Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dragon Boat Festival

May 28 was Dragon Boat Festival day 端午節 and over 120 seniors, both Chinese and non, celebrated at the North Bellevue Community Center.

Participants enjoyed singing, raffle prizes and a rice dumpling 粽子 wrapping contest. Legend has it that after the exiled poet and statesman Qu Yuan 屈原 killed himself by drowning in the Miluo River 汨羅江, the local people, who admired him, threw food into the river to feed the fish so that they (the fish) would not eat his body - hence the origin of rice dumplings.

They also raced out in boats to retrieve the body, beating on drums to scare the fish all the while. This tradition continues on today with our annual dragon boat races.

The seniors all enjoyed this celebration, some commenting that they had not had a chance to celebrate in over 10 years. And now they can share this tradition with their new American friends and neighbors!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Block Watch

On Thursday, CISC took part in a Multicultural Block Watch Signs Festival at the Seattle Nichiren Buddhist Church.

The neighborhood will be posting the first bilingual block watch signs in the state of Washington and bringing together businesses and community members to take a bite out of crime!

Lion dancers, Native American blessings as well as prayers from Baptist and Buddhist clergy were offered as neighbors came together in multicultural neighborhood cooperation.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2009 ID Spring Clean Up

Over 30 staff, board members, and volunteers participated in the annual International District Spring Clean Up today. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny Saturday morning.

Rather than pick up trash around the neighborhood like we usually do, this year we were assigned to Kobe Terrace Garden to plant shrubs, pull weeds, and mulch.

Kobe Terrace Garden is a hidden gem right in the heart of the city. With Mt. Fuji cherry trees and an 8,000 pound stone lantern, it is the perfect place to sit and view Mt. Rainier and contemplate our sister city Kobe, Japan.

Lots of fun, a little sweat, and in under 2 hours we planted dozens of plants, moved over 20 cubic yards of mulch, and helped make Kobe Terrace an even more pleasant part of our neighborhood.

Thanks to all who participated. Let's do it again next year!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Seattle Maritime Festival

Saturday, members from Sunshine Garden Senior Day Center took a field trip to the Seattle Maritime Festival. Another activity exposing our seniors to the community they live in, this fun and educational outing featured lots of activities for young and old alike.

There was a spectacular fireboat display, tugboat races, and a Coast Guard Air-Sea helicopter rescue demonstration.

There was also a survival suit race - you know, those orange inflatable things they wear on Deadliest Catch.

Maybe the highlight was the Chowder Cook-Off, where a $5 passport let you sample the best chowder 8 different waterfront restaurants had to offer. Yum!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Stress Reduction

Every month, the Family Caregiver Support Program hosts groups for caregivers at the International Family Center-Seattle, one in Cantonese, another in Mandarin.

As we all know, caring for your loved one at home is a very stressful job, and many caregivers find they have little time for themselves.

"Being a non-paid family caregiver, I am often overwhelmed by physical and emotional distress. Thanks to CISC, I can have some time off for myself, watching a movie or practicing tai chi."

These groups provide social support, counseling, practical information and perhaps most importantly, a chance to get out of the house and relax a bit.

Here, a group of caregivers practices tai chi after learning about the swine flu.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Seniors @ Crossroads Mall

This Saturday, the 12th annual volunteer fair was held at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue. Hundreds of community members interested in learning about volunteer opportunities attended.

There was lots of entertainment, including CISC's Eastside Chinese Senior Choir. Very professional looking, and they sounded great too!

The group practices every Wednesday from 10:30 to noon at the North Bellevue Community Center. New members are always welcome to join!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Swine Flu

As part of our response to the swine flu scare, CISC held an information session on the H1N1 influenza this morning for seniors at Sunshine Garden, and caregivers in our Family Caregiver Support Program.

The speaker was Dr. RF Zhang, former director of Fijian Medical College. Over 40 people showed up, and many expressed their gratitude for having the opportunity to hear the latest information about this pandemic in a language they could understand.

CISC continues to monitor the situation closely and educate our community on any updates available in our clients' native languages. Remember:
  • wash your hands
  • cover your coughs and sneezes
  • don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • and stay away from sick people
Let's all stay healthy here!

Employment Workshop

Another sign of the times. Tuesday CISC held an employment workshop and over 20 anxious job seekers attended in the middle of the day!

Michael Lin, Business Liaison from WorkSource Redmond, did the presentation, talking about the current job market, and new trends in resume preparation, online applications, and interview skills.

Good luck to all our attendees!