GLENDALE—With 2017 proclaimed as the “Year of Renewal” by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA and its Social Services Division kicked-off the New Year with revitalized spirit in carrying forward its charitable mission through a Gift-Giving Event held on January 4, 2017 for local children of low-income families.
A festive atmosphere filled the ARS Regional Headquarters as children and youth of all ages, accompanied by their parents and guardians, gathered to receive age-appropriate toys and gift baskets in celebration of the New Year and Christmas. Sona Zinzalian, Executive Director of ARS Social Services, delivered welcoming remarks and acknowledged the various donors, who contributed to making the event possible.
With the help of ARS staff and volunteers, a total of 380 gifts were distributed during the event, leaving a priceless impression on families, who also enjoyed holiday music and an appearance by Santa Claus. “This annual event of gift-giving engages our community year after year as they help families, who may be facing trying times during the holidays,” stated Tamar Orichian of the ARS Regional Executive Board.
This year’s event was made possible through generous toy and gift donations received by the ARS Burbank “Araz” Chapter, ARS Pasadena “Sosse” Chapter, Senator Kevin de Leon’s office, Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School, Chamlian Armenian School, Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, Armenian Sisters Academy, RAFFI – Romanian-Armenian Cultural Association, Christian Outreach for Armenians Church, Ani Hamamjian, Mariam and Melineh Ghazarian, and a number of anonymous individual donors.