Greece is a country with a modern, independent existence ranging just two centuries back. Still it is a society with deep roots in history and with an equally strong sense of collective belonging – also with an important, quite successful Diaspora. So, when the newly formed Greek State had to build social infrastructure, from education to health to transport etc., it relied heavily on donations coming from successful Greeks, mainly of the Diaspora. These donations supplemented its meagre fiscal resources.
This saga of benefaction that evolved subsequantly is the object of “Benefaction in Modern Greece: Theory and History”, a book by Matoula Tomara-Sideris, Professor of Historical Demography and Cultural Attitudes, published by Kerkyra Publications-economia Publishing.
One further distinguo that merits attention is the one between the action of benefactors and the acts of volunteers; the latter entail the contribution of personal time and effort turned toward collective goals. Still, both forms of social behavior express a sense of duty aiming to ameliorate the life of a community to which the volunteer feels either indebted of closely affiliated to.