ARS Issues Holiday Appeal; Urges Community To Help Those In Need


Dec 14th, 2009

Children at the ARS Sosse Kindergarten in the Ashan village of Karabakh
receive Christmas gifts collected for them from the United States. 2008

GLENDALE, Calif.-The Armenian Relief Society of the Western US
has issued an appeal to the community this holiday season, urging
Armenian-Americans to participate in a charity drive to help the
less fortunate.

"Responding to the needs of the community and giving to those in need
has been the guiding principle of the ARS," said Sossie Poladian,
ARS Western USA Regional Executive Board Chairperson.

Poladian said the ARS has been carrying out an ambitious campaign to
collect donations from community members and ARS supporters to help
those who need help the most this year.

"The first mailed ARS appeal has already reached the communities
closest to Glendale, and others will follow," Poladian explained. "It
is hoped that ARS supporters will respond with small or large donations
to make up for the shortfall many are expected to face this Christmas

Poladian said the ARS has already witness a "generous" and "uplifting"
outpouring of community support for the campaign, despite economic

ARS Received donation from Smart & Final. From left to Right: Randall
Oliver, Asdghig Chitilian and SOssie Poladian.

Since its inception in 1910, the ARS has worked to serve, from helping
Armenian refugees coming into Elis Island to caring for the elderly,
orphans, widows, widowers and students, according to her.

Alongside the mailer, the ARS has also been organizing canned food
drives throughout the community.

In November, the ARS helped a class of 4-year olds at St. Mary’s
Richard Tufenkian Armenian Preschool to organize a canned food drive.

Through the coordination of preschool Director, Arsine Aghazarian
and homeroom teacher Seta Hagopian, 80 children at the preschool were
able to participate in the drive, collecting canned and boxed goods
to be donated this Christmas.

Dinners and luncheons have also been organized at the homes of ARS
members, encouraging guests to make donations to the ARS.

"The children learned about giving to other children, who may be
hungry, and the parents were happy that their children were learning
to share and care," said Hagopian, who is a member of the Glendale
"Sepan" ARS Chapter.

The Hoover High School Armenian Club also held a canned food drive
for the ARS campaign. Club member Talin Fakhourian, explained that
the highschool students took part in the drive "to give back to the
Armenian community during Christmas time."

Christmas gifts are also being collected at schools and community
centers for children served by local ARS Social Services offices in
the Diaspora, Armenia and Artsakh. The ARS is welcoming donations
of clothing and educational toys, which it will give to children
on Christmas.

ARS members and Tufenkian Presschool staff collect canned foods for
the less fortunate.

The ARS Western USA is also taking part in the global "Amanor"
campaign run by the international ARS, as well as shipping boxes of
toys, clothing and shoes to the children in Armenia and Artsakh.

Alongside grassroots efforts, the ARS was also able to tap large
corporate donors to help its holiday campaign, gaining a generous
donation from the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation. The Foundation
gave the ARS Child, Youth and Family Guidance Center $2,500 dollars
to help provide therapy and counseling for the needy during the
difficult holidays.

The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation donated $2,500 to the ARS
Child, Youth & Family Guidance Center. Randall Oliver handed the
check to Sossie Poladian, Chair of the ARS of Western USA, Regional
Executive, who was accompanied by Asdghig Chitilian. Being freed from
anxiety issues through therapy could be the best gift for a child
and a family. The ARS Chapters provide most of the support for the
counseling center located at the ARS Glendale headquarters.

"The Armenian-American community has an impressive history of
responding to the charitable needs of people all over the world,
wherever the needs may be," Poladian exclaimed. "All dedicated and
compassionate ARS supporters are urged to make a donation. Any amount
will make a difference."

To contribute, send donations to the ARS of Western USA, Regional
Executive, 517 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202-2812. Credit
card donations are also accepted by phone or on-line at

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