ARS Steps Into Action after San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission Fire

ARS volunteers help deliver supplies to the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission's relocated patrons


SUN VALLEY, Calif.—The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA mobilized its efforts quickly in response to the devastating fire that destroyed the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission’s emergency shelter, vehicle fleet, clothing and food warehouse on Saturday, May 3, in North Hollywood, Calif. The Mission provided shelter and meals for dozens of homeless individuals.

In coordination with Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s office (Council District 2), the ARS learned of the most immediate items needed by the homeless individuals, who were housed at the shelter and fortunately escaped unharmed. While the shelter guests were relocated, clothing and hygiene products, as well as cash donations, are the most essential items being collected.

Upon gathering donations in the matter of days, on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, ARS of Western USA representatives delivered 14 bags and boxes of children’s and adult clothing in good condition, including pants, shirts, sweaters, t-shirts, and jackets (totaling over 350 articles of clothing), as well as 3 boxes of diapers, to the Super Thrift Store in Sun Valley, Calif. where donations are being collected. The local ARS North Hollywood Meghry Chapter demonstrated their immediate response as well and, at the same time, delivered over 200 brand-new hygiene products, including shampoos, toothpastes, and toothbrushes, along with clothing. ARS Meghry Chapter representatives present at the time of delivery included Chairperson Maral Benarbashian and members Marie Madaanian and Arsho Guemiksizian.

Representatives met with Super Thrift Store Supervisor Laura Lopez at the time of delivery to coordinate the ARS donation delivery.

Donations continue to be collected, for the homeless individuals of the Mission, at the ARS Regional Headquarters, located at 517 W. Glenoaks Blvd., between the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Donations can also be made directly to the Super Thrift Store, located at 9007 Lankershim, Sun Valley, CA 91352. For additional information on how to donate, contact the ARS Regional Headquarters at (818) 500-1343 or the Rescue Mission at (800) 417-5678.

The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA, established in 1984 and with regional headquarters in Glendale, CA, has 26 chapters and more than 1,200 members in four western states. The ARS-WUSA operates a Social Services Division and Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center, and funds numerous youth programs, scholarships, and relief efforts. For further information, please visit www.arswestusa.org or call 818.500.1343.

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