themselves each year and over the years. I see how they in different ways increase their knowledge in the field of fundraising.
What makes them overall trustworthy is that their yearly accurate accounting shows that 95-98% of the funds go to the aimed-for goals, which is possible because all work in this small but strong organization is done voluntarily.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a senior psychiatrist/psycho-analyst I empathize this organization because of its life stimulating programs for children and youngsters. Absolutely non-profit and transparent.
If you want to support clear projects for children in need,
by inheritance or donation, don’t hesitate.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Crete for life was a life changing experience. Not only because the people I have had the chance to share with, but also because the way it impacted my life.
I was deeply inspired by CFL as an organization itself, as well as by the founders and their vision for CFL.
If one is looking for a diverse experience (human but also with tangible impact), Crete For Life is a place where it is possible.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Da quando ho conosciuto Olimpia nel 1990 molte sono state le belle esperienze e viaggi che abbiamo condiviso.

Ma l’avventura più bella è stata, è e, spero, sarà darle una mano con la sua Associazione “Crete For Life”.

Crete for Life è stata creata per aiutare i ragazzi e bambini della Bielorussia, i cd. “bambini di Chernobyl”, offrendo loro un soggiorno estivo annuale e gratuito a Creta, appunto, in cui, per qualche giorno, abbandonare i loro problemi, scoprire nuove attività e soprattutto riprendersi e rivalutarsi.

Sono stata per due volte a Creta con Olimpia e i suoi ragazzi, ho condiviso le loro vacanze, facendo gite, giochi e giornate di mare. La fatica di una relazione con ragazzi e bambini non sempre facili, soprattutto in ragione del loro passato, è sempre stata ampiamente ripagata dalla loro voglia di vivere e conoscere il mondo al di fuori del loro.

Ma le attività di Olimpia e Crete for Life non si limitano a questo progetto.

Più recentemente sono andata con lei in un campo profughi vicino ad Atene, esperienza molto faticosa emotivamente ma allo stesso tempo anche molto arricchente.

Continuo a seguire Olimpia nella promozione di Crete for Life, insieme abbiamo organizzato una presentazione a Venezia e una in Puglia, sperando che ce ne siano, appena possibile, delle altre.

Quello che credo sia importante diffondere è il principio da cui parte il lavoro di Olimpia, che “troppi bambini intorno a noi devono affrontare grandi difficoltà” e il desiderio di poter cambiare qualcosa attraverso progetti locali, apparentemente piccoli, ma che lasceranno un grande segno su questi bambini.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Crete For Life is an amazing NGO that connects and helps young children, with difficulties, to play and learn at the same time, to make new friends, and to knowledge the Greek culture.
I have experienced volunteering for this fantastic organization for two years in a row and I met incredible adults and kids that taught me a lot.
I feel blessed that I have been part of the team.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

كريت فور لايف
في اول ايام تطوعي لم ادرك كم هذه المنظمة تساعد الناس وتدعمهم معنويآ واجتماعيآ وتأمن لهم الدروس
والرحلات الترفهية كان بلنسبة لي كل يوم هناك شيء جديد اشكر كل القائمين على هذا المشروع الغير ربحي واتمنى من الجميع الوثوق والتبرع

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of "Crete for Life" is truly a rewarding experience. There are multiple ways for individuals to be engaged with each other and the communities that "Crete for Life" serves. Since my participation as either a volunteer or a general member of the community, Greece has continually been challenged with external economic, political and civil pressures, yet despite these difficult periods the members of "Crete for Life" have been able to adapt their programing in ways that not only keep the organization a live, but are inclusive and grow at the international level. This is exciting and a testament to the generous nature of those that are committed to the mission of service and community building. My favorite programming is the implementation of Play for Peace and the distribution of needed items during the pandemic.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My start as a volunteer for CFL was helping raise money for a playground for the children’s unit at the University hospital in Heraklion. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to be a child treated for illness without some sort of escapism. The weather on Crete is so beautiful and the sun and outdoors are therapeutic. The fact the hospital had no playground only made me more motivated to appeal to others to change this situation. We were successful in raising the funds for a playground and even got so far as visiting vendors to find just the right one to make this dream a reality. Unfortunately, for now we are delayed due to Covid restrictions. I know it is only a matter of time before we are allowed to start our project. This will give children a way to temporarily forget about their illness and treatment and just enjoy life. I am proud that I participated in helping give something to the children here in Crete. Upon completion, I look forward to sending pics of the playground to all the generous people who made this possible.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been truly an amazing experience volunteering for Crete For Life. Olympia is the person that I have been collaborating with on many idea's and projects and it has been an honor. She's been so patient, easy to work with and understanding.

I've been inspired to help young children learn Greek and to build a friendship that I'm sure will last a lifetime. The satisfaction of giving is really special and I'm just grateful for the opportunity to do something good in my life. This has brought a lot of happiness into my life.

If you've ever thought about helping people, this is an excellent place to start. Just go for it!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Life lesson and humble accomplishment are one of the things that come naturally to my mind when I think of Crete for Life and the time I spent as a volunteer in this nonprofit between 2006 and 2009. Helping people in need and especially the most vulnerable have always been part of my personality and with Crete for Life I felt the need to put into practice these characteristics which had long been in my mind.

Helping and participating daily in the children's activities during their stay at the camp was a rewarding motivation that motivated me summer after summer. A deep harmony was felt in the camp between the children and the staff, thanks also to the big hearts of the Cretans. Needless to say, the climate and the Cretan food played a major role in the success of the camp.

I am no longer able to be so involved in person but I continue to support Crete for Life from abroad.

I can conclude that my participation in the first years of the development of Crete for Life played an important role in my perception and understanding of the real needs and priorities of people in need, in this case children, and I will carry it with me for the rest of my life.

Thank you Crete for Life!
Alessandro

5 Zuzana P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Crete for Life has been going on for many years, providing a safe refuge for numerous children from difficult circumstances. It is wonderful to see kids to flourish just after few weeks as personal care, attention, fun and activities in this healthy environment make everlasting effects on them.