DETROIT, Mich.—Hundreds of Armenian students in Beirut, Lebanon will be equipped with brand new supplies donated by members of the Armenian community of Metro Detroit as soon as they go back to school.
“The situation for the youth in Lebanon is serious, and we needed to help,” said ARF Azadamard Gomideh member Shant Jamgotchian.
The school supplies, which were collected during a two-month period after the devastating explosion at the port of Beirut, left Detroit on October 2, 2020. The timely delivery of the supplies faced a few setbacks, but the shipment eventually arrived at Yeghishe Manoukian College in November. They were supposed to be distributed to the children on Armenian Christmas (January 6), but due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and the government-imposed lockdowns, the distribution was stalled until the resumption of in-person learning.
“I sympathize with the hardship that parents and students are going through and felt that it was our duty to ensure the students’ education goes as smoothly as possible, because the youth are our future,” said Hamazkayin chair Shoghere Ourlian—a native of Lebanon.
Detroit’s Armenian community organized the collection of almost $25,000 in school supplies through a widely distributed Amazon wish list.
“We thank the entire Metro Detroit community for their generous donations of school supplies,” said Yeghishe Manoukian principal Ani Pakradouni. “We’re very appreciative of your recognition of our Armenian students,” she continued.
In addition to school supplies, non-prescription medication was also sent and distributed to various Armenian humanitarian centers in Bourj Hammoud. Cases of Nido powder dry milk were also shipped to Birds Nest orphanage. “The hardship in Lebanon is always in my heart as I remember my father’s stories of the time he spent in the orphanage,” expressed ARS “Sybille” Chapter member Rita Dilanian. “I wanted to help in any way I could,” she continued.
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