Armenian Relief Society

The 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 Chicago“Zabelle” 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 Cross.

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 Region’s communities through its 33 chapters located east of the Mississippi River.

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 all Armenians

. Preserving the cultural identity of the Armenian people

. Serving the humanitarian needs of all communities that may require emergency aid.