PASADENA, Calif.,–In the Christmas spirit, Pasadena Armenian National Committee members donated toys to needy children at a tree lighting event sponsored by the city and held at City Hall on Tuesday.
The toys were donated by the Pasadena ANC at an official tree lighting ceremony and holiday celebration that featured remarks by Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Christmas carols sung by the McKinkley After-School Performing Choir. Representing the Pasadena ANC at the event were Suzanne Berberian, Donig Donabedian and Cindy Terterian.
“We are proud to contribute Christmas toys to children in Pasadena who might not otherwise have a gift under their Christmas tree this year,” remarked Pasadena ANC activist Cindy Terterian. “Armenian Americans have been blessed by all that Pasadena has offered our community. It is only appropriate that we give back to our community and in the process, bring hope to the lives of needy children this Christmas season,” Terterian added.
The gifts donated by the Pasadena ANC were collected by the Pasadena Fire Department through the Spark of Love Toy Drive. The Fire Department will, over the course of the next several weeks, distribute the toys to needy children and teens living throughout the City of Pasadena.
In 1992, a cooperative decision was made to develop a regional toy drive among Southern California Fire Departments. An advisory council of firefighters and staff from KABC-TV now oversee what is known as the Spark of Love Toy Drive. Spark of Love provides a new unwrapped toy or sporting good to a child who would otherwise go without a gift this holiday season.
The program works in concert, not in competition, with other charitable programs to fulfill the dreams of needy Southern California children. Recipients are identified in advance by established community and child service organizations. Families experiencing a sudden catastrophic loss are also aided by Spark of Love. When possible, the local Fire Station crew (occasionally accompanied by Santa Claus) makes a discreet and dignified special delivery to these deserving children.
The Pasadena ANC advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.