Daughters of Penelope
30 Malvern Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23221
Antiklea Chapter #68 of the Daughters of Penelope was originally founded for the purpose of helping women and families of immigrants of Greek descent assimilate into early 20th century American society. Now, almost a century later, the main focus is to promote the social, ethical, philanthropic, cultural and intellectual interests of its members, while preserving and promoting the ideals and traditions of Hellenism in the community.
Antiklea #68 has, from its beginning, been active in fundraising for charity and for scholarships which are given annually to a daughter or granddaughter of an active member in good standing. Through the years, the Chapter has raised funds by various means:
--Bake sale at Easter featuring the Greek cookie "Koulourakia" made by the chapter members; and also the braided Greek bread "Tsoureki". Recently, "Vasilopita" bread has been added. These delicious items are always very popular with the church community.
--A "Psalm" CD project which featured a church choir member reading selected Psalms while the choir sung the "Liturgy of Peace" in the background.
--An annual "Variety Show" featured a delicious dinner prepared by the Chapter and an exciting evening of entertainment provided by talented parishioners.
--Annual "Scholarship Dinner & Dance" was co-hosted with the Richmond AHEPA Chapter and raised money for scholarship awards.
--Holy Land Crafts sale at the November Mini-Festival.
The Chapter is most appreciative of the kindness shown by our priest and parish and is always willing to contribute. When a set of altar vestments became stained and worn, Antiklea donated a set of altar vestments made by a nun at a monastery in the Ukraine. Founders Day of the Daughters of Penelope (November 16, 1929) is celebrated by providing artoklasia and hosting hospitality coffee following Liturgy.
A special charitable project, "The Red Tent", began in 2015 and continues today. The Sisters of Antiklea #68 were inspired to create this project by an article in the New York Times, "Hygiene and heartache: Homeless women's daily struggle to keep clean", pointed out the risks and dangers faced by these women: "Staying clean is part of a daily struggle for women who live on the streets, where maintaining a sense of dignity is a time-consuming and potentially dangerous endeavor." The Sisters discovered that one of the main problems is a lack of donated sanitary products. Donations of toiletries to homeless organizations seldom include sanitary supplies. A hygiene routine is key to recovering a sense of self and helps to build a woman's self-worth and value. Having the proper supplies is necessary to achieve this goal. Every year during Lent, the Sisters of Antiklea 68 collect feminine hygiene products, adult diapers, disposable wipes, and more. Cash is also accepted and is used solely for purchase of these products. All products collected, or purchased with cash donations, is delivered to Richmond-area women's homeless shelters.
During the pandemic, the Sisters realized the importance of staying in touch but also to have opportunities to meet new people. Meetings were held on Zoom but more social contact was needed. "Chew & Chat" and the Antiklea Book Club were a product of that need for more contact. Chapter members are happy to be able to hold meetings in person again and to enjoy fun outings and activities.