Davit Melikian, the owner of Heal Tree — a Durham CBD shop — is hosting a fundraiser this week. As a member of the local Armenian community, he is calling for people to assist with the crisis in Armenia.
For those who are not aware of the crisis: News sources say on Sept. 27, Azerbaijan began attacking the Artsakh region. Over 100 people died, marking a new escalation in the long-standing conflict. This number of casualties includes at least 13 Armenian civilians as of Oct. 2.
Many countries do not want to get involved because they worry the conflict will draw in others. Melikian worries that Armenians need help now.
He would know. He has a personal connection to the conflict, as his family is in Armenia now. Both his mother and brother (NC hip-hop producer Armenhammer of G Yamazawa’s “North Cack”) have front seats to what is going on. They provide Melikian with regular updates.
CBD Shop Fundraiser Information
The money from the CBD Shop’s fundraiser is going to the Armenia Fund, a nonpartisan nonprofit. They help with humanitarian efforts and Direct funding to people and infrastructure projects.
There are a few parts to the fundraiser. First, this Saturday Melikian will donate all his sales to the organization. Online sales will be donated all week. There will also be a raffle for a few prizes from local artists and business owners.
You can buy a raffle ticket or make a direct donation to the fundraiser online. You can also participate in the CBD shop’s fundraiser in person. For reference, the Durham CBD shop is across the street from the city’s Central Park.
Melikian says his goal is not only to raise money but also to “help bring awareness,” because “a lot of people don’t know what’s going on and have questions.” He wants to see more discussion about the conflict in both social and political circles.
“Armenians just want peace,” he says. “We are a landlocked country with a small population and GDP.” He also says he worries the military aid the U.S. sends to Azerbaijan is making things worse for the Armenians under fire. He hopes that his fundraiser can make a small difference for them, and maybe inspire others to do the same.
For more information on fundraisers and other CBD business initiatives going on in your community, visit our NC Business coverage.