The recent visit from members of The Fuller Center for Housing (FCHA) to our soup kitchen in Nor Nork was a nice surprise. Upon arrival, the group’s members, who never miss an opportunity to visit one of FAR’s project sites when they come to Armenia, greeted beneficiaries with affection, along with sweets and cookies in tow.

They got straight to work serving the kitchen’s 170 daily visitors. Beneficiaries approached them throughout the meal; many tried to thank them in English.

For Sona Manuelian of New Jersey, caring for these people gave her joy and a sense of gratitude. “When I come here my heart opens; it’s so different here. When I leave here, I leave my heart here. I cry when I come, I cry when I leave. By helping people, you open your heart and your soul,” she said. A former nurse, Sona has spent time helping out at the Vanadzor Old Age Home (VOAH) during her previous trips to Armenia. “It is the same. You are still serving and it’s a joy for me.”

When recalling her relatives from Western Armenia who escaped the genocide, Sona choked up and her eyes filled with tears. Then she continued, “Today I learned that by giving and feeding these people, you’re feeding their souls, you’re letting them live a better life so that they can survive another day.”

The day brought joy to Sona’s fellow group members as well. We are so thankful to our friends at FCHA for making the continuous effort to bring positive changes to the lives of our beneficiaries each time they are in Armenia.