Local ARS Chapters Surprise Elderly on Mother’s Day

WATERTOWN, Mass. —Two local Armenian Relief Society (ARS) chapters brightened Mother’s Day for several elderly members of the Armenian community last weekend.

Under the initiative and guidance of the Greater Boston ARS Social Services Program, the ARS Cambridge “Shushi” Chapter and the ARS Watertown “Leola Sassouni” Chapter helped organize and deliver care packages to 35 women in the Watertown area.

ARS Cambridge “Shushi” Chapter chair Ani Zargarian and longtime ARS Cambridge “Shushi” Chapter member Vany Tashjian delivering Mother’s Day care packages

“It was a surprise,” recalled Cambridge “Shushi” Chapter chair Ani Zargarian about the Sunday afternoon visits during an interview with the Armenian Weekly the following day. “They were really happy to see us, and every one of them invited us in.”

The ARS Social Services Program, which supports the elderly Armenian population, traditionally hosts a Mother’s Day luncheon for these deserving women, but considering the pandemic and the mandates that have been in place since late March, volunteers decided to show their appreciation from a distance. “This population is suffering the most as far as feeling isolated,” said Zargarian. “We couldn’t obviously have a gathering, so we just didn’t want them to think that we forgot about them.”

On Sunday, the recipients were delighted to find a masked friendly face wishing them a happy mother’s day and gifting an ARS reusable shopping bag packed with choreg, chocolates, face masks, an Armenian poem and a friendly note. One woman in particular, Zargarian said, was quite overcome with emotion. “I really wanted to hug her,” she said to the Weekly. 

ARS Chapter volunteers also collected and confirmed the contact information of these Armenian women to ensure they are helping to fill the seemingly irreplaceable social void that everyone is experiencing during this pandemic.

Leeza Arakelian

Leeza Arakelian

Assistant Editor
Leeza Arakelian is the former assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly. She is a graduate of UCLA and Emerson College. Leeza has written and produced for local and network television news including Boston 25 and Al Jazeera America.

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