“Never doubt that a small number of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Kids of Karabakh, a small group of committed citizens based in San Francisco, might not be out to change the world, but it is definitely making a world of difference in the lives of underprivileged children in the rural villages of Artsakh who are living in extreme poverty.
For over five years, Kids of Karabakh has been collecting new and gently used children’s clothing and shoes and shipping them to Artsakh. The Bay Area Armenian community has wholeheartedly supported these efforts by donating needed items, as well as some funds to ship the boxes to Artsakh.
When Arevik Makasdjian visited her old hometown in Karabakh in 2008, she was very moved by the extreme hardship in which some families were living. Upon her return to SF, she shared her ideas with some friends about the possibility of helping those in need. A small group of Arevik’s good friends got on board and joined the cause which became known as Kids of Karabakh. The group’s site coordinator in Artsakh, Armineh Vertyan, has been invaluable in her assistance with identifying needy families and delivering the shipments of donations to these villages, many of them very remote. Armineh documents all distribution efforts with photos and videos and posts them to the Kids of Karabakh Facebook page.
Kids of Karabakh’s main fundraising event, an annual walkathon around beautiful Lake Merced in San Francisco, is organized to raise funds to ship the boxes of donations to Artsakh. Recently, the group decided to expand their program by collecting funds to assist families with some of the medical expenses of a few children who are so poverty stricken that even transportation or a single doctor’s visit might not be possible without the financial assistance of caring Armenians. A few members of the community made donations at the last walkathon specifically towards this goal and the group hopes to do more of that in future.
Last month, Kids of Karabakh received their biggest donation to date, $2000 from Anjel Ailanjian and her family. This generous donation was used to purchase and ship over 60 pairs of new shoes for the children of a small remote village. Along with the shoes, the children received socks, toys, dolls, jump ropes, arts and crafts supplies, and puzzles. Each family also received $10 cash which they promptly spent on food supplies from the village’s grocery store. Kids of Karabakh is deeply grateful to this wonderful donation by Ailanjian.
Recently, Kids of Karabakh received a financial donation from the SF Homenetmen AAA basketball team to be used for shipping expenses. A few of the team members have also been instrumental with packing and transporting the boxes to Los Angeles for shipment to Artsakh.
Please join the Kids of Karabakh Facebook group to read much more about the important efforts of these dedicated volunteers, and to view photos and videos of the shipments and the distribution of the donations. Financial donations are desperately needed and truly appreciated. 100% of PayPal donations go to the charity. Please consider donating any amount via Paypal at https://www.paypal.me/KidsofKarabakh. For further information about projects and donations please email: KidsofKarabakh@gmail.com