YEREVAN, Armenia–Share-a-Pair, part of The Paros Foundation’s 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity, has successfully distributed more than 25,000 pairs of new shoes to Armenia’s most needy children.
Thanks to the support of generous sponsors and a major U.S. shoe manufacturer, The Paros Foundation staff and its volunteers and non-governmental organization partners, coordinated the effort to distribute shoes to children in need. Shoes were distributed to children in 11 orphanages, 8 boarding schools, 12 NGOs, and in14 cities and more than 100 villages throughout Armenia. Volunteers from Armenia, Sweden and the United States joined together in this ambitious distribution effort.
“Share-a-Pair embarked on the daunting task of putting shoes on the feet of children in Armenia’s most isolated and economically challenged villages and regions.” Said Peter Abajian, Executive Director of The Paros Foundation. “Paros Foundation Staff and volunteers visited more than 100 villages using kindergartens and schools as distribution points within a 3-month period.”
“Working to get shoes to children in the villages was exhausting.” Said Kristen Abajian, co-founder of Share-a-Pair. “Long drives on terrible roads, beautiful scenery and difficult conditions in the villages made this experience an emotional one for all of us. Seeing happy children and smiling faces made it all worth while.”
The Paros Foundation has produced a short nine-minute video featuring the shoe distribution process and some of the beneficiaries. The video is available by calling (310) 400-9061, or can be found on the Foundation’s website www.paros-foundation.org, facebook page or on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_17oYhBSrP0).
“When we started Share-a-Pair 18 months ago, our goal was clear and within reach—put 1,000 pairs of new shoes on the feet of needy Armenian children. I am so thankful that with the support of a selfless group of volunteers and donors, we were able to not only reach, but also far exceed our original goal. Now our focus shifts to warm winter boots,” said co-founder Bridget Abajian.
The Share-a-Pair team has now launched an effort to put warm winter boots on the feet of Armenia’s needy children called “Operation Winter Boots.” Donations are welcome in any amount, and a $20 donation will ensure a child’s feet stay warm in Armenia this winter.
The Paros Foundation was formally launched in 2006 and is based in Berkeley, California. Its Chairman, Roger Strauch, and Executive Director, Peter Abajian, have a long history of working with Armenia and the Armenian-American community to support Armenia’s rich culture and heritage, improve the lives of people with disabilities and to create positive opportunities for Armenia’s children. In 2011, The Paros Foundation launched its Paros 100 for 100, Projects for Prosperity initiative to properly commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide through the implementation of 100 special projects benefiting Armenia and her people. The Paros Foundation is not affiliated with the Ghazarian family’s Paros “Lighthouse” Charitable Foundation.
For more information and to get involved, please visit www.paros-foundation.org.