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USA: Update on ARS hurricane relief efforts

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The Armenian Relief Society chapters throughout the Western region are continuing to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina victims.

Its San Francisco "Garin" and East Bay "Erepouni" Chapters took advantage of their annual St. Gregory Church bazaar and set up collection stations all over the bazaar site in San Francisco; the Montebello "Nairy" Chapter set up a table at Holy Cross Cathedral; the Studio City "Meghry" Chapter used the Armenian Center as a collection station; other chapters got on the phone and collected funds for the Hurricane victims. In Orange County, California, where the "Sevan" and "Karni" Chapters are located, a fundraiser is planned at Zov's Bistro in Tustin, on October 30. Zov Karamardian, who is underwriting all the cost of the event, said that she was moved to do her part for the evacuees.

Meanwhile, the ARS Eastern USA, is working to provide assistance to families who have escaped to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from the New Orleans area. The organization is focusing on assistance to families and schools. The ARS has been contacting mostly Louisiana schools, to provide school supplies, uniforms, play clothes, and toiletries for children who have transferred from the hurricane stricken regions.

"We feel responsible to make a difference in the lives of the families and children who have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina," ARS-WR Chair Angela Savoia siad. "We all know how burdened schools are these days, and we are glad to assist those that have taken in evacuee children; this is the most effective way to impact the lives of those who have lost everything."

The Western Prelacy has designated the ARS as one of the agencies to offer Gulf Coast disaster relief donations. Tax-deductible donations may be sent, payable to the "ARS of Western USA," to: 517 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202-2812; the organization requests that donations be marked: "Hurricane Victims Fund."