Armenian Relief Society
The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) (Armenian: Հայ Օգնութեան Միութիւն, Հ.Օ.Մ. H.O.M.), is an independent, non-governmental organization that serves the social and educational needs of Armenian communities and brings humanitarian help to communities in distress.
In September 1910, renowned intellectual Edward Khachadour Maloumian, upon arriving in the United States, encouraged Armenian women to take a more active role in the service of the Armenian people. Thus, in a period of a few months, Maloumian organized the existing women's groups as a cohesive nationwide society. The number of chapters grew rapidly, and by the date of its first Convention, held in May 1915, there were 33 registered chapters across the United States and Canada. It currently has affiliate entities in 27 different countries.
Purpose and Activity
- To serve the humanitarian needs of all communities that may require emergency aid, regardless of ethnic origin or religious affiliation;
- To preserve the cultural identity of the Armenian people, worldwide;
- To promote the educational, social, health and welfare of communities;
- To enhance the education of the Society's members and encourage their involvement in public service;
- To encourage participation in local organizations engaged in community activities and social services compatible with the principles of the Society;
- To act as a focal point at the informational level; and
- To cooperate with organizations with similar aims.