Armenian Relief Society was founded on January 1, 1910 in
New York, USA, by the renowned ARF leader, Etvart Agnouni
(Khatchadour Malounian). The organization was known as the
Armenian Red Cross. Chapters were founded in Armenian communities
throughout the United States and eventually the rest of
world. The ARS ChicagoZabelle Chapter was one
of the initial seventeen chapters established in 1910.
During the two years of the Armenian Republic from 1918-1920,
the Armenian Red Cross was recognized as the Social Service
and Relief Arm of the Republic of Armenia and was able to
participate in the 10th Congress of the International Red
From 1920-1946 the organization was known as the Armenian
Relief Corps. On February 6, 1946 the name of the organization
became the Armenian Relief Society (ARS).
On September 15, 1973, the Chicago chapter was named Zabelle
in honor of the late Ungerouhie Zabelle Seropian.
From its inception, the ARS rallied around the Homeland
providing much needed aid to Armenian Genocide survivors
as well as emergency assistance to victims of natural disasters
and war. Moreover, the ARS has assisted the affected communities
in their efforts of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Today, the ARS serves the needs of the Eastern Regions
communities through its 33 chapters located east of the
As an independent, non-profit, humanitarian organization,
the ARS is officially recognized by the United Nations (UN)
as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), with consultative
status at the UN Economic and Social Committee.
The purposes and aims of the ARS include:
. Promoting the education, health and welfare of
. Preserving the cultural identity of the Armenian
. Serving the humanitarian needs of all communities
that may require emergency aid.