ARS Social Services: An Impactful Holiday Season
Published - 12 January 2018

The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA, Social Services Division successfully carried out its first-ever Adopt-A-Family Holiday Program during the 2017 holiday season as a result of thoughtful and kindhearted support received from the community at large.

46 families in need in the local community were adopted by individual donors, organizations, ARS chapters and members, the AGAPE Circle of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, and St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church, receiving gifts for the 2017 Christmas and New Year holiday in the form of monetary assistance; winter necessities, including blankets, heaters, warm clothing and shoes; generous gift cards to major retailers for food, clothing, and gas stations; as well as children’s toys, books, Christmas trees, and more. With an outpouring of support in the form of various donations, ARS Social Services was able to help make the holidays enjoyable and more comfortable for families facing serious financial limitations and struggles.

 The ARS values and appreciates its close collaboration with the AGAPE Circle of the Western Diocese, which brought the largest contribution toward this year’s program by adopting 21 of the 46 families. They, along with other individual donors, had the special opportunity to even meet with certain families and personally gift them with their donations at the ARS Regional Headquarters. “Through the encouragement and support of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, the AGAPE Circle of the Western Diocese was able to fully engage in this holiday initiative and plans to become involved in the 2018 efforts of the ARS in the areas of homelessness prevention and assisting families in need,” state Holiday from the Hearts Committee Members of the AGAPE Circle.

Alongside the Adopt-A-Family program, it was the season of giving as numerous children’s toys were also distributed to over 100 children of ARS Social Services clients. Toy donations were collected and donated to ARS Social Services by Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School, the ARS Orange County “Sevan” Chapter, the Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley Sunday School, Homenetmen Youth Division, and individual community members.

Further, RAFFI – Romanian Armenian Cultural Association visited the ARS Regional Headquarters on December 28, 2017, distributing toys and gifts cards to 12 additional families. On December 22, 2017, L.A. Banquets – Brandview engaged in the giving effort by donating full meals and side dishes to an added 20 families.

“It was a touching and heartwarming experience to witness the exchange of kindness and giftgiving between our community members and those most in need. Support and helpfulness comes in many forms and ARS Social Services is appreciative of the backing of so many toward this PRESS RELEASE 2 effort,” states Talar Aintablian, Director of Operations. The accomplishments of ARS Social Services reached far and wide and, it is without a doubt, thanks to generous acts of kindness and charitable community support.

ARS Social Services is committed to providing comprehensive social services to low-moderate individuals and families through four offices located in Glendale, Pasadena, Hollywood, and North Hollywood. Services include case management, completion of forms, assistance with housing and transportation issues, senior services, employment services, referrals, English as a Second Language/Life Skills classes, emergency assistance, and more. ARS Social Services can be reached at (818) 241-7533 or socialservices@arswestusa.org

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