SEAL BEACH—The Paros Lighthouse Foundation is an angel of mercy to Armenia’s most needy and often forgotten souls, especially during the holiday season.
If a family needs warm clothes or food staples for the winter, a victim of domestic violence needs a sponsor to help her start a new life, a handicapped boy needs a wheelchair, or a village needs school supplies, the Foundation is ready to take action. The organization’s dynamic founders, Zuhrab and Seta Ghazarian, have made this extraordinary outreach their life’s work.
As the holidays approach, the Paros Lighthouse Foundation will serve dozens of families living in Armenia’s most destitute villages and who would normally go without adequate food, winter clothing and toys this season. On October 24th, Hratch and Araz Ghazarian hosted a beautiful reception and silent auction in their home in Huntington Beach to raise money for Armenia’s most needy at Christmastime. With over 60 supporters in attendance, the Foundation collected more than $10,000 at the event. Guests were treated to a moving video presentation, titled “Paros’s Work in 2010,” showing uplifting images of the countless people helped by the Foundation this year.
“We are grateful to our friends and supporters who have heard our call to action and donated to our Foundation. We need everyone’s help to change and improve the lives of our people in Armenia during the holidays and throughout the year,” comments Seta Ghazarian.
The extensive list of assistance and services provided by the Foundation is a testament to Zuhrab and Seta’s tireless devotion and generous spirit. Most recently, the Foundation’s staff participated in a seminar, titled “Violence is a Hard Crime,” organized by the Women’s Rights Centre in Yerevan. The main goal of the seminar was to find ways to break the silence of abuse in Armenia. The issue of abuse against women has captured the attention of the Armenian people after the recent the death of Zaruhi Petrosyan, the 20-year-old mother who was severely beaten by her husband and mother-in-law.
“We believe this is an issue that Armenians in the Diaspora should weigh in on. All of us need to condemn domestic violence against women in Armenia and do whatever necessary to protect the victims from their abusers,” states Ghazarian.
In June 2011, after more than a decade of work in Armenia, the Foundation will be moving to a new 13,000 square foot complex. The complex will be the headquarters of the Foundation, with administrative offices as well as doctors and dental offices to serve the needy at no charge. Ten rooms will safely house and feed neglected mothers with their newborns as well as pregnant women. The building will have a large hall to use for Bible study, educational seminars and instructional courses, including on-site vocational training to empower women with new skills. Adjacent to the complex is the Foundation’s existing warehouse where donations of clothing, shoes, blankets, and medical equipment, among many other things, will continue to be sorted and distributed.
Zuhrab and Seta Ghazarian have been providing assistance to the poorest of the poor in Armenia since 2000. The idea of Paros (meaning “lighthouse” in Armenian) was established by friends and supporters of the Ghazarian family, and grew out of their concern for Armenian women and children as well as the integrity of the Armenian family. The Paros Lighthouse Armenian Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation registered in the State of California and Republic of Armenia. For more information and to donate money or goods, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.