BOSTON and YEREVAN — “Lively, warm, colorful – a happy place,” that’s how Anna Tellalian described her visit to the Children’s Center in Yerevan, Armenia. The Children’s Center is a program of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR).
Inspired to raise funds to support the work of the center, Anna Tellalian set out to develop a plan. But first, she arranged a second visit to learn more about the center. Her mom and dad, Leslie and Haig Tellalian, joined her.
Anna, with her parents and brothers, Owen, Evan and Bennett, and grandparents, Don and Barbara Tellalian, were visiting Armenia with parishioners and friends of Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston, Cambridge led by the pastor, Rev. Vasken Kouzouian. The trip, planned by Sima Tours, included visits to pre-Christian Roman Temples, and early Christian churches and monasteries, some dating back to the 5th century.
Interspersed were visits to centers of innovation including the much-celebrated Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, the Cascade with the Cafesjian Center for the Arts as well as social service programs. Of course, evenings in Yerevan were filled with good food, music and interesting walks.
During the second visit to the center, Anna’s resolve deepened. Much to her delight, she met several of the children. The children showed Anna how to make the bracelets that she would offer to sell to raise funds. They were all smiles. One child pointed to Anna’s freckles and her own, delighted with the discovery. Another child was so excited that they shared the same name, Anna. The warmth was palpable. With the opportunity to speak with the center’s Programs Manager Manane Petrosyan about the center, and armed with brochures and bracelets made by the children, Anna was almost ready.
The day after her return home, Anna prepared paklava with her grandmother. Now, with a poster prepared, she was ready. With the bracelets and hand-painted scarves created by the children, the paklava and the poster, Anna with her friend, Kate Weisel and brother, Bennett, set up a table at Roche Brothers in Wellesley. Each item was offered with a suggested donation to the center. The response was enthusiastic. Much to her delight, they raised just over $300. Anna is so pleased that that the funds raised will help to make a difference in the lives of the center’s children.