Ahepa, the American Hellenic Educational Progress Association, was an organization founded in the 1920s at a time when a lot of people were immigrating to the United States and would need support when they got here. The people that would support them would be other Greeks, either financially, offering a place to stay or giving them a job. In the beginning, Ahepa just helped Greek immigrants, but now it has developed into a more philanthropic organization since not too many Greeks are immigrating anymore.
The wives of those in Ahepa eventually formed The Daughters of Penelope, which I do a lot of work with. We have built four buildings for the low-income elderly, which house about 160 tenants. The Daughters have their own building with 53 units in Ankeny, and we call it Penelope 38. I worked very hard for three years to be approved by HUD. I applied twice and was turned down, but the third time I made it and we built the apartment building. We were the first ladies group in the country to build a building like that for the elderly. I think for me, building the housing for these people who are very appreciative was the most rewarding thing I have done in my life.