LOS ANGELES - As fighting continues between Armenia and Azerbaijan, support has been flooding in from all over California as people send aid to Armenia and Artsakh.
Thousands of people from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco have donated items such as warm clothes and medical equipment to the non-profit organization, Code 3 Angels.
On Oct. 10, a cargo plane carrying 20 tons of donated items landed in Yerevan, Armenia.
Surgical and medical equipment, mobile X-rays, hospital beds, sleeping bags, mobile generators as well as warm clothes were all transported to Armenia from Los Angeles thanks to a partnership with Code 3 Angels and the Armenia Fund.
“It’s been amazing, it’s been overwhelming and just all of us coming together just to help. It’s about humanity, it’s a human issue and we’re just trying to be there for them as a community,” said Code 3 Angels founder Joe Krikorian.
For weeks people have been dropping off items at his Sierra Madre location, where his team has been sorting them and packing them.
“Definitely more will be going. The warehouse keeps on filling up with aid from the community, from the donations and everything else,” added Krikorian.
In addition to medical supplies and equipment, medical staff including trauma surgeons are also traveling to Armenia to help aid residents.
“From one box in one day we had about 300 boxes of medical aid from basic first aid kits, to vitamins, to trauma kits. And with the monetary donations I would order tourniquets and Quikclots, and major trauma kits for the community there to start a Stop the Bleed campaign,” he stated.
As founder of Code 3 Angels, Krikorian has been traveling to Armenia twice a year to help train doctors and residents in CPR, first aid, and cardiac life support.
He founded his organization in 2016; while on a trip to Armenia he says a little boy died from cardiac arrest and people around him didn’t know how to treat the boy. That’s when Krikorian decided to train the community as well as doctors.
“I decided that we are training all these doctors but the community doesn’t know what to do, so I started Code 3 Angels. I came back and said we have to start training the community and ever since then we’ve been going to Armenia and Artsakh a lot,” Krikorian said.
Since then he and his team have been providing schools with first aid kits as well as training hospital staff and even members of the Stepanakert fire department.
Due to the ongoing fights and increase of causalities, hospitals in and around Artsakh are running low on supplies. But people are hoping this huge shipment from Los Angeles will help.
In addition to donations made to Code 3 Angels from the community, doctors at USC have donated up to $300,000 in surgical equipment.
Krikorian says all the donated items will be sent to communities in dire need of medical help.
According to the Armenia Fund a second cargo plane will soon arrive in Yerevan, to which the country will reach another 40 tons of humanitarian aid.
Globally, the Armenia Fund has raised over $120 million.