NK Shoebox Appeal from London and Future is Now NGO in Yerevan are happy announce that in February all 1,192 shoeboxes were successfully delivered to displaced children of Artsakh, along with 350 items of woollen clothing donated by Xenia Telunts. Deliveries were made to the following towns and villages: Abovyan, Charentsavan, Aramus (village) Jrvezh, Aparan, Armavir, Mrgashat, Arevik, Metsamor, Babloyan Children’s Hospital, Dilijan, Edjmiatsin Garni, Gyumri, Stepanakert, Tsakhkadzor and Vanadzor.
Hasmik Gasparyan, from Future Is Now explains their work to support displaced families, “We currently support around 20 families, helping them with rent, utility bills, providing jobs at our cafe, organising events and classes for children. Among those families are wounded soldiers who we help them with medicine, and we also have a few families with pregnant women who we fully support. There are also at least one thousand cases where we visit or send out food boxes, clothes and hygiene products to families.”
Many shoebox donors included their contact details within cards and letters received messages and phone calls from families, “I received a text and phone call today from a family in Armenia who received a shoebox from me. It was such a wonderful feeling and so emotional. I had a good long chat with the family and was introduced to them all and we will keep in touch for sure.” It was particularly warming to see non-Armenians from the UK and Europe connect in this way with those afflicted by war in Armenia. Other families have decided to further support the children who received their shoebox, through sponsorship facilitated by Future is Now. Victoria from NK Shoebox Appeal explains, “Our aim was always to connect people here in the UK, to displaced families of Artsakh in Armenia. We feel we have succeeded on this front. It was by no means a simple feat and we are so grateful to everyone who facilitated in getting this done. It shows that with determined organisation, good will and cooperation, a positive impact can be made.”
Hasmik took care of the distribution of all the shoeboxes, and said there were many memorable and touching moments, “When we were in a big social house in Metsamor, a lovely teenage girl called Knarik started helping me (she lives there with her 5 siblings). She was very sweet, and was looking at the boxes with such admiration. I told her that the boxes came all the way from London, she thought for a while and told me that she wonders if everything else in London is as beautiful as these boxes.”