BURBANK — During the month of December and into early part of January, the Armenian Youth Federation Burbank “Gaidzag” Juniors Chapter spread Christmas cheer by organizing and partaking in three unique activities. Last year, the chapter sent wrapped toys to the children of Goris, Armenia. This year, the chapter decided to expand its tradition by incorporating local acts of kindness.
The first act of kindness took place at the Ararat Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. AYF Burbank Juniors created and delivered hand-made Christmas cards to residents at the facility. They sang Armenian Christmas songs and visited individual rooms to converse and brighten up the holidays for the residents.
The second act of kindness was in collaboration with the Burbank Fire Department. AYF Burbank Juniors dropped off over 50 toys that they collected for the Spark of Love Toy Drive organized by the Burbank Fire Department. The members had an opportunity to meet firefighters, took a tour of a fire truck, and played a quick basketball game with local firefighters.
The third act of kindness bridged the gap between Burbank Juniors and youth in Gyumri, Armenia. Gyumri is the second largest city in Armenia and was devastated by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in 1988. Throughout the year, Burbank Juniors learned about Gyumri and heard eyewitness accounts of life before and after the earthquake. Burbank Juniors decided to organize a toy-drive and gather toys for youth in Gyumri. With the assistance of local chapters of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in Armenia, over 60 toys were distributed to youth in Gyumri.
“Singing at Ararat Home and being able to collect gifts for local children as well as children in Armenia was very exciting for us. I’m proud that our chapter has been supporting children in different cities of Armenia for years, and that this year we were able to share our efforts with children in Burbank and spread some cheer to the elderly at Ararat Home,” said Alique Boyadjian, chairperson of the Burbank “Gaidzag” Chapter.
The Burbank “Gaidzag” Chapter thanks all the community members who supported the toy drive and looks forward to continuing and expanding these traditions next year.