MONTEBELLO, Calif.,–On Tuesday, January 20th, as President-Elect Barack Obama was inaugurated as the Nation’s 44th President, members of Armenian Mesrobian School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) were on their way to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to donate over 500 cans of food for the needy. This was a response to President Barack Obama’s challenge to Americans to participate in National Day of Service activities and the Armenian National Committee of America’s (ANCA) subsequent “Cans for the Cause Campaign” to feed the hungry.
Mesrobian School students from Kindergarten all the way to High School did their parts by donating hundreds of food items in support of the “Cans for the Cause” campaign. All week long ASB members collected boxfuls of cans from classroom to classroom, where the students had enthusiastically stacked any food items they could get their hands on. Soon, a pile of food and cans flooded the school’s main office, ranging from boxes of Mac n’ Cheese to huge cans of tuna. In addition to donating their time and food, the students donated money to the ASB members to buy even more for their growing pile. When all was said and done the students had helped donate over 450 pounds of food to the Food Bank!
The ANCA answered President Barack Obama’s challenge to Americans by mobilizing Armenian-American groups and local activists to collect over 10,000 food items nationwide. Mesrobian’s effort was one of over 20 campaigns in cities across the U.S. in honor of U.S. humanitarian assistance efforts for survivors of the Armenian Genocide from 1915-1923. American humanitarian assistance to Armenian populations devastated in Turkey during the Hamidian massacres of 1895 and subsequently the Armenian Genocide of 1915 represented the first American Red Cross foreign humanitarian assistance campaign and was instrumental in saving countless lives.
Editor’s Note: Razmig Sarkissian is a senior at the Mesrobian Armenian School.