Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Warm Scarves for a Chilly Winter

Winter has undeniably arrived in Seattle, and everyone seems to be talking about the cold weather recently. So there was no better time for the Scarf Knitting Group at CISC's Sunshine Garden Senior Day Care Center to warm up our community a little with some scarf donations in recent weeks. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, New Beginnings, an organization providing support to victims of domestic violence, and CISC domestic violence clients received some of the Group's hand-made scarves, hats, and socks. The seniors also recently donated some of this winter clothing to the International District Housing Alliance, an organization that provides low-income International District residents with community-building and housing-related services.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Family Caregiver Appreciation

CISC held an appreciation party last week to honor our caregivers. Everyone shared a homemade dish, as well as some of their experiences taking care of their loved ones. Each caregiver also received DVDs about Stress Reduction and Medication Safety that were produced by CISC's Family Caregiver Program. Some of the caregivers are home-bound and were unable to attend, in which case they will have the DVDs delivered to them. Home-bound or not, we appreciate the work our caregivers do and are happy to support all of them!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Donor Appreciation Photos

These photos are also from last Wednesday's donor thank you event. The food was a big hit, as was the CISC trivia Bingo board.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Family Caregiver Ad

Video featured on Komo 4 TV this summer.

Family Caregivers

November is National Family Caregiver Month, honoring the meaningful and selfless act of taking care of our loved ones.

Did you know that there are over 650,000 caregivers in Washington state alone? And 92% of them receive no pay.

Washington has a 20 year history of national leadership in supporting unpaid family caregivers. At CISC, each family we support costs around $2,000. But it saves the system up to $52,000 compared to nursing homes.

Now, that's an investment we can bank on!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Donor Appreciation

CISC appreciates its donors and held an event to thank them Wednesday evening. It was a chance to get to know each other better, learn more about the agency, and (0f course) enjoy some nice food together.

A huge thanks to our hosts Bill & Agnes Kwan and all our supporters for helping CISC create opportunities for Asian immigrants and their families to succeed!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Complete Count Committee Convening

We spent last Friday in Spokane participating in the Seattle Region's Complete Count Committee Convening for the 2010 Census. Representatives from WA, OR, ID, Northern CA and AK gathered to learn about the census and how to make sure everyone is counted.

CISC's contribution was to share our efforts on how we have tried to encourage our traditionally undercounted communities to participate. From T-shirts to chopsticks to fortune cookies to presentations at the international conference of Chinese Immigrant Service Agencies, we continue to try to let people know why it is important to be counted:
  1. For every person not counted, our community loses $1,400 in federal dollars each year.
  2. We need to count all residents - citizens and non, documented and not - so we can have adequate representation in government, and services for our community.
  3. The census is safe - personal information cannot be shared with immigration, police, housing authorities, or the IRS.
For more information on why it's important to be counted, go to

Friday, November 13, 2009

Providing a Voice for Immigrant Youth

CISC just received a generous $10,000 donation from Qwest for the Youth Voices Project. This is a project that aims to integrate middle and high school-aged immigrant youth into the wider community, improve their English language skills, and help them acquire needed technical and life skills. 30 students will engage in media production training over 12 months, and in the process create video documentaries on the early immigrant experiences of Chinese seniors in the community. The bilingual and bicultural education provided will help these students better acculturate into the American education system, and the Chinese immigrants interviewed will have an opportunity to uphold their rich cultural heritage.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Just back from the 30th annual conference of the Chinese Immigrant Service Agency Network-International hosted by the Chinese-American Planning Council in NYC.

Two very full days of meetings, site visits, discussions and sharing. This year's focus was on Service and Advocacy in Changing Times. And what times they are!

We heard about significant challenges for some of our California partners and what steps they have taken to meet them - furloughs, layoffs, dealing with state-issued IOU's.

We learned about the importance of advocacy and working together, especially now when resources are tight and ever shrinking.

Also had a chance to sit down with New York's only Asian American Assemblyperson, Grace Meng representing the incredibly diverse community in Flushing. Rich discussion amongst the partners about how to empower and mobilize the community to benefit all our members.

Workforce development, access to resources, civic engagement. These are issues common to all our communities across the US, Canada and overseas. Thank goodness there are organizations like CISC that help people around the world adjust to their new life and help create opportunities for success!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Matter of Balance

2 CISC staff and 2 volunteers graduated last week from a 12 hour training course provided by Senior Services, a non-profit serving older adults and caregivers in King County. The training was for a fall-prevention course known as A Matter of Balance.

CISC will begin providing this 16 hour course for seniors in Issaquah every Monday and Wednesday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm starting on November 16th. It will also be provided in Chinatown every Monday and Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm starting on December 1st. The cost is $15 for each senior.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Hypertension and Osteoporosis Workshop

CISC's Family Caregiver Support Program recently held a Hypertension and Osteoporosis Workshop, with two pharmacists on hand to give presentations and teach CISC seniors about these two conditions. Individual consultations followed, and we received a lot of positive feedback from the seniors about the event.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Open House

CISC recently had an open house to celebrate the new office space for the Eastside Cultural Navigator Program at the Family Recourse Center in Redmond. Thanks to new funding from the Seattle Foundation, there will now be more Spanish and Russian Cultural Navigators at CISC.

And what better way to celebrate this expanded cultural assistance than through food! The 60 or so community leaders who attended were treated to Russian piroshky, Indian samosas, Chinese egg tarts, and tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Happy 50th!

Long time CISC supporter Frank Chow celebrated the 50th anniversary of his arrival in the United States last night with friends, family, and CISC!

Wonderful food, warm companionship and much merriment were followed by an eloquent speech by Frank's wife Katty, a former CISC board member.

Katty explained how since retirement, she has been coming to CISC every week to volunteer in the SHIBA program and how spending more time in the office has given her a better understanding of the workings and goings on within CISC.

She and Frank reconfirmed their commitment to the community and acknowledged their own success by making a generous contribution to CISC and also to Kin On.

As Katty said, we all started from humble beginnings and needed the help that CISC offers, and all are moving closer to the time when we may need the help offered by Kin On too!

Thank you Frank and Katty for your fine example and continued support!

Halloween 2009

As promised, some photos of the pre-K kids trick-or-treating. First a walk through all of CISC's offices, then story time and more goodies at the ID/Chinatown library.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Census is in Your Future

This week, long time CISC supporter Tsue Chong Company, maker of Rose Brand fortune cookies and noodles, hosted a tour of their factory to celebrate a new partnership promoting the 2010 Census.

They will be producing cookies featuring census messages starting in February. Their delicious cookies come in a wide array of flavors like apple, strawberry, almond and many, many more!

Probably the coolest thing was watching the fortune cookie machine spit out cookies at the rate of 8,000 per hour - and of course the samples!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Today, our pre-K students got all dressed up and went around CISC trick-or-treating.

Unfortunately, the video of them with their goodies was botched, but we'll get pictures of them soon. In the meantime, watch this cute video of them getting ready!

We really like watching the boy trying to figure out how to put on his policeman's jacket.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shoe Day

Last month CISC partnered with Priority Footwear for a Diabetes Workshop and Shoe Fitting Session. There our clients with diabetes learned how to get proper shoes and prevent injuries. 8 of our clients were also eligible to have their feet fitted by a specialist and receive custom-made shoes through Medicaid or Medical Coupons. There's really nothing like a new, comfortable pair of shoes to put a spring in your step!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mid-Autumn Festival

On September 30th CISC held a Mid-Autumn Festival Luncheon at North Bellevue Community Center. Those who attended enjoyed musical performances, traditional lantern riddles, and games.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, or zhongqiu jie, has been celebrated in China for over 3,000 years. It is the time when the full moon is said to be the biggest and brightest.

And no celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival is complete without mooncakes, one of China's tastiest holiday treats.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Annual Resource Fair

At the beginning of October more than 60 clients visited the North Bellevue Community Center for the Annual Resource Fair. There they attended three workshops, covering changes in the naturalization process, food stamps and how to apply for them, and changes in Medicare and Medicaid.

Find out more about Medicare and Medicaid from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You can also learn about food stamps from the Department of Agriculture and becoming a citizen from the USCIS.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


In the spirit of the season, Sunshine Garden seniors learned how to carve jack-o-lanterns this morning, creating masterpieces, each with their own individual personalities.

And of course, the ladies insisted on saving the seeds to roast and enjoy later!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Standing Tall

Over 60 CISC seniors attended an Osteoporosis Health Fair at the North Bellevue Community Center on Monday.

Participants not only got information about osteoporosis, they learned about disease prevention, nutrition, medications, preventing falls, and exercises.

There were also free bone density screening to measure bone density, followed by individual consultations with an experienced pharmacist to review their results.

Remember, even if you're over 30, it's still not too late to take steps to prevent this debilitating disease:
  • Get your daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D
  • Engage in regular weight-bearing exercise
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about bone health
  • When appropriate, have a bone density test and take medication

For more information, check out the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Computer Donation

A big THANK YOU to the City of Kirkland for donating their retired computers to CISC!

9 desktops to replace obsolete machines in our main offices, and 2 laptops for our new Eastside Cultural Navigator Program space at the Family Resource Center in Redmond.

And don't forget, today is the grand opening of our space at the Family Resource Center. 3:00-4:30 pm, 16225 NE 87th St, Ste A7 in Redmond. See you there!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Public Transportation

Big changes in public transit, especially in SE Seattle and SW King County.

Last Friday, representatives from King County Metro and Sound Transit spoke in front of nearly 100 community members on light rail, bus services, ORCA, and the In-Motion Program.

Lots of questions and concerns expressed by attendees who had not heard about these changes.

Seems like we're not the only ones.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Health for All

On Saturday, the International Family Center-Seattle hosted a Community Health Fair open to all.

We had 17 different participating agencies from around King County involved, including Washington Osteoporosis Coalition, Harborview Medical Center, Swedish Breast Care Center, UW School of Dentistry, UW Department of Medicine, International Community Health Services and more.

These agencies offered free medical screenings, educational information sessions, and outreach navigation to help patients find accessible health care in the future.

In total, we had over 200 participants.

We also held a Line Dancing Class performance and two different raffle drawings throughout the afternoon. The comments of the participants were very positive.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Baby Boost

On Thursday, CISC’s International Family Center-Seattle hosted the Baby Boost Information Fair. This fair was sponsored by Solid Ground's Food Security for Children program.

It was an opportunity for participants to learn about health and nutrition resources, connect with local social service programs, and learn about healthy parenting practices.

Over 50 families were in attendance (including some of our own staff who are expecting), and free child care provided during the fair. This gave the parents an opportunity to take their time perusing the information tables, to talk to each agency representative, and to meet other parents while their children played.

In addition to the information tables, there were free feeding, hygiene and safety products, as well as refreshments and door prizes for participants.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fire Safety

Last week, Bill Mace from the Seattle Fire Department came to talk to seniors about home fire safety.

Did you know that there were over 400,000 home fires last year, costing almost 3,000 lives and causing 13,500 injuries? And that the largest cause of these fires by far was from cooking?

Smoke alarms (with functioning batteries!), an escape plan, and attention while cooking - a few of the simple things you can do around the house to keep yourself and your loved ones safe!

Never leave pots unattended on your stove, or you may end up with one looking like this!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day of Caring

September 11 was the annual Day of Caring, sponsored by United Way of King County. This year, we had volunteers from the King County Library System and from Microsoft come out and work with some of our clients.

Some helped English as a Second Language students practice their daily conversation and also performed mock interview for the naturalization test. Others worked with our After School students talking about education, careers and job opportunities.

We want to give these volunteers a big THANK YOU for coming out and giving of themselves and their time to help our immigrants and their families succeed in their new community!

Friday, September 11, 2009

There must be something in the water

Big news! Three (yes, 3) of our CISC staff members are expecting babies at the beginning of next year! Congratulations to Karia, Dock Wah and Cathy on their first borns!

And for those of you who are also expecting or have an infant at home, join us at the International Family Center-Seattle on Thursday, October 1 from 10:00 to noon for our annual Baby Boost Fair.

Lots of info and resources on breastfeeding, nutrition, child safety and more. Also free stuff for you to take home. Come and check it out!