More than 54-thousand people tuned into the Armenian Relief Society’s “Stand with Lebanon” virtual benefit concert on Saturday afternoon August 15, which was part of the relief organization’s continued efforts in supporting the Lebanese Armenian community as it struggles to recover from the catastrophic explosion at the port of Beirut. The ARS has raised $600,000 USD so far.
“The Armenian Relief Society would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all those who supported this project with donations and voluntary assistance,” said ARS chairperson Dr. Nyree Derderian. “The raised funds confirm that the collective efforts of the Armenian communities worldwide are as strong as ever. It is the power of our people that keeps us alive. The Lebanese-Armenian community thanks you. ‘With Our People, For our People’ forever. We ask you to continue to support the ARS. Continue your help to our brothers and sisters of Lebanon. We pledge to continue our efforts so that our community in Lebanon may rise again to its former glory.”
The successful artistic program was achieved in cooperation with Yerkir Media TV and the devoted participation of talented performers of both Armenia and the Diaspora. Our heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who kept the project going despite time zone restrictions. This team of volunteers made it possible to coordinate and broadcast the program live. The event remains available to view on both the Yerkir Media and ARS Facebook pages.
In addition to the concert fundraiser, on August 17 the very first humanitarian flight to Lebanon was organized by the ARS, with the cooperation of the nonprofit Code 3 Angels and Armenia Fund USA.
The flight was loaded with two and a half tons of necessary items, including 171 cases of medical supplies and other needed items secured by the ARS. Code 3 Angels loaned its main office to gather the items and prepare the bundles. At the same time, Los Angeles-based Lebanese American organizations, Cedars Relief, American Lebanese Medical Association and Middle Eastern Pharmacy Association (Mepha), in cooperation with Lebanese groups, helped the ARS secure and deliver much-needed medical supplies to the Rafik Hariri University Hospital.
Derderian noted that they expect the medicine and sundries will be delivered and immediately available to those in need over the coming days. The ARS is hopeful that soon, with the continued assistance of Code 3 Angels and All Armenia Fund USA, it will be possible to have additional humanitarian flights to Beirut and in this way remain in constant support of mending the wounds of our people.
On August 4, immediately after the devastating explosion in Beirut’s seaport, the ARS mobilized all of its entities and on the very same day declared its “Stand with Lebanon” fundraising project. The funds collected are used to secure help for the immediate needs of the community. As soon as further assistance becomes available, the ARS will announce how that aid will be readily available to the community.
From the very start of the calamity, the Araxi Boulghourjian Sociomedical Center of ARS Lebanon, bolstered by the efforts of volunteers, has provided medical care and hot meals for hundreds of community members.
The spring bubbling and flowing from the maternal heart of the ARS shall always remain ample for the people, as we march in step with the people.