Over the last several months, we’ve seen multiple crises unfold in Lebanon one after another. The recent explosion at the Port of Beirut was a detrimental setback for the people of Lebanon coupled with the ongoing political turmoil rooted in corruption and regional unrest and an economic crisis that has caused currency devaluation and inflation.
His Holiness Aram Vehapar of the Holy See of Cilicia established a committee to lead the rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts of Armenian churches, homes and businesses in Lebanon. Though we’re grateful for the outpouring of support from individuals, businesses and foreign countries, we saw the need to step up for our students in Lebanon.
It was Karekin Nejdeh who said, “If you want to predict and see the future of a people, look at its youth.” Following his vision, we decided to come together to ease the burdens of schoolchildren and brighten their lives.
The need is great for everyone in Lebanon as there is a significant shortage of basic supplies. Anything in the market costs significantly more than the people can afford to purchase. At this time, we’re focusing on students, because schools will start soon in Lebanon, and through our discussions with teachers in Lebanon, we realized that parents cannot afford to pay for school supplies.
The Metro Detroit Community understands these needs among students, so we went to work. “It’s important for the community to unite to help our brothers and sisters in Lebanon and make sure children have school supplies to be successful,” stated Father Hrant Kevorkian of St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church. Through our contacts in the Dearborn, Michigan community, we were able to find an international freight company that would help us. The company owner is originally from Lebanon and has been very willing to help us get a large steel container delivered to Lebanon. We have united as a community to fill this container with school supplies and humanitarian aid to the United Committee of Lebanon. “There is no political agenda for this cause. All are invited to participate,” said Raffi Ourlian, chairman of the Armenian Community Center of Greater Detroit. “Our only agenda is to help the schoolchildren in our Armenian communities in Lebanon that have been impacted the most,” he continued.
An Amazon Wish List has been created with direct coordination with the United Committee on the schools’ needs. We kindly ask you to help us fill the container. All purchases on the Amazon Wish List will be shipped directly to St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church in Dearborn, Michigan where it will be loaded into the container and shipped to Lebanon on October 1. Please visit www.detroitforarmenians.com for more information on how you can help.
Our strength lies in our unity, and one more time let’s all work together for another important cause.