The Armenian Relief Society, formerly known as the Armenian Red Cross, is an independent, non-governmental and non-sectarian philanthropic organization, which serves the humanitarian needs of the Armenian people and the community at large. The Armenian Relief Society is present in 27 countries internationally with over 15,000 members globally, a majority of whom are women.
The Armenian Relief Society is the largest and oldest Armenian women’s humanitarian and philanthropic organization in the world. It was founded in the United States in 1910, 10 years prior to American women being allowed to vote. While most members of the Armenian Relief Society are of Armenian descent, the ARS emphasizes to its members that they are first and foremost citizens of the countries they reside in and should support the needs of their communities as in addition to aiding Armenians in need. Since the 1970’s, the ARS has been closely involved in UN activities. As a consultative member of ECOSOC and as an internationally involved NonGovernmental Organization, the ARS remains a strong advocate of human rights, social justice and civil society around the world.