Dear Friends of Armenian Family Support Services:
It is our great pleasure to invite you to join us in celebrating the 15th anniversary of Armenian Family Support Services!
In 2005, our founder Maida Icliates, with the help and blessing of Reverend Archpriest Father Zareh Zargarian, Vicar of the Armenian Diocese of Canada, had the great vision to create a safe place where people could come for guidance through life’s trying challenges. They realized the importance of a community support organization and so AFSS was born!
Since then we have achieved so much, providing essential services, growing as an organization, obtaining non-profit and Sponsorship Agreement Holder status, as well as establishing a multitude of relationships with funders, donors, community partners, volunteers and others.
Over the years we have had the honour to serve all those who needed a helping hand. The clients we served resembled us in every way except for the hardship of their circumstances. Whether they were citizens of our great country Canada, newcomers, refugees or the homeless, we helped them with our range of services that span the human life cycle.
Today our sector has undergone a seismic shift, both because of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and the major changes in charitable giving patterns. This gives us concern about our enduring presence within this reconfigured landscape. But we are hopeful and determined to grow and serve our community even better in future, with your help.
We wish to thank our funding partners--the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto, without whom we would not be able to accomplish our goals. Thank you as well to all our donors whose support has been so vital to our work.
We express gratitude to our Board Chairs and Directors past and present whose limitless empathy and passionate advocacy have brought us to where we are today. Thanks, as well, to our volunteers and staff without whom we would be unable to run our programs and services. And mostly we would like to thank each and every one of you. It’s because of you that our collective heart has the capacity to serve our vital community.
In the years ahead, despite the many challenges we face, we will continue to uphold our values of accountability, trust, collaboration, care and respect in our work with newcomers, refugees, seniors, youth, children and families. Their welfare will remain the centre of our focus and we look forward to many more years of service to our Community.
ARMENIAN FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES YEAR-END MESSAGE
16th Annual Christmas Cheer Campaign This year we had a record-breaking response to our Appeal and engaged the whole community to support this beautiful mission. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we were not able to distribute toys as in other years. Instead, we raised funds to buy gift cards and sent one-half of the Campaign donations to the dear little children of Artsakh. We thank all our donors for their overwhelming generosity.
Covid-19 Education Project To respond to the overwhelming need for Covid-19 support and education, AFSS assembled and distributed over 100 Covid-19 education and information bags to seniors in our community. Each bag contained Covid-19 educational materials in both English and Armenian, a gift card, masks, gloves, a sanitizer and lotion gift set, calming lavender sachets, colouring activity books and pastels, calming lavender sachets, herbal tea and cookies. These AFSS COVID-19 Health and Safety Wellness Kits were generously supported by the Government of Canada's Emergency Community Support Fund and Toronto Foundation. @CommFdnsCanada @ESDC_GC #ECSFund
Canada Day Celebrations This year we successfully transitioned our programming online. We were able to launch our Canada Day Celebration virtually and several hundred people from our community marked Canada Day with us. Our event featured musical performances by newcomers, games, fun activities, recipes, etc.
Soup Kitchen and Mental Health Event Our signature event is held in the winter to remind us of the conditions faced by the homeless in our community. This year we received donations of several kinds of delicious, heart-warming, home-made ‘soups for the soul’ prepared by Mothers and Grandmothers among us. Our Mental Health Information Session featured a Public Health Specialist who spoke about the Covid-19 pandemic which was just starting to spread.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2021
In 2021 we will move to a hybrid model of programming, with on-line virtual activities and hopefully some exciting actual events later in the year. We have great plans for the New Year and look forward to serving our community for many years to come.
If you would like to join our team and volunteer with AFSS, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to add you to our list.
Everyone at ARMENIAN FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!
SAVE THE DATE
Armenia Family Support Service's (AFSS) event "Ladles of Love, Feeding the Soul"
Your Valuable donations will help us to continue our service
To celebrateour 15 years of service, we are launching a series of videos and testimonials from those we have helped. Each one tells a heartfelt story about individuals and families who came forward with their words of gratitude explaining how AFSS has touched their lives. Each story talks about resilience and the indomitable nature of the human spirit.
These stories of perseverance and courage inspire us to do our best work.
You can make your donations by VISA, by cheque to AFSS, 920 Progress Avenue, Toronto M5G 3T5, or through PayPal.
Please write the purpose of your donation in the space provided for Notes.
AFSSS VIRTUAL SOUP KITCHEN
Join us virtually on our Facebook page onFebruary 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm
With Guest Speaker Dr. Katy Kamkar, PH.D. C, Psych. Clinical Psychologist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health CAMH & Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto And A Soup Masterclass by Chef Sebouh, Mayrik Toronto
Donations count as tithes and a tax-deductible receipt will be provided for donors.
As we approach the end of 2020, we would like to extend our thanks to all our AFSS Friends, Staff and Volunteers for their ongoing support during this past year.
Over the last 12 months we have all had to adapt to a new reality in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the hardships and isolation, these unprecedented challenges turned into opportunities for AFSS. We adapted quickly and continued to provide quality programs and services to our Community.