History of the DAUGHTERS OF PENELOPE

 

The non-profit organization DAUGHTERS OF PENELOPE was founded on 16 November 1929 in San Francisco, California, under Alexandra Apostolides’ initiative, who created the EOS Chapter #1 with 25 members. 

Her inspiration of a strong Hellenic women’s organization has progressed into an international non-profit organization whose members are leaders in philanthropic, educational and cultural activities.

With its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the organization also has chapters in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia. The Daughters of Penelope is an AHEPA affiliate. The AHEPA family consists of four orders : AHEPA (men’s organization), Daughters of Penelope (women’s organization), Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena (youth organizations).

The Daughters of Penelope promote: 

  • Education
  • Philanthropy
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Family & Individual Excellence
  • Hellenism

 

THE STORY OF PENELOPE

In ancient Greek mythology, Penelope was the wife of Odysseus, King of Ithaca. Odysseus left her with their son, Telemachus, when he went off to fight in the Trojan War.

After the war ended, numerous mishaps and weary wanderings kept Odysseus from returning home.

As time went on, Odysseus did not return, and many suitors tried to claim Penelope’s hand in marriage. Penelope waited faithfully for her husband’s return while outwitting and warding off her suitors. She insisted she could not remarry until she had finished weaving a shroud for the eventual funeral of her father-in-law, Laertes. She claimed that she would remarry as soon as the shroud was completed. At night, she secretly unraveled what she had woven by day. In the end, her husband Odysseus returned home after an absence of twenty years. 

The name of our Order, Daughters of Penelope, symbolizes all the noble virtues that made up the character of Penelope.

 

Penelope & the Suitors

John William Waterhouse – 1912

 

 DAUGHTERS OF PENELOPE LOGO

 

 

  • The Head of Penelope, appearing in ancient headdress, symbolizes friendship and womanhood, and is significant of the very foundation of life, home and country.
  • The Olive Wreath, encircling the head of Penelope, is symbolic of the only prize given to the Olympic victors, participating in the ancient Olympic Games.
  • The Cross is a symbol of Christian faith, and the Crossed Sabers are taken from the Shield of the Greek Nation.
  • The Eagle symbolizes the United States, where the Organization was founded.
  • The letters (Theta-Pi) stand for Θυγατέρες της Πενέλοπης for which we are known as the Daughters of Penelope.

 

 

The Daughters of Penelope additionally support:

 

 

 

The Daughters of Penelope are internationally involved in local community projects:

 

  • Alzheimer’s Foundation
  • Autism Research
  • Barbara Bush Foundation for Literacy
  • Blood Donation Drives
  • Bone Marrow Registry
  • Breast Cancer Research
  • Children’s Hospitals
  • Guide Dogs of America
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Disaster Relief Funds
  • Heart & Stroke Research
  • Hellenic Homes for the Aged
  • Juvenile Diabetes
  • Kidney Foundation
  • Lupus Research
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Palliative Care
  • Special Olympics
  • Tournament of Roses Float
  • UNICEF
  • YWCA
  • and many more …