GLENDALE — The Syrian Armenian Relief Fund (SARF) continues its mission to heed to the humanitarian needs of the Syrian-Armenian community. The situation throughout Syria remains very perilous, especially in Aleppo where a resilient, but dwindling community struggles with maintaining normalcy in their day-to-day lives.
On Aug. 23, outgoing SARF chairman, John Titizian, presided over his last committee meeting, completing his two year service to the organization. He led a committee comprised of representatives of ten community organizations and churches. Together they raised and transferred to Syria and to Syrian Refugees in Armenia more than $1.4 million for use in humanitarian relief.
Raffi Kendirjian has been appointed Chairman of SARF for the upcoming two-year period. Mr. Kendirjian had severed in the capacity as Vice Chairman of the organization for the past two years. Sona Madarian and Meher Der Ohanessian continue their roles as secretary and treasurer respectfully.
On September 7, 2016, a reception in honor of John Titizian was held at Phoenicia Restaurant, with the participation of approximately 30 executive and supporting committee members, as well representative of community organizations and churches. On behalf of the SARF Executive Committee, Raffi Kendirjian, incoming Chairman, and Meher Der Ohanessian, Treasurer, presented Titizian with a plaque in appreciation of his efforts. Sona Madarian, Secretary, and Nora Bezdikian, Chairlady of the Women’s Auxiliary, presented Titizian with a memento. Many of those present reflected on Titizian’s outstanding service and professionalism while serving as SARF Chairman and his efforts to broaden the scope of support inside Syria as well as for refugees in Armenia.
Under the leadership of Titizian, a series of lectures, cultural performances, concerts, a movie showing, and most importantly a successful telethon kept the plight of the Syrian-Armenian community alive and on the minds of Armenian-Americans throughout the nation.
Inside Syria, SARF, though its local counter-party, “SHDAB”, Syrian-Armenian Emergency Relief and Reconstruction Organization, provides assistance to help support our Syrian Armenian community’s essential needs including water, food, shelter, health, and education.
Besides raising essential funds to benefit the needs of the communities throughout Syria and notably the Armenian community in Aleppo, SARF also partnered with US based non-profits such as the Ani and Narod Foundation and international agencies such as OXFAM and UNHCR to provide rental subsidy to Syrian-Armenians fleeing the war and residing in Armenia.
The Syrian Armenian Relief Fund (SARF) was founded in 2012 as a collaborative effort of the major Armenian organizations in the United States. Its purpose is to provide aid and assistance to Armenians in Syria – primarily in Aleppo – who are victims of the raging Syrian civil war.
The following churches, charities, and organizations came together to form the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund in August 2012: Armenian Catholic Eparchy in North America; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Western Diocese of the Armenian Church; Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America; Armenian General Benevolent Union; Armenian Missionary Association of America; Armenian Relief Society of Western USA; Armenian Democratic Liberal Party; Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western USA; and Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Western USA.
We urge members of our community in the United States to continue their much needed support to their brothers and sisters in Syria by sending their donations to SARF.
To make a contribution, either donate online at www.SyrianArmenianReliefFund.org or send a check made out to SARF: P.O. Box 1948, Glendale, CA 91209-1948.