Get a new life, sponsor a child
Published: Thursday August 16, 2012
For the price of a candy bar each day, you can provide substance for an orphan child in Armenia. You can bolster a youngster who has led a rather demoralizing life and give them a foundation upon which to build their dreams.
For less than a buck a day, you can make the difference in a student's life that, in turn, makes a difference in your life and the life of the world around you.
I'm on a meaningful soap box today, making a pitch for the orphan children of Armenia. Those of you who are familiar with the charity can concur with me. Those who are not might want to pay some notice.
Much too often we see our dollars rift away into oblivion and see no tangible results. We open up our wallets and checkbooks, send out a contribution, and wait to repeat that gesture another day. On occasion, you will receive a simple acknowledgement. But more often than not, your money disappears into a vacuum.
The other day, I walked past the bulletin board of my church and saw an eye-catcher on the bulletin board. In fact, I noticed several eye-catchers. There tacked onto the board were 10 letters from orphans being sponsored by the church.
Now, they weren't all from one organization but sprinkled throughout the Sunday and Armenian Schools, Men's Club, Ladies Guild, Board of Trustees, and others who are inclined. Several individuals have also complied with sponsorships of their own.
I have not --- as yet --- and must be admonished for my negligence. That shall change very soon.
I will have two options. I could go through the Armenian Relief Society. Their Sponsor A Child program began 20 years ago to assist children who have lost at least one parent in the 1988 earthquake which rocked Armenia or victimized in the Nagorno-Karabagh liberation struggle.
For $200 a year, you will be connected with a struggling child. Letters will be exchanged. Photos will enhance the correspondence. One day you may even meet after that child turns 18 and is no longer in need of assistance. No doubt, you will be showered with gratitude.
The ARS also provides an Orphan Education Fund for students 18 years and older to assist with their higher educational motives and make them productive citizens of their communities.
The second appeal is sponsored by the Armenian Prelacy where that sum is a scant $225 a year or 62 cents a day. Looking at the faces of 15 bright and beautiful faces on the promotional flyer would warm the cockles of anyone's heart, especially during the next holiday season. I cannot think of a better gift.
The letters speak volumes.
One arrived from Karen Albert Khatchatryan, a fifth-grader from Kaban, who lost her dad. The mother doesn't work and a sister is also in arrears. They wrote to say how much they appreciated the sponsorship and the good that it has done their family.
Another is from Ani Mousayelian and she lives in a far-away village of Kacharan in Zankezoor. Her desire is to stay in school and further her education. A picture of her in a yellow and black dress sitting in a field presents a striking pose.
Another named Nevart has four brothers and a sister. The family is obviously burdened, yet Nevart wants to become a nurse some day and help the less fortunate of Armenia.
"My mother doesn't know I'm writing for help," she says. "This was my father's wish but he is no longer with us. We are not going to lose hope as long as we have sponsors like you."
A mother and her grieving son Marat are shown holding a photograph of their husband and father. He was killed in the fighting at Nagorno-Karabagh.
"I want to be a lawyer some day," writes Marat. "Right now, I cannot leave my mother since I'm her only son."
A fifth-grader named Menoushak writes to inform her sponsors that she is doing well in her studies and has remained in school through their generosity.
Another just graduated from high school and continuing her studies to become a computer operator.
"I hope someday you can come and visit me in person," writes Nevard, whose letters are written in both languages."
Gut-wrenching words to say the least -- some of them perhaps sugar-coated to appease the reader. Only by being there in their midst of turmoil might you really see the dire conditions.
A school I visited recently wanted to assist the country of Armenia in some way. I gave them a form to pursue and students there took up a collection and sponsored a child annually.
Last I heard, it's been a gratifying experience on both ends.