BY PATTYL APOSHIAN KASPARIAN
Though many things inspire me about the Armenian Cultural Foundation, my circle of acquaintances tops the list. It’ s an exalted feeling to volunteer your talent—“be it as a youth leader, campaign staffer, activist or mentor. However, the people you spend your time with and the experiences you gain are invaluable.
I’ve met people from all walks of life who volunteer their time, energy and resources to the Armenian Cultural Foundation. We have the workaholic corporate types who bring a wealth of information to the political, educational and business arena. We have the MBAs, CPAs and PhDs. We have teachers, social workers and other conscientious public sector working friends. We have non-working volunteers—“those who are retired or home raising the next generation of leaders. I’ve even worked with trust fund babies!
No matter the profession, the education or the concentration of financial problems or lack thereof, we have the best volunteers carrying the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s mission to higher levels.
We seriously make a sacrifice. The volunteers, sponsors and donors can list multiple ways to spend their time and money. After a full eight-hour work day, activities and homework with the kids followed by the bedtime routine, I head out to a multi-hour meeting. I can lounge in bed and catch up on Beverly Hills Housewives. I can try to learn how to cook. I can read Baltasar & Blimunda by Jose Saramago. I can go out with friends or shop online. Whatever my heart desires! Yet, I and hundreds of volunteers like me choose to do something more rewarding.
The message is extended to our generous donors too, large or slight, who gift to the Armenian Cultural Foundation. For some, it may be a month of dining in and declining invitations from friends. For others, it’s the difference between business class and first class on a trip to Europe. Whatever the situation, it’s a sacrifice.
Year after year, our circle grows larger and stronger. We must distance ourselves from the frame of mind surrounding those individuals who volunteer because, we, the assets of the Armenian Cultural Foundation, are no different than others. To be a part of the Armenian Cultural Foundation extended family, one does not require superpowers, spare time, an infinitely deployable skill set or a six-figure checking account. One must possess passion and dedication. For those who say they don’t have time to volunteer, time is secondary.
On February 26, 2012, we will be celebrating the 121 year old organization which brings us together. To be a guest at the annual banquet at Montage Beverly Hills, please contact the Armenian Cultural Foundation office at (818) 243-1890.
To a new year. To new successes. To new volunteers!!!