AYF Burbank Juniors Expand Holiday Activities

AYF Burbank Juniors “Gaidzag” Chapter members donated more than eighty gifts to children in Goris and neighboring villages in Armenia.
AYF Burbank Juniors “Gaidzag” Chapter members donated more than eighty gifts to children in Goris and neighboring villages in Armenia.

AYF Burbank Juniors “Gaidzag” Chapter members donated more than eighty gifts to children in Goris and neighboring villages in Armenia.

BURBANK, Calif.—In its fourth year of charitable holiday season activities, the AYF Burbank Juniors “Gaidzag” Chapter members and supporters donated more than eighty gifts to children in Goris and neighboring villages in Armenia.

Children in Goris receive gifts from AYF Burbank Juniors

Children in Goris receive gifts from AYF Burbank Juniors

“We consider teaching our members important life skills such as kindness, generosity and helpfulness, an important aspect of our work,” said said Nazeli Khodabakhsh, AYF Burbank Juniors chapter Co-Director. “Education coupled with practice not only offers our members practical application of what they learn, but gives each child a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. That’s why we expanded our holiday activities in December and January by including a toy drive to support the efforts of the Burbank Fire Department and singing Christmas carols for the elderly residents at Ararat Home’s Eagle Rock facility.”

Burbank Juniors visit elderly residents at Ararat Home

Burbank Juniors visit elderly residents at Ararat Home

In 2012 chapter members received a moving educational about the 1988 earthquake that devastated Armenia. They decided to collect Christmas gifts for the children of Spitak, upon learning that many families still lived in the subpar housing that was initially set up as temporary shelter for those who lost their homes.

“As a parent, I am thankful that the AYF Juniors is teaching our children about philanthropy, especially towards their peers in Armenia,” said Talar Kozikoujekian.

The chapter directors partnered with Goris University professor, Mher Kumunts, who for the fourth year now has received and distributed the gifts to children most in need.

Burbank Juniors participate in toy drive to support the efforts of the Burbank Fire Department

Burbank Juniors participate in toy drive to support the efforts of the Burbank Fire Department

“Understanding the meaning and impact of their donation, each chapter member took time to include hand written notes to their peers along with each gift,” said Khodabakhsh. “While caroling to the elders they sang with praise in honor of the hardships the elders have endured to give them the safety and security they have now; and when they collected gifts for the local fire department toy drive, they did so knowing that sharing what they have with those who have less is truly a virtue.”

The AYF Juniors is a community organization for youth specifically from the ages of 8 to 16 years old. As an extension of the AYF and its core values, the AYF Juniors connect youth with their Armenian heritage, and politically and socially engages them with critical issues facing Armenians. For more information or to join follow AYF Juniors Western Region on Facebook, e-mail ayfjuniors@ayfwest.org or call (818) 500-8883.

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