LOS ANGELES, CA–On Friday, April 23rd, while Armenian National Committee (ANC) activists joined the Los Angeles City Council as it commemorated the Armenian Genocide in chambers, just a couple of miles away in downtown Los Angeles, ANC activists from local ANCs across the city were volunteering at the Union Rescue Mission to commemorate the genocide in their own way by giving back to the community.
“At the time of the Armenian Genocide, the United States launched a great humanitarian relief effort to help save the victims. America, particularly California and Los Angeles, became a refuge for those who barely escaped with their lives,” said Tereza Yerimyan who organized the effort as an intern with the Armenian National Committee-Western Region.
Volunteers, like the Chalian family from the San Fernando Valley and ANC Hollywood Chairman Rostom Sarkissian and activist Jennifer McGraw joined Tereza as well as ANC-WR Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian to help the Union Rescue Mission feed those less fortunate for the day. The Union Rescue Mission, which serves the Los Angeles community, tends to the needs of over a 1000 individuals every day.
“Americans from throughout the country helped genocide survivors in their time of need. As descendents of those survivors, we wanted to give back to those today who are in their time of greatest need,” said Sarkissian. “We honored and remembered those we lost and those who helped us as a way to shine a spotlight on the Armenian Genocide, its continued denial and the current cycle of genocide which still exists to this day. I encourage everyone to confront this crime against humanity by showing our humanity to those who need a helping hand.”
The Armenian National Committee-Western Region is the largest Armenian American grassroots community organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR works to promote understanding regarding issues of concern to the Armenian American community.