The local chapter of the Armenian Relief Society received a $22,000 check on Wednesday from Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital and its foundation as part of their observance of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Glendale News-Press reports.
Staffers and physicians pooled donations, which were later matched by the hospital’s foundation.
Wayne Herron, the foundation’s vice president of philanthropy, said he initially thought no more than a few thousand dollars would be raised.
“If you do good philanthropy, if you touch people’s hearts, people will respond,” Herron said.
The check was made out to the Sepan chapter of the Armenian Relief Society, which will use the money to help pay for mental health services for Glendale area residents, said chapter chairperson Miganoush Melkonian.
“As a nonprofit organization, we are used to approaching people and asking for donations, but this was the first time an organization like Glendale Memorial Hospital approached us with a proposal so close to our hearts,” she said.
Melkonian then likened the donation to when Near East Relief, a U.S. nonprofit, aided victims of the Armenian Genocide in the years after the tragedy that claimed 1.5 million lives.
She thanked the hospital for its additional efforts toward remembering the genocide, including providing employees with memorial pins, organizing a commemoration event on April 23 and holding a moment of silence on April 24.
Mayor Ara Najarian also spoke at the check-presentation event, commending hospital staffers for working together to raise money and choosing the Armenian Relief Society as the recipient.
“It’s really one for a corporate donor to get out and write a check, it’s a little blip on their balance sheet,” he said. “But for the staff, employees and doctors, it really means a lot. It’s really a community-based effort, so I’m very proud of that.”