By Marina Bazayeva
When we entered the FAR Shirak department office with Dr. John Ounjian and saw that 59 CASP recipients and nearly 70 mothers and grandmothers had gathered in the hall of our office, an analogy came to mind. Just as there’s “Santa Claus,” also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, there's “Santa CASP,” which presents kids with gifts, not once but twice a year.
My thoughts were quickly interrupted by FAR’s attorney Gagik Lachikyan who introduced Dr. John Ounjian to the group. The doctor welcomed all CASP beneficiaries and spoke to them about the genuine intention of those in the United States who wish to help families in need. (Dr. Ounjian is chief benefector of FAR’s Ounjian School in Gyumri.) The beneficiaries were happy to have a chance to see the doctor in person and convey their gratitude. For all of them, I believe it helped to bring a human face to their CASP stipends.
The parents of the five new beneficiaries who enrolled during this distribution expressed special thanks to CASP donors. “We have a new addition to our family,” one parent said. “And we will light up one more candle when we go to the church now.”
It is indeed true that in life obstacles can often be overcome with a help of others.
Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) is an initiative of the Women’s Guild Central Council of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). Through support from benefactors abroad, CASP helps children from low-income families who have lost one or both parents through the distribution of yearly stipends, which help them make ends meet.