Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief Launches New Florida Chapter
By Grant Pakhtigian
FLArmenians Guest Contributor
My name is Grant Pakhtigian and I am the new President of the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief Florida Chapter (SOAR-FL). I am an Armenian-American, but I am a Christian first, and humbly accept my Armenian faith and heritage with great pride and patience.
Today, as we launch our new Florida chapter, we will gather together to celebrate our faith, heritage and Diaspora. Preliminarily, we invite you to join us for an hour each month for reflection and discussion under the direction of our National Chapter President George S. Yacoubian, Jr., J.D., Ph.D.
Several topics will be discussed at our first meeting. We will also have some logistical ideas to discuss for those travelling from a distance. Once we get closer to the meeting date, things will develop more rapidly, and we should all come prepared to discuss issues relevant to the SOAR mission and website.
With this opportunity, we plan to develop a cohesive unit, with support through communications via phone and email. It’s my understanding that we can collect items for shipment to specific Armenian orphanages, and may I suggest to each one of you who go to a Church or school to start a collection drive of your own. Items will be shipped to Armenia through the National Chapter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Please visit the SOAR website, http://www.soar-us.org, to see what items are needed for Armenian orphans.
As we choose to serve our under privileged youth in Armenia, let us keep in mind mirroring other successful SOAR Chapters. This will give us an opportunity to avoid pitfalls while taking advantage of sister networks across the United States and abroad.
As servants for our orphaned Armenian children in Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Javakh, let us give ourselves without reservation of time or effort. “I can do all things through the Lord who strengthens me”, Phillipians 4:13. We will step up for one another when the burden becomes too much, with helping hands and joyful hearts.
Opening up the line of communication is essential, both with fellow Armenians and parents to those in the community. We can lead in our efforts to reach out to fellow Armenians, and engage them in the SOAR mission.
As President of the SOAR Chapter in Florida, my contributions will be as a leader and humble servant. I look to search and encourage fellow Armenians to join the Organization and express their voice without judgment. Further, we wish to fulfill the goals of the SOAR-FL Chapter and utilize the template from SOAR sister organizations across the nation and abroad.
It is with encouragement that I conclude with a debt of gratitude for those considering joining the Organization, and being a part of the volunteers for the SOAR Florida Chapter. Please follow FLArmenians.com for updates on what transpires over the next few weeks and months leading up to our official launch. If you are interested in volunteering and being a part of SOAR-FL, or if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.