Hollywood, Glendale ANCs help needy families during holiday season

Published: Sunday January 01, 2012

Counting cans at Hollywood ANC.

Los Angeles - The Armenian National Committee of Hollywood, in partnership with the Armenian Student Association at UCLA, the Bravo Medical Magnet High School Armenian Student Association, and the Hollywood Chapters of the Armenian Youth Federation, the Armenian Relief Society, and Homenetmen, hosted its first Holiday Food Drive through December 23 in the spirit of the Christmas season.

"We wish to raise a little bit of holiday cheer and bring families of the Hollywood community together with this food drive," said ANC-Hollywood volunteer, Sona Gichyan. "[I]t actually feels really good to give back to a community we grew up in."

"We began this project with a simple dedication to provide families in need with food. Since then, we have seen so many community members try their best to help us collect food, and their efforts have only encouraged us to try harder and do more," said Hayk Stepanyan, another ANC-Hollywood volunteer.

The ANC-Hollywood has been grateful for the active participation of quite an unprecedented number of community organizations in this project.

"Not only have we received donations from university organizations like the UCLA and USC Armenian Student Associations, but from local Hollywood businesses like Zeytun Grocery & Deli and Carousel Restaurant as well as non-Armenian community members such as the Rotary Club of Thai Town. Such caring, diversified, and active engagement on the part of our community is what a collaborative effort should look like," said ANC-Hollywood board member, Srbui Karapetian. The ANC-Hollywood volunteers will distribute these food donations from to low-income families in the Hollywood community.

In the meantime, the team calls on the community to continue donating to the cause one "can" at a time.

ANC Glendale organizes food distribution

The Armenian National Committee of Glendale in partnership with the Glendale Youth Center, and the Glendale Chapters of Armenian Cultural Foundation Juniors, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian Youth Federation, Hamazkayin, Homenetmen and St. Mary's Church hosted a Holiday Food Drive from mid November-December 10, 2011, which resulted in the collection of over 10,000 food items.

The food items were distributed on December 22 from the Glendale Youth Center to over 300 Glendale families who are enrolled in various Salvation Army programs, low income elderly without families, Armenian-American veterans as well as community members who have requested food items through one of the hosting organizations.

The Armenian National Committee - Glendale Chapter defends the rights, advances the interests, and promotes the well being of the city's Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.

ARS hosts Christmas luncheon

The Armenian Relief Society of Western USA extended its role in helping the community by hosting a Christmas luncheon at the Glendale Salvation Army on December 23.

Approximately 200 low income persons and families, seniors, and the homeless enjoyed a free holiday meal, which was prepared and served by over 20 ARS members, including ARS Central Executive Chairperson Vicky Marashlian, Regional Executive Board Chairperson Dr. Nyree Derderian, board and chapter members, as well as staff. Members from various chapters contributed funds for the luncheon, including many retirees with limited income.

Those in need of a warm meal took great pleasure from the assortment of foods, including turkey and all its trimmings, mashed potatoes, vegetables, bread rolls, dessert, as well as refreshments. ARS members assumed all necessary tasks for the luncheon from food preparation to service.

This luncheon was not the only way that ARS members contributed to Salvation Army clients this Christmas season. In Los Angeles and Orange Counties, ARS chapters took part in food drives with other community organizations.

Given the need that exists throughout the community and the heartwarming memories from the experience, the ARS will continue its close affiliation with the Salvation Army in support of such beneficial projects.

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