GLENDALE–Armenian Relief Society (ARS) members say the ARS takes with one hand–but gives out with both. The ARS of Western US accomplished that this holiday season as it received and generously donated gifts to the needy–once again–bringing joy to children during the Christmas season.
"The Social Services offices and our entire membership and staff work so hard to benefit and serve our people locally and abroad," said Angela Savoian–Chair of the ARS Regional Executive Board. She added–"We are humbled by the generosity of our donors who allow us to fulfill our commitmen’s."
During the week of December 20–the ARS Social Services Center in Montebello handed out baskets to needy clients from surrounding communities. Then–on January 4–the ARS Social Services Center in Glendale gave gifts to needy children from surrounding cities of Glendale–Burbank–and Pasadena. In a festive atmosphere at the ARS Glendale headquarters–nearly a hundred children sang and recited poetry for Santa–as he handed gifts to them one by one.
Among the donators were Vahan and Anoush Chamlian Armenian School in Glendale; HyeRiders–a motorcycle club; Alpha Epsilon Omega–an Armenian fraternity; the Arcadia Police Department; and the Armenian Social Work Caucus of Cal State Los Angeles School of Social Work. The Commerce Casino–a giving and regular donor to ARS projects–donated one thousand dollars to provide Christmas gifts to the needy. The gifts also included sweaters donated through the efforts of Congressman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA 29th District) district office.
Cong. Schiff arranged for the donation of sweaters from Pasadena resident Sam C. Y. Ip–President and CEO of TOP-In Fashion–to the ARS and eight other non-profit organizations. On December 14–ARS Regional Executive member and Pasadena resident–Maral Nashalian-Arsenian met Cong. Schiff and his staff at the warehouse–where the donated clothing was being distributed to the agencies. Nashalian remarked–"We wholeheartedly thank Congressman Schiff for his continued support and for facilitating the donation of the very much needed 630 sweaters for distribution to needy families here and abroad."
Pasadena was once again the place to be for a toy ride and coin drive for the ARS organized by the HyeRiders. The donors were motorcycle riders–Armenian and non-Armenian–who came to the Pasadena Armenian Center on December 18–with toys and donations in hand. ARS Executive Accountant-Controller–Jassik Jarahian–provided support to AREV–a young women’s group who organized the coin drive–while ARS Regional Executives were on hand to provide information about on-going ARS programs within the Western Region and in Armenia.
The Alpha Epsilon Omega–a fraternity whose top priority is academic achievement–delivered gifts to the ARS headquarters in Glendale during the last week of December for distribution here and abroad.
The ARS helps the needy year round. When ARS members arrive in a remote village in Armenia or Artsakh bearing gifts–an ordinary summer day turns into a holiday for the villagers–especially for the children. The ARS Regional Executive expresses sincere gratitude to all who have provided financial and moral support throughout the year for any one of the ARS projects or funds. The circle of giving continues "from your heart–to our heart–to the hearts of those we serve."