BURBANK, CA : On Saturday, February 10, 2013, the Armenian Youth Federation- Burbank “Varak” Chapter hosted a walkathon to aid the Armenians currently residing in Syria. This event raised funds, as well as awareness within the community, for the Syrian Armenian Crisis.
“Those currently residing in Syria live in a very dangerous environment as the civil war continues to ignite violence and destruction throughout the country,” said Armen Tashjian, one of the walkathon participants. Schools, churches, homes, and community centers have been torn down. Crimes of kidnapping, murder, and torture have been executed by rebel and militant forces. As a result, thousands of Armenians have been displaced, while others continue to struggle living in the midst of a cross-fire.
Registration began at 10:00 a.m., where dozens of concerned community members signed up to participate in the walkathon. At approximately 10:45 am, the eager participants began their 3.5 mile walk toward the Burbank Youth Center. During the walk, volunteers passed out informational postcards to stores and pedestrians on the way. The participants reached their destination at 12:45 pm. Upon arrival, a member of the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund, Mher Tavidian, spoke about the organization, highlighting what it does and how it’s effective .
“It was great to see AYF and non-AYF members alike unite under a common cause to show that we care about the well-being of brothers and sisters in Syria. As diasporan Armenians, it is our duty to offer helping hands to fellow Armenians who are in need of aid,” said Harry Pehlivanian, a member of the AYF-Burbank “Varak” Chapter.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.
If you would like more information on this topic, or would like to find out how you can help, please visit the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund’s website: www.syrianarmenianrelieffund.org