SPRINGFIELD, Penn. — The Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR) is the only charitable organization whose singular mission is to provide humanitarian assistance to orphaned Armenians around the world. The organization is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a “Crimson and Crystal Celebration” on March 28, at the Springfield Country Club.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Lucy Yeghiazaryan Jazz Quartet and Elie Berberyan and Band. Event proceeds are earmarked for the Armenian Evangelical Boarding School (AEBS) in Ainjar, Lebanon; Kharberd Orphanage in Yerevan, Armenia; and the Our Lady of Armenia Center in Gyumri, Armenia.
Founded in 2005, SOAR provides humanitarian relief to orphaned Armenian children and orphaned adults with disabilities around the world. Through our in-country staff and trusted network of global volunteers, SOAR strives to provide this institutionalized population with the same educational and social opportunities as their non-institutionalized counterparts while simultaneously facilitating deinstitutionalization, family empowerment, and reunification.
Represented by 144 Chapters, 6 Junior groups, and more than 600 volunteers worldwide, SOAR supports 43 institutions — orphanages, special boarding schools, day centers, and orphan summer camps — in Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk, Lebanon, and Syria. In addition to SOAR’s institutional-based work, SOAR established the Services to Children in their Own Home (SCOH) Program. The SCOH Program works with residential institutions to deinstitutionalize and reunify children with biological families and provides home-based services after reunification to reduce the economic, social, emotional, and professional barriers within the family dynamic that may trigger reinstitutionalization.
SOAR prides itself on collaboration, creativity, cross-cultural respect, fiscal responsibility, and transparency. In 2006, distributions totaled approximately $60,000. Since 2015, SOAR has exceeded $1 million distributions annually. SOAR’s efforts not only address the major humanitarian constructs of education, emotional and psychological support, nutrition, health and hygiene, dental and vision care, and fundamental human rights, but academic programs offer curricula on a multitude of topics that stimulate intellectual curiosity, empowerment, and enrichment.
For many members, SOAR is their life’s work who cannot forget the orphaned children they have embraced as their own. They look forward to more supporters and more people who can embrace the same vision.