PROVIDENCE, RI —One month ago, the Armenian Cultural Association of America – Rhode Island Chapter (ACAA-RI) embarked on a campaign to raise much-needed funds for the soldiers, their families and anyone in need of humanitarian assistance prior to and following the deal made between Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia over our historical territories in Artsakh.
The ACAA-RI offered to match up to $50,000 USD in donations for Artsakh relief and the response was remarkable. Local community members and their friends gave generously, Armenian-owned businesses contributed proceeds from specific days, organizations donated the best their budgets would allow, and community members who have moved away also contributed to the campaign. Some children in the community donated their proceeds from a bracelet fundraiser, and other children gave their own funds all in the spirit of helping our sisters and brothers who will be facing a long road to recovery.
When all the contributions are collected, a little more than $75,000 USD will have been raised. In total, over $125,000 USD will be going directly through the proper channels to those who are in dire need of help.
As bad as the situation is right now in Armenia and Artsakh with over 100,000 displaced people needing assistance, families mourning the loss of loved ones, and the sadness of losing our historical lands, the resolve shown here in Rhode Island is very uplifting.
What made the final result even more impressive is that the campaign began after many people had already donated and three other Armenian-owned eating establishments had held fundraisers.
At San Francisco’s Mt. Davidson, there is a plaque that reads: “If evil of this magnitude can be ignored, if our own children forget then we deserve oblivion, and earn the world’s scorn.” Avedis Aharonian (writer and educator, 1866-1948)
We are all children of the survivors. Some of the funds raised are from pizza shop owners who are the great-grandchildren of Armenian Genocide survivors.
Three young siblings, an additional generation removed, strung together over 1,000 beaded bracelets and donated all of their proceeds to this program.
As always, the sister and church organizations were there when called upon.
Even the printer James Pepe, owner of Hopkins Press, donated his services and all the materials needed to send out the mailing for the fundraising campaign.
For the people in need and the rest of the world to see what was accomplished in Rhode Island is a significant sign that the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Genocide survivors have not forgotten and will always do their best when needed.
The ACAA-RI thanks everyone who played a role in helping us reach and surpass our goal.