Fourteen Organizations received Emergency Grants
Central California Nikkei Foundation (CCNF)
The Central Valley has become a high COVID-19 risk area of California, but with the Nikkei Center housed within the Vintage Gardens Assisted Living center, the Central California Nikkei Foundation is faced with additional challenges. With our Summer 2020 emergency grant, the CCNF will continue their existing services, plus expand their virtual services from their Nikkei Learning Center. The CCNF is now able to provide care packages and prepared foods to not only their faithful Nikkei Center seniors; but to many other seniors in the community who are faced with the same restrictions. Our grant has also given a boost to local JA restaurants & small business owners who have partnered with the CCNF to prepare food and other items for these care packages.
Learn more about CCNF at http://ccnf.org/
East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center (ESGVJCC)
Through our Spring 2020 grant, the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center were able to give free meals to seniors and offer additional meals for purchase for $3. In the first 12 weeks they were able to distribute 1,489 free meals and 648 additional meals for purchase and feed 175 seniors weekly. Through this effort, ESGVJCC also partnered with five local businesses who offered to sell meals to them at a discounted $5-$6 per meal, lowering overall costs. ESGVJCC will use our Summer 2020 emergency grant to continue to provide free senior meals through December 2020.
Learn more about ESGVJCC at https://www.esgvjcc.org/
Eden Township Japanese Community Center (Eden JCC)
The Eden Township Japanese Community Center, in partnership with J-Sei, Inc., provides hot Japanese lunches to seniors at their Community Center. As much-needed enhancement to their current hot lunch program, the Eden Township JCC in partnership with J-Sei, Inc. is now delivering the same meals to homebound seniors. Our grant will be used to purchase the necessary equipment to become a satellite of the J-Sei senior meal program. This includes, but is not limited to warming units, trays and hot meal containers, all of which will keep the meals at the appropriate temperature while being transported from J-Sei in Emeryville, to the Eden Community Center and then out to the homebound seniors’ homes throughout San Leandro and Hayward.
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Go For Broke National Education Center is challenged to successfully pivot from in-person programming to online experience. Expanding on the work of an earlier JACF grant to create a workplan for a more user-friendly web-based platform, this project includes execution of content development, engaging experiences, enhanced communications and a new centralized content management system for its Hanashi Oral History Collection. Our grant is being used to launch their new website by Fall 2020, by funding a technical consultant, programming, upgraded software, and additional hours for its part-time IT/Website Manager. With a new high-quality online presence and improved accessibility to its Nisei veteran resources, GFBNEC can effectively respond to current challenges and outreach to target audiences unable to access its resources due to the pandemic.
Learn more about GFBNEC at http://goforbroke.org/
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)/Pacific Citizen
The Pacific Citizen (the national newspaper of the Japanese American Citizens League), which is now in its 91st year in serving the Japanese American and AAPI communities, will use our grant for purchasing much-needed and necessary computer equipment, software upgrades and printers for use in producing the newspaper. Pacific Citizen’s publication provides national and community news, spotlight features on Asian Americans and much more, and computers and updated software are essential in providing that service. As a nonprofit, JACL/Pacific Citizen rely primarily on donations to sustain them, but with COVID-19, it has been extremely difficult to navigate through this time.
Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj)
The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) hopes to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted with a new low-touch safe environment. With this grant, JAMsj will integrate Salesforce application modules to operate the museum with minimal contact.
To reduce contact between guests and receptionists, JAMsj will implement a digital membership card system. The card will use near-field communication (NFC) technology allowing members to scan to enter with no contact. Non-member guests will sign-in on sanitized iPads. Currently, JAMsj organizes scheduling and check-in of over 200 volunteers with physical spreadsheets and sign-in sheets. Using NFC technology, volunteers will check-in and out with a digital volunteer card/badge with minimal contact to better provide COVID-19 precautions.
Japanese Community Pioneer Center (JCPC)
Japanese Community Pioneer Center is committed to supporting JA community seniors during this Covid-19 health crisis. The JCPC will provide guidance on health and safety measures to prevent transmission, and information on how to reduce the risk of exposure in both Japanese and English. This is essential as a high percentage of the population are older Japanese in their 70’s, and 80’s who struggle to communicate well in English. Funding will be used to provide meal assistance, as well as personal safety protective items such as masks, hand sanitizers, and gloves for seniors as well as for staff and the volunteers.
Since the pandemic began, J-Sei senior home delivered Japanese meals and grocery bags increased from serving 90 seniors to 120 per day, with new enrollments every week. Shelter-in-place mandates have further isolated older adults who have postponed medical appointments, important home safety repairs and more. As seniors have more restrictions over a longer period of time, J-Sei has experienced an increase in case management assistance that can no longer be postponed. This pent-up demand for Japanese translation/interpretation, health care, housing and home safety assistance is increasing and professional case management (social work) intervention is required to prevent further decline. Our emergency grant supports the purchase of raw foods, packing supplies, and groceries and case management services that provide a highly professional level of one-to-one guidance.
Since the Shelter in Place order was implemented in March 2020, Kimochi has seen a 26% increase in the number of senior meals provided. For additional comparison, in June 2018 Kimochi served 4,710 meals to seniors in the community, but in June 2020, they served 6,469 meals. As the pandemic continues, they are trying to increase their capacity to deliver meals to seniors who are sheltering in place at home. Although they provide a take-away option from their Senior Center located in San Francisco’s Japantown, it is preferred for seniors to receive delivery, so they do not risk exposure to COVID-19. Kimochi will use funds from our Summer 2020 emergency grant to support the delivery of meals to seniors sheltering in place due to COVID-19.
Kizuna Little Tokyo, Inc.
Since the pandemic began, Kizuna’s staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to transition their summer programs to entirely virtual formats. They created a Virtual Summer Camp for 180 students, 40 high schoolers are enrolled in their new program called Community Thrives, and 7 college students are this year’s Nikkei Community Interns. Their staff and volunteers have been mentors to these students for years and by continuing their programs, they are able to give their students a sense of normalcy, provide entertainment, and build strong community bonds. Kizuna will use our grant to fund payroll, volunteer appreciation gifts, and general operational expenses.
Learn more about Kizuna at https://www.gokizuna.org/
Long Beach Japanese Cultural Center (LBJCC)
In compliance with the shelter-in-place order, the Long Beach Japanese Community Center’s senior lunch program was modified from its Center-based program to delivering meals to the homes of their members. Our Spring 2020 emergency grant helped them to quickly and successfully respond to the urgent needs of their community in this very critical time. LBJCC was able to expand meal delivery to twice weekly. The majority of their members are widows/widowers, live alone, are of very advanced age (average 87) and have health and mobility challenges. Preparing meals, maintaining food supplies and social isolation are critical problems with this most vulnerable group. As word has spread in the community, the LBJCC did not anticipate the number of new referrals every week, however, they have not turned anyone away. LBJCC expended funds from our Spring 2020 emergency grant, however, our Summer 2020 emergency grant will ensure that they will be able to serve all who are in need throughout the remainder of the year.
Learn more about JBJCC at https://www.lbjcc.org/
Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC)
The pandemic is causing a mental health crisis. Little Tokyo Service Center has seen a large increase in the number of Nikkei seniors who are facing mental health issues as a result of this pandemic. Daily doses of uncertainty, isolation, fear and death are creating widespread psychological trauma and experts warn that an unprecedented wave of mental health problems is coming. LTSC’s Senior Activities Program was launched in March to reduce loneliness and isolation and has been successful in keeping residents of senior residential complexes engaged, stimulated and physically/mentally healthy. However, there is a great need for telehealth or in-person mental health counseling services for senior Nikkei who live in their homes. Therefore, LTSC will use our Summer 2020 emergency fund to reduce the impact of social isolation during COVID-19 by engaging clients in therapy sessions, and by providing support for family caregivers.
Learn more about JTSC at https://www.ltsc.org/
San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center (SFVJACC)
The San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center will use our Summer 2020 emergency grant to purchase soap, hand sanitizer, touch less dispensers, face masks and face shields for its 1,000 members and staff, as well as hire additional personnel to screen entry into the center. They will also install touch less faucets, water fountains, and toilets and purchase signage regarding masks, social distancing, and washing hands and provide new online programs for all ages to reduce isolation for their Japanese Language Institute, Karaoke, Ikebana, SFVJACC basketball, line dancing, ballroom dancing, and O-bon dancing.
Learn more about SFVJACC at https://www.accsv.org/
Due to COVID-19, Yu-Ai Kai’s services are in need more than ever. Yu-Ai Kai’s Social Service provides bilingual case management to seniors and their families. COVID-19 has eliminated all face-to-face services due to safety concerns. Case Managers are performing check-ins with clients via phone/video in order to provide assistance. Caregiving for a loved one is a stressful job and their Caregivers Support Groups offers caregivers a chance to talk, share their difficulties and tips in a confidential setting with people who understand what caregivers experience. COVID-19 has brought additional challenges and isolation to caregivers and the person they are caring for. Yu-Ai Kai’s Caregivers Support Groups will now be offered in English and Japanese via video conference. For those caregivers unable to do a video conference, the case manager will contact them separately to ensure they have support and are not alone. Our Summer 2020 emergency grant will be used to help cover costs associated with their Case Management staff and their Caregivers Support Groups.