Armenia Fund to host 20th annual Thanksgiving Day telethon

The Armenia Fund, a nonprofit humanitarian aid group, will host its 20th annual Thanksgiving Day telethon Thursday.

The telethon, this year called “Fruitful Artsakh,” will air for 12 hours, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 24, and will benefit irrigation projects in Armenia and Artsakh.

“The telethon is the culmination of all the efforts of what we have done throughout the year,” said Maria Mehranian, president of the Armenia Fund. “It’s the coming together of all Armenians throughout the world, wherever the telethon is broadcast. It rallies the resources of the diaspora.”

The Armenian diaspora refers to communities of Armenians living outside the Republic of Armenia.

The telethon has brought in roughly $12 million to $16 million over the past 10 years, Mehranian said.

The featured project this year is the installation of high-tech drip irrigation systems to deliver a constant source of water for Armenian farmers that will help with sustainable food production in the local and regional areas, according to Mehranian.

Various art and entertainment programs will run throughout the telethon with visits from community leaders as well as footage showcasing past projects funded by the telethon.

The Armenia Fund is also known for providing logistical support and funding of an annual medical trip to Armenia by members of Adventist Health Glendale.

According to Mehranian, the Armenia Fund has raised more than $350 million for its causes since its creation in 1994.

“This is the only organization that brings all the Armenians together. It doesn’t have a denomination or political affiliation. It’s like the Super Bowl of all the Armenian events,” Mehranian said.