PRESS RELEASE

Regional Executive
Armenian Relief Society Of Western U.S.A., Inc.
517 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202-2812
Telephone: (818) 500-1343
Fax: (818) 242-3732
Web Site: www.arswestusa.org
Contact: Rita Hintlian
Email: [email protected]

ARS Issues Christmas Appeal For Help: A Time to Share Our Gifts

Glendale, CA.- As we approach the Christmas season, Armenian Relief
Society of Western U.S.A. (ARS) members have been uplifted with many
instances of giving from our community. The needs that the ARS is
trying to reach are vast during an economically challenging year. `It
has been the guiding principle of the ARS to be responsive to the
needs of its community,' said Sossie Poladian, ARS Regional Executive
Board Chairperson.

The ARS is trying to reach out to those who need help and those who
can share their resources with those less fortunate. The first mailed
ARS appeal has already reached the communities closest to Glendale,
and others will follow. It is hoped that ARS supporters will respond
with small or large donations to make up for the shortfall.

For 100 years, the ARS has been helping those in need. Soon after
1910, the ARS started by helping Armenian refugees. Today, the ARS
continues to help refugees in addition to the elderly, orphans,
widows, widowers and students who seek our help.

Consider the case of a starving college student arriving at the ARS
Social Services office on foot and finding cupboards full of canned
foods courtesy of St. Mary's Richard Tufenkian Armenian Preschool
4-year-old students. Last month, Ellen Senitt, one of the blue group's
homeroom teachers decided to start a canned food drive. The preschool
Director, Arsine Aghazarian, who directed the donations to the ARS
Social Services Center in Glendale, supported her. Seta Hagopian, an
ARS `Sepan' Chapter (Glendale) member and a homeroom teacher at the
preschool, provided the coordination with the ARS. Hagopian explained
that 80 children participated in the drive, `The children learned
about giving to other children, who may be hungry, and the parents
were happy that their children were learning to share.'

The Hoover High School Armenian Club has also initiated a canned food
drive to benefit ARS clients. Talin Fakhourian of the club wrote they
are doing the drive `in order to give back to our Armenian community
during Christmas time'.

Leonig Shekherdemian, who had participated in the ARS tour organized
by the ARS of South-America to Argentina last October, opened up her
home to the participants from Los Angeles for a dinner. She asked her
guests to not bring any gifts, and instead to make donations to the
ARS.

The newly relocated Smart & Final Extra store at 1855 W. Glenoaks
Blvd. in Glendale, was the scene of a corporate-sponsored
donation. The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation donated $2,500 to
the ARS Child, Youth & Family Guidance Center. Randall Oliver handed
the check to Sossie Poladian, Chair of the ARS of Western USA,
Regional Executive, who was accompanied by Asdghig Chitilian. Being
freed from anxiety issues through therapy could be the best gift for a
child and a family. The ARS Chapters provide most of the support for
the counseling center located at the ARS Glendale headquarters.

Christmas gifts for children served by our local Social Services
offices and those in Armenia and Artsakh are also being
collected. Donations of new educational toys and children's clothing
are preferred. Students at Vahan and Anoush Chamlian Armenian School
in Glendale are collecting gifts for ARS Social Services clients. The
ARS Western USA contributes funds for the ARS world-wide `Amanor'
Program, in addition to shipping boxes of toys, clothing and shoes to
the children in Armenia and Artsakh, through flights from New York to
Yerevan.

The Armenian-American community has an impressive history of
responding to the charitable needs of people all over the world,
wherever the needs may be. All dedicated and compassionate ARS
supporters are urged to make a donation. Any amount will make a
difference.

Please send your contribution to ARS of Western USA, Regional
Executive, 517 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202-2812. Credit card
donations are also accepted by phone or on-line at
http://www.arswestusa.org/Donate . May the Christmas season fill your
hearts with happiness and charity.