ANCA Launches "Cans for the Cause" Campaign for National Service Day

Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax. (202) 775-5648
[email protected]


January 8, 2009
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


— Urges Armenian Americans and Groups to Participate in local ANCA
Campaigns or Take the Lead in Neighborhood Food Drives

— Effort Honors U.S. Humanitarian Relief for Armenian Genocide
Survivors from 1915-1923

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)
has answered President-Elect Barack Obama’s challenge to Americans
to participate in National Day of Service activities with a nation-
wide campaign to feed the hungry. The Day of Service is set to
coincide with Martin Luther King Memorial Day (January 19) and the
Presidential Inauguration (January 20th).

In honor of U.S. humanitarian assistance efforts for survivors of
the Armenian Genocide from 1915-1923, the ANCA has initiated the
"Cans for the Cause" Campaign, which encourages community members
to work with local ANCA chapters and Armenian American
organizations, or take the lead themselves in canned food drives
across the U.S., to assist food banks dedicated to feeding the

"During the Armenian Genocide and in the aftermath of this terrible
crime, Americans participated in an unprecedented humanitarian
relief effort for the survivors of Ottoman Turkey’s brutal campaign
of race extermination," said ANCA Executive Director Aram
Hamparian. "As a community we owe a tremendous debt to the
generosity of the American people and strive to honor this proud
chapter in U.S. history by doing our part to feed the hungry and
bring hope to those facing hardship both abroad and here on our own

The National Day of Service, first initiated by Congress in 1994,
honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King by transforming the
federal holiday honoring Dr. King into a national day of community
service grounded in his teachings of nonviolence and social
justice. The aim is to make the holiday a "day on," where people of
all ages and backgrounds come together to improve lives, bridge
social barriers, and move our nation closer to the "Beloved
Community" that Dr. King envisioned. With thousands of projects
planned across the country, the 2009 King Day of Service on January
19 promises to be the biggest and best ever. Individuals can find
projects in their area by visiting:

The ANCA’s goal is for each local Armenian American community to
collect 500 food items (canned or boxed) by January 19th. To
facilitate this effort, the ANCA has set forth an organizing "tool
kit" for local community activists and groups, which outlines the

Each local Armenian American community should establish:

* One lead organizer who take responsibility for collecting 500
food items

* 10 Super Volunteers responsible for 50 food items
(the lead organizer should be one of these super volunteers)

10 Super Volunteers x 50 food items = 500 food items

Each super volunteer can collect 50 food items by finding 5 people
(including themselves) to donate 10 items, or they can buy all 50
items themselves.

Lead organizers are responsible for the following:

* Finding a location to store collected food items

* Identifying and recruiting super volunteers

* Keeping track of the number of food items and reporting to the
ANCA headquarters in Washington, DC [email protected]

* Delivering food items to food bank (or delegating this task to a

The ANCA will provide lead organizers with the following:

* Location of local food banks

* Flyers to pass out (church, special events, etc)

* Lists of potential activists in your area

* Full time ANCA staff support via phone and email.

To sign up as a Lead Organizer or a Super Volunteer, or to just ask
questions or make suggestions, contact national campaign
coordinator Garo Manjikian at [email protected] or (202) 775-1918.

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