You can give #MadeInArmenia gifts to kids in need through ONEArmenia’s Santas Wanted! campaign
Winter is coming to Armenia. The outdoor cafes are bringing in their tables, the trees that line the streets are shedding their leaves and, in the distance, the ever snowcapped peaks of Sis and Masis are looking extra frosty.
Winter is coming, but it isn’t here yet. There are still days that are warm enough to walk around without a jacket, yet most people in Yerevan have already bundled up with thick coats, hats and scarves. Babies are so thoroughly wrapped up in blankets that they look like giant marshmallows being toted around town.
But as most of Yerevan layers up, there are those that are left without the proper attire.
Since 2011, Armenia has welcomed approximately 18,000 Syrian-Armenians to the country. Those who have been here the longest have acclimated to the weather, while the newcomers are in for a surprise as they experience their first Armenian winter.
As we began planning for the launch of our second annual Santas Wanted! campaign, we thought about who would benefit the most from receiving made-in-Armenia gifts this Christmas. We asked around and learned from Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization (Aleppo CCO) that many of the Syrian-Armenian children that they work with don’t have the proper clothing or accessories for the cold season here in Armenia.
We have decided to partner with Aleppo CCO, whose mission is to “protect, support and empower Syrian citizens in Syria and Armenia”, because they work directly with the families who are most in need of support in Armenia. They understand what the families are facing better than anyone and can accurately tell us what is needed, and what will make a difference in their lives.
This year, you will be able to donate a special Christmas package to 200 Syrian-Armenian children which is tailored to fit their needs and wants.
Each package costs $100 and will include:
A Warm Hoodie
A Water Resistant Jacket
A Hand Knit Scarf
A Sturdy Pair of Winter Boots
An Educational Book or an Ayl Kerpik Board Game
A Sweet Jar of Honey
Every part of this package is made-in-Armenia and we are working with 7 local businesses to make sure that the gifts included are quality and help to stimulate the economy in Armenia. Some of these businesses we worked with last year, some are new. As the campaign progresses, we’ll give you a closer look into these local businesses, but for now, here is a quick introduction.
#Sport has a storefront on Koghbatsi St in Yerevan and sell comfortable, casual wear that often sport Armenian themed designs. The Syrian-Armenian run company is looking to open a second store front in Gyumri, which we think is very exciting. Gyumri is up and coming, keep an eye out for future successes. They will be providing the hoodie part of the package and have even agreed to let us put our own unique design on it.
Huys produces all manner of clothing in a factory on the outskirts of Yerevan and employs local Armenians, mainly women. Their products can be found all over the city from undergarments to corporate uniforms. For Santas Wanted! they are designing and sewing a warm, water resistant jacket so that the kids will be able to play outside, even in the snow.
Goghovit Knits is the one woman show run by Manush up in the village of Goghovit in Shirak. We worked with Manush last year and were amazed by her work ethic and talent. You can read more about her here and we are looking forward to seeing how her small, personal business expands. For this campaign, she will be knitting warm, colorful scarves for the kids.
AVA Shoes have been our mild obsession since this time last year. Yet another successful Syrian-Armenian company in Yerevan, AVA Shoes have continue to produce quality shoes while expanding their business to ship abroad. These boots are more than up to the task of trudging through winter snow and slush. We can speak from experience, we all have our own pair.
Zangak Publishing House is another favorite from last year. Zangak publishes beautiful books which encourage kids to think of reading as fun. Remember: kids do judge books by their covers, so give them something that will peak their interest at first glance and they’ll be avid readers in no time. Ayl Kerpik is a board game which, like the books, will supplement the kids’ education by helping them practice their language skills and think creatively. Ayl Kerpik is the children’s version of the very popular game Ayl Kerp which is similar to the English language game, Taboo. The team that created Ayl Kerp is small, and happens to be all women. Call us biased, but we think that’s cool.
Honey.am, as you may already know, sells honey which is sourced from various regions in Armenia. Each region has its own flavor and this year, part of the Santas Wanted! package will include a jar of honey.am from Urtsasar. This local business employs beekeepers all over the country.
Making A Difference
So while you are breaking out your winter clothing, sipping on your hot chocolate and listening to Christmas carols, remember that you have the ability to make a difference in more than one way this year. You don’t have to donate the entire $100 package to do so, anything you are able to give will go towards supporting local businesses that employ people in Armenia and giving Syrian-Armenian kids gifts which will bring them joy and ease their transition to their new homes.
Double your impact with ONE donation.