Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunshine Garden Gets Out the Vote

Last week, members of Sunshine Garden Senior Day Care Center performed at a Get Out the Vote luncheon hosted by several Chinatown community groups.

Over 400 people were in attendance.

The lunch was followed up this week with a voting workshop and visit to the new King County elections office.

Seniors learned how to fill out their ballots (but not what to fill out) and what happens to the ballots once they are mailed in.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

America from a Flemish Perspective

One of our Belgian friends recently shared this with us: "Looking for America" Flemish photographers' views of the essence of America.

To read the descriptions of the photos and why the artist chose the picture, go to Flanders Today. Don't you love the expression on the Costco lady's face?

And just in case you didn't know, Flanders is the name for the northern, Dutch speaking part of Belgium, distinct from Wallonia, the southern, French speaking part of the country.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall Cleaning

It's that time of year again, and time to clean our building. We can't believe it's already been 2 years since we moved into our new building! And now it's time to clean 2 years' worth of accumulated grit and grime.

Don't know if you've noticed, but the seagulls seem to have a proclivity for bombing our windows. We still can't figure out how they do it, but we're glad they're finally getting cleaned!

A big thanks to the workers who have been pressure washing the building with anti-graffiti solution for the past two days. It looks great!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lifelong Giving

You've heard of lifelong learning? Well at CISC, we also have lifelong giving.

Long time supporter and former board member Katty Chow now volunteers at CISC after having retiremee from a long career in the banking industry. She works with the SHIBA program (State Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) and teaches others how to navigate the vast, confusing system of health insurance.

Here, she is conducting a seminar one Saturday afternoon on the changes to Medicare Part D in 2009. Over 20 people took advantage of this opportunity and were grateful to learn about Medicare changes in a language and dialect that they could understand.

Thank you Katty for all you do!

In-home Care Providers

More than 30 In-home Care Providers were recognized recently by CISC at an event celebrating their contributions in keeping seniors and disabled persons living in their own homes as long as possible.

The Home Care Referral Registry sponsored the event, and program manager Judy Flynn was on hand to pull the lucky raffle ticket.

Caregivers were able to share their experiences and challenges with each other, get support, and create a sense of community in what can often be a very lonely job.

Thanks for all your hard work!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Did you know that Seattle has one of the highest rates of CPR training in the nation? Lucky for us. According to the American Heart Association, in cities such as Seattle, where CPR training is widespread and EMS response time is short, survival rates are about 30%.

Contrast that to New York City, where few victims receive bystander CPR, and time to EMS response time is longer. Survival rates there average only 1–2%.

But is bystander CPR as common in our limited English speaking immigrant communities? Do individuals in these communities have the same survival rates as the general population?

In order to increase our odds of survival, CISC's International Family Center-Seattle offers free CPR training to the community
. Last Saturday we had a number of individuals take advantage of this opportunity.

And just for your information if you're going to have a heart attack, CISC is not a bad place to be. All staff receive regular training in CPR and first aid.

In Other News...

Thanks to board member Steve Price for finding another CISC (besides the Canadian Indonesian Social Club).

This one's the Culinary Institute of Smoke Cooking. Check them out!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Friday, we spent the morning discussing fundraising (after having watched the Dow fall 850 points in the first 45 minutes of trading), trends and challenges we have been seeing and experiencing in our respective communities. Sharing experiences and best practices not only in service provision but financial stability is crucial, especially in these challenging and uncertain times.

Learning from one another, and looking to our colleagues from around the world for support is a key benefit to CISANI membership. It truly is a special group of individuals, who run an extraordinary collection of agencies to benefit Chinese and other immigrants in communities around the world.Our hats of to these dedicated individuals and organizations, and a big thanks to our friends in Houston for a wonderful and enriching experience in the Lone Star State!

For more information on CISANI, please visit our website: Looking forward to next year's meeting hosted by the Chinese American Planning Council in New York, NY!

Alaric & friend

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Today's schedule was lighter than than yesterday. We spent the morning touring our host agency, the Chinese Community Center and learning about all the programs they offer. They moved into a 55,000 square foot facility 2 years ago, and just completed their gymnasium/auditorium, which takes up about 1/3 of the space. No, that's not really Yao Ming there, just his life sized picture on the wall.

With all their space, they were able to host an international ping pong tournament this year. And with their 5 acres of land, they hold a lunar new year festival that draws some 12,000 people from all across Houston and points beyond!

They've got their own kitchen where they prepare lunch for their 6 day care classes, as well as a dance studio and in-house fitness center where staff are able to work out and relieve some stress. With all this space, what must their air conditioning bill be like, you wonder? Well, in the summer, it can be as much $20,000 per month!

We spent the afternoon touring the Chinatown area. Houston's Chinatown is a whopping 16 miles long! That's 2-1/2 miles longer than the island of Manhattan! When they say that everything's bigger in Texas, they really mean it!

One thing we've noticed about Houston: the food here is really good! Who would have thought that there would be such good Chinese food in Texas? That and the low cost of housing (an average home is only about $150,000) makes it easy to see why it is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.
This one comes with a pool!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


This year's annual conference of the Chinese Immigrant Service Agency Network-International is in Houston, TX. We spent the first day at our partner agency, Chinese Community Center 中華文化服務中心 discussing cities in transition.

Did you know that Houston is now the 4th largest city in the United States? And what was once a basically biracial city, dominated and controlled by white men, has over the last 25 years emerged as a city at the forefront of a new diversity that, according to Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg, "is refashioning the socio-political landscape of urban America"?

Bet you didn't know that Houston is one of the most culturally diverse metropolitan areas in the country where all of its ethnic communities are now minorities. (Anglos 36%, Blacks 18%, Hispanics 38%, Asians 7%)

Coming off their experience with Hurricane Ike last month, we discussed ways we could all learn from Houston to be better prepared for disasters, and how we can continue to provide service to our communities in the aftermath of hurricanes, earthquakes, pandemic flu, or whatever. Discussion amongst the participants revolved around how government can work better with limited English speaking communities. For examples, see the City of Houston's website.

Of course no visit to Texas would be complete without a genuine old-fashioned Texas barbecue, and our hosts treated us to a delicious barbecue this evening at a private ranch in Richmond, TX. And just in case you're wondering, it really is true. Everything is bigger in Texas!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

CACA Gives Away 1800 Pounds of Rice

A new community organization in town, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance recently held a fundraiser to purchase rice for low income seniors in the Chinatown area.

On Saturday, 30 volunteers from the UW and community gathered together at CISC to bag 1,800 pounds of rice for distribution.

Tickets were distributed this week to over 170 seniors who were able to pick up 10 pounds of rice each.

In these tough economic times, we really appreciate all the help we can get. Thank you CACA!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Health Fair

Last Saturday was the annual health fair at the International Family Center-Seattle. We had 15 agencies participating and over 150 attendees.

Visitors got information on things such as Hepititis B, health insurance, and Chinese medicine.

There were also screenings for bone density, blood sugar, and breast health. Not to mention raffle prizes from Western Union!

All the participants learned a lot and are looking forward to bringing their friends and family to next year's event.