First I want to welcome the new member of our little group, Christian; it is great to have you post about the East coast life.
Now I want to address the issue of helping Armenia. In my personal opinion, which if anybody asks I can try to back up with historical facts, Diaspora (all around the world) should have one prime goal MAKING SURE THAT ARMENIA THRIVES.
I know it is hard to work with a corrupt government of Armenia, but there are still ways to work around their incompetence and corruption. One very good example is the aforementioned trip to Armenia of our fellow brothers. They will provide all of the financial and material help DIRECTLY. I believe that this is the best way to circumvent the corrupt government bureaucracy and get things done the right way.
I am sure some of you know this lady (I forgot her name...shame), she is a wealthy Armenian-American who EVERY year COLLECTS money and other funds from her own pocket, Armenian businesses, wealthy Armenians, and any other sponsors in USA, and takes that money DIRECTLY to Armenian orphanages and to the families of fallen fedayis and soldiers ( in other words the levels of Armenian society that are most vulnerable, and are usually the poorest).
What I am trying to say is that, Armenians in the Diaspora, especially the wealthy ones, should make helping Armenia not a hobby (like it is today unfortunately for the MOST of them), but one of their primary concerns. I know quite a few rich Armenian in Russia, US, Argentina, and Europe that could do more for our country. Because if Armenia is gone, then the Diaspora is also gone since Diaspora needs a mother country to be considered a Diaspora, otherwise we would be just like Gypsies, just a group of people living here an there.