The Armenian Ambassadors
Working Together to Support Children's Health Care
By Eunice Oh
Each and every donor makes an impact at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. And when donors band together, the effect can be exponential. The Ambassadors—a community of philanthropic partners who raise funds and awareness on behalf of the hospital throughout the year—underscore CHLA's collaborative spirit, and include more than 2,300 supporters committed to our mission of creating hope and building healthier futures.
The Ambassadors program is made up of seven distinct leadership groups that establish their own fundraising priorities and goals. While many groups have adopted a specific division at CHLA, the Armenian Ambassadors have supported multiple clinical areas, including the Heart Institute, The Vision Center, the Division of Neurology and the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. Since the Armenian Ambassadors were formed in 2015, they have raised more than $1.3 million.
"Our goal is to help ensure that Children's Hospital has the best resources to care for our children." — Narine Galstian, member of the Armenian Ambassadors Leadership Council
"Our goal is to help ensure that Children's Hospital has the best resources to care for our children," says Narine Galstian, a former patient who now serves on the Armenian Ambassadors Leadership Council. "Given the hospital's close proximity to the Little Armenia neighborhood in Los Angeles, we are grateful for the opportunity to share our philanthropic heritage with a place that has welcomed so many of our families."
Every year, more than 2,000 patients of Armenian descent are treated at CHLA's main campus. The hospital reaches even more Armenian children in the Greater Los Angeles area, as well as children 7,000 miles away in Armenia, through medical missions, telemedicine initiatives and partnerships with the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and the Armenian EyeCare Project.
The Armenian Ambassadors support CHLA through individual giving and group fundraising, and by introducing their families, friends and colleagues to the lifesaving work performed at the hospital. Many members have joined because of a personal connection as patient families or former patients. Others—such as the Agape Circle of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church, businesses, and honorary members Kim Kardashian West and the rock band System Of A Down—are inspired by the parallels between CHLA's family-centered care and the family-oriented culture of the Armenian community.
"CHLA has provided so many kids both here in Los Angeles and in Armenia with the most excellent care for so many years," says System Of A Down's Serj Tankian. "I'm proud to have a connection to such a hospital."
"We are forever grateful for the wonderful care our daughter received from the amazing team of specialists at Children's Hospital," adds Armenian Ambassadors Leadership Council member George Tonikian. "My wife and I are proud to give back in this way and to help future generations whose lives, like our child's, will be improved because of CHLA."