For the fourth year in a row, HSBC Bank Armenia and FAR collaborated to fulfill the Christmas wishes of kids from seven different kindergartens in Armenia’s impoverished Aragatsotn and Shirak Provinces.
Started in 2007 as part of HSBC’s Youth Opportunities Program, the Toy Drive Initiative brings gifts to children around the world. In partnership with local charitable organizations, HSBC donates the presents, which its employees buy and collect throughout the month of December.
This year, HSBC Bank Armenia employees joined FAR staff on December 18th to distribute the gifts to 343 children in the villages of Panik, Mets Mantash, Harich, Tsaghkahovit, Geghadzor, Hnaberd and Norashen.
“We didn’t really expect the presents to arrive. FAR asked us to send the wish lists yet we didn’t really believe they were coming. But today it happened and made everyone happy, not only the kids but the kindergarten staff as well. FAR and HSBC made it a real holiday for the children,” said Director of Mets Mantash Kindergarten Aghas Arakelyan.
CEO of HSBC Bank Armenia Paul Edgar said the Toy Drive Initiative is one of the most popular corporate social responsibility activities of the year at HSBC Armenia.
“HSBC has been here in Armenia since 1996. Getting involved in community activities, working with FAR to bring festive spirit to people who really deserve it, is a wonderful opportunity to give a little bit back to the community,” he said. “Everybody gets very involved in it. We received the wish lists from FAR [in early December] and everything was finalized in a few days. That’s fantastic. I bought five presents myself—a L.O.L. doll, two airplanes, a car, and a robot.”
In previous years, HSBC Bank Armenia cooperated with FAR to bring presents to children in the Berd Region of Tavush Province where FAR’s comprehensive Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP) has been implemented for the past six years.