The Armenian Relief Society (A.R.S.), a philanthropic organization, was founded in New York City in 1910. The organization is the first and largest Armenian International Women's organzation governed by volunteers. Soon after its inception, the primary mission of the A.R.S. was to care for the survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. After World War I and II, the A.R.S. played an important role in receiving and resettling thousands of Armenians deported from their homes.
Today, through its broad- based development and support of the Armenian network in the Diaspora, the A.R.S. has over 18,000 members worldwide.
With its primary mission of providing emergency help and social services to the Armenian communities throughout the world, the A.R.S. also provides assistance to various Armenian and non-Armenian humanitarian relief and development programs by collaborating with international organizations such as USAID, the World Health Organization, the World Council of Churches, the United Nations Children?s Fund, and various Red Cross organizations. The ARS is officially recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with the UN Economic and Social Committee.
The A.R.S. Mission
As an independent, nongovernmental and nonsectarian organization, with affiliate entities in 23 different countries serving the social and educational needs of communities everywhere, seeking to preserve the cultural identity of the Armenian nation, and, whenever and wherever the need arises, to bring humanitarian help to all communities in distress - Armenian and non-Armenian alike - the Society pursues the following aims:
- To promote the spiritual and physical well being of our communities
- To enhance the education of the Society's members and encourage their involvement in public service
- To encourage participation in local organizations engaged in community activities and social services compatible with the principles of the Society.
- To cooperate with organizations with similar humanitarian aims.
The A.R.S. Fresno Mayr or Sophia Chapter
The A.R.S. Fresno Mayr (Mother) Chapter was founded in Fresno in 1915 and was the first chapter of the A.R.S. of Western USA (ARS-WR), one of 12 regions of the ARS International. Later, to accommodate the continuously growing membership of the chapter, a second Fresno chapter, A.R.S. Fresno Sophia Chapter was added.
Contact the A.R.S. Fresno Mayr and Sophia
A.R.S. Fresno Mayr and Sophia Chapter
2348 N. Ventura Street
Fresno, CA 93721