Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas at Sunshine Garden

The Sunshine Garden seniors enjoyed the holidays and celebrated some December birthdays with their own Christmas party. Things really got festive with a visit from Santa Claus himself. Happy New Year from CISC!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Family Caregiver Appreciation Party

Last Monday, the Family Caregiver Support Program at CISC held a party in appreciation of all the hard work and selflessness of the family caregivers, who spend much of their time taking care of their loved ones. The Family Caregiver program helps these caregivers, who are taking care of their elderly parents or partners, by providing support education, counseling, and creating long term care plans. The unpaid work of a family caregiver can be demanding, and the program works closely with them to ease any physical or mental burn-out. Most caregivers work, and on average caregivers put in 20 hours a week taking care of their loved ones, with almost one in five putting in over 40 hours per week.

Before the party started, there was also a workshop on "How to Ease Muscle Pain" put on by chiropractic physicians Dr. Esther Cheng and Dr. Albert Wu. In the workshop, caregivers learned some simple but effective exercises to ease muscle pain.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sunshine Garden Funding Restored!

Last Friday, the Seattle City Council announced highlights of the anticipated 2011-2012 City budget, which will be formally adopted on November 22nd. Funding was restored to a number of human services and community centers that were facing cuts, including the City funding for Sunshine Garden. Thank you to our many community supporters! All the petitions signed and online comments left for the City Council truly made a difference in the lives of our seniors.

You can read more about the budget at the City Council website.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reaching Out to Victims of Human Trafficking

CISC’s Crime Victims Project Director Alan Lai gave a presentation in a press conference at the Attorney General’s office this past Tuesday. Alan was responsible for the Chinese translation of a new poster to be widely used throughout the city that aims to aid victims of human trafficking abuses. At the conference, he mentioned that some victims of human-trafficking are hesitant to come forward because of cultural mistrust of the government; the groups behind this poster hope it will encourage more people to ask for help.

For the full Seattle Times article about the poster initiative, please use the link below:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Efforts to Save Sunshine Garden

As many of our supporters know, the City of Seattle cut its funding for the Sunshine Garden Senior Day Care program from the 2011 budget. Our Sunshine Garden staff has been working with many community supporters and volunteers to collect signatures supporting the restoration of Sunshine Garden's funding (see our Facebook page). The support has been overwhelming! They collected more than 2,400 signatures from the community, with 7 local businesses helping to collect signatures and more than 60 votes and many comments of support on a City Council website for submitting ideas from the community.

CISC staff also made a 5 minute presentation at the City Council budget hearing on October 26th, with the help of a family member of a client. The final budget will not be adopted until November 22nd, so there is still time for the City Council to reconsider the decision to cut Sunshine Garden's funding.

As a former Sunshine Garden worker commented on the City Council website, "From my working experience, I can tell you that all the Chinese elderly treat the center as their second home in US. In the center, they can find their sense of belonging, friendship, care and support. Without the center, they have no where to go to seek support."

To learn more, please contact Andes at or 206.624.5633 x 4121.

Update on 11/12: To watch the video of the budget hearing, click here. The Sunshine Garden presentation is during 200:06-205:17 of the video. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Staff Retreat

CISC held a staff retreat at the end of October to do some serious brainstorming in the morning about what CISC is as an organization, and what we want to be in the future. The afternoon, however, was a little less serious: line dancing and self-defense classes. It's good to get a little exercise after a long week at the office.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Halloween at Sunshine Garden

The seniors at Sunshine Garden had some special visitors this Halloween: a trick-or-treating CISC preschool class, and some students from Lakeside School to help them carve... well, not pumpkins, actually. Take a close look and you'll notice that they are carving oranges. Halloween, Sunshine Garden style.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Baby Boost Information Fair

On Friday, October 1st, CISC/International Family Center hosted a Baby Boost Information Fair, sponsored by Solid Ground’s Food Security for Children Program. It was an opportunity for participants to learn about health and nutrition resources and connect with local social service programs. We had 40 families sign-in, with around 35 children and 60 adults. Free childcare was provided during the fair. This gave the parents an opportunity to take their time perusing the information tables, talk to each agency representative and meet other parents. In addition to the information tables, there were safety products, refreshments, giveaways and a raffle drawing for participants.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shop at Safeway, Raise Money for CISC

CISC has joined a program called eScrip that allows people to support schools through their shopping. In our case, donations from the program will support our Step Ahead Bilingual Preschool program. The Preschool serves 4- year old immigrant children who are English learners speaking Chinese dialects or Asian languages at home, and prepares them for school learning in a bicultural environment. 

This is how it works: 
1. go to and click on "Sign Up"
2. Search for CISC Step Ahead Preschool or enter our Group ID: 500025005
3. Complete the sign up process
4. Whenever you use your Safeway card or shop with other participating merchants, the company will donate a percentage of what you purchased to our Bilingual Preschool. 

It's free, easy, and your information is completely private. Visit for more information.

Community Health Fair

On September 18th, CISC's International Family Center-Seattle, together with International Community Health Services, hosted a Community Health Fair. We had 17 different participating agencies from around King County involved, including Back and Neck Pain Center, Northwest  Kidney Center, Rainier Occupational Medical Center, Washington Osteoporosis Coalition, SHIBA, Swedish Breast Care Center, Swedish Hospital,UW School of Dentistry, Within Reach, UW Expanded Food & Nutrition Educational Program, 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, 157 participants took part in the event.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Communities Connect

Senator Maria Cantwell announced Thursday a $4.2 million grant to improve technology access to underserved communities in Washington.  As part of the Communities Connect Network, CISC has been working with our partners to improve and upgrade our technology services and training to immigrants and their families.

No word yet on specific dollar amounts, but we're excited to be able to continue work to develop and enhance CISC's International Community Technology Center.  Stay tuned for more information as we get it!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cathay Bank

Monday, CISC received a check in the amount of $15,000 from the Cathay Bank Foundation to support programs that reach across the generations.

Programs with multi-generational impact such as our preschool and youth programs that enhance academic achievement and bicultural identity, bilingual parent education and family counseling, and elder services and caregiver support.

Pictured here with Executive Director Alaric Bien are Cathay Bank employees Thomas Ng and Kenyon Mayeda.  Thank you Cathay!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Drivers Needed!

Do you have any friends who speak Chinese or Cantonese and are interested in being a volunteer driver to give seniors (especially our Chinese seniors who are limited in English) a ride to their medical appointments?  You will receive mileage and parking reimbursement and supplemental insurance from Senior Service.

Please contact Theresa Lam at or 206-624-5633 x 4137, and thanks for your help!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Congratulations to Sunshine Garden Lead Worker Andes Kong, who just received her AIRS Certificate! This is a professional credential for human services employees who are trained to help connect clients to the services they need. She joins CISC staff members Stephen Lam, Boliver Choi, Meiyu Cheung, and Cathy Lee in holding the certificate.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Getting to Know the Naturalization Process

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a goal for many of the people who come to CISC, but the process can be intimidating at first. A couple of weeks ago we had some assistance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Four officers worked with us on our USCIS Naturalization Info Session on August 25th, and explained everything from the naturalization requirements to the interview to an audience of about 170. They also discussed the rights and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen and demonstrated a mock interview. The audience appreciated the chance to get an inside view of the whole process, and will hopefully face their own naturalization challenges with an extra boost of confidence.

Baby Boost Information Fair

Are you a parent of a baby or expecting one? CISC's International Family Center is holding a free Baby Boost Information Fair on Friday, October 1st. At the fair you'll be able to connect with important social services (including housing, employment services, and health care), learn more about health and nutrition for you and your children, try some delicious and healthy snacks, and get free stuff!

When: Friday, October 1, 10:30am-12:30pm (please be on time)
Where: International Family Center, 611 S Lane St, Seattle
Contact: Mabel Kwong (Chinese/English), 206.624.5633 x 4151
Quang Do (Vietnamese/English), 206.624.5633 x 4152

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Annual Senior Resource Fair

CISC's 2010 Annual Senior Resource Fair will be held on Thursday, October 14th at the North Bellevue Community Center. There will be many organizations attending that specialize in assisting and providing resources for seniors, and this is a great chance to agencies and seniors to meet and greet. Lots of give-aways and workshops throughout the day! For more information, please contact Cathy Lee from our Community I&A Outreach Program: 206.624.5633 x 4123.

Date & Time: Thursday, October 14th, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Location: North Bellevue Community Center
4063 148th Ave NE, Bellevue WA, 98007

Community Health Fair

On September 18th, CISC's International Family Center-Seattle, together with International Community Health Services, will be hosting a health fair. Activities will include acupuncture, blood pressure checks, blood sugar tests, medical insurance information, and mammogram screenings (pre-registration required).

For more information please contact Cheryl Lee (Chinese or English) at 206.624.5633 x 4150 or Quang Do (Vietnamese or English) at 206.624.5633 x 4152.

Date & Time: Saturday, 9/18, 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: CISC International Family Center-Seattle
611 S Lane St, Seattle WA 98104

Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer Field Trips

Following up on their recent Light Rail trips, the Sunshine Garden seniors have been busy this summer exploring different neighborhoods by public transportation. They've taken advantage of some wonderful historic bus tours to visit Snohomish for the town's annual Kla Ha Ya Days festival in July, and Snoqualmie in August for the railway museum and Snoqualmie Falls. They've also been to the Museum of Flight and Woodland Park Zoo.

These trips have been a great way for the seniors to keep up on all the transportation options that are out there, and enjoy some highlights of the neighborhoods and towns they wouldn't normally visit. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Having Trouble with House Payments?

Come learn about your options before foreclosure.  Wednesday, September 25 at CISC.

Contact Alan Lai for more information.

More tips on real estate concerns at the International Examiner.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Just took State Rep Zack Hudgins (11th district) on a tour of CISC, introducing him to our programs, and sharing thoughts on immigrant integration.

Did you know that Rep Hudgins was responsible for each of the light rail stations having a different icon? This idea was based on his travels around the world and experience trying to find his way through systems with signs in languages he doesn't read or speak.

What a great idea! Only, some of the icons don't seem to make much sense. Like the magic carpet for the airport station? This had something to do with the graphic artists' sense of whimsy, we're told...

Friday, July 16, 2010

104 and Still Learning

Hearing about the success of Sunshine Garden's field trips to SeaTac Airport via light rail, one of our more elderly clients decided that she too wanted to learn how to get to the airport by public transit.

104 year old Mrs. Lau requested that CISC staff lead another field trip to the airport to see how easy it was to get there by light rail.

Even though she has no immediate travel plans, she wanted to learn how to go - just in case.

Kudos to Mrs. Lau and all the other seniors of Sunshine Garden who never give up on improving their physical and emotional health, independence, fellowship, and lifelong learning!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lavender Sorbet

Once again, Sunshine Garden seniors were treated to another culinary delight by volunteer cooking instructor, Christine Ho.  This month's treat was Lavender Sorbet.

Non-fat, no dairy, and easy to make!  Only 5 ingredients, and one of them is water!

This summertime treat is sure to be a hit with all our friends and neighbors. If you'd like the recipe, contact Andes Kong at

Better yet, sign up for next month's cooking demonstration (must be 60+).

Website Redesign


The CISC website is old and tired. Things are hard to find, and other things just aren't even there.

Thanks to the generous support of volunteers from the Executive Development Institute, we are in the process of a major overhaul. But we need your input!

Tell us what you'd like to see on the new site, what you don't like about the current site, and how we can improve. We can't guarantee that all your suggestions will be incorporated into the new site, but we do promise to take each and every comment seriously.

We want to make the website work for YOU!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Emergency Communications

CISC is partnering with the NW Center for Public Health Practice to research effective emergency communications with limited English proficiency populations.

Funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help us learn how best to communicate with our populations in the event of natural disasters, terrorist attack, personal emergencies, or any of a plethora of emergency scenarios.

We're proud to be a part of this timely and important research that will benefit our community and others for years to come!

An abstract of the project  is located on the CDC website.

Knitting Club

New knitting club for seniors at the Peter Kirk Community Center in Kirkland Tuesdays, and the North Bellevue Community Center on Wednesdays! Participants will not only learn to knit or improve their existing knitting skills, but all completed pieces will be donated to area shelters for the holidays.

Great way to meet new friends who speak your language, learn new skills, and give back to the community! For more info, contact Cathy Lee at 206-624-5633 x 4123 or

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Site!

Meeting community needs is what CISC is all about. And at the request of friends in the Greenwood neighborhood of North Seattle, we are happy to announce a new partnership with the Greenwood Senior Center starting July 20!
CISC will be providing language specific activities and workshops to Chinese seniors who have a hard time traveling to and participating in Sunshine Garden Senior Day Care Center in Chinatown. Information and assistance will also be available every Tuesday for seniors needing help with anything from applying for a Metro pass, to finding appropriate health insurance, to signing up for volunteer opportunities.

The center is located at 525 N 85th St in Seattle and is open 8:30-4:30 Monday-Friday. For more information, contact Cathy Lee at 206-624-5633 x 4123 or

Friday, July 09, 2010

Crime Doesn't Pay

You may not remember this story, but last year 12 year old boy was assaulted in a Bellevue mall restroom. Thanks to his quick thinking and the detailed description he gave to police, the boy escaped unharmed and the suspect was caught almost immediately.

CISC's Crime Victims Service has been working with the boy and his family over the last several months, providing assistance in the aftermath of this horrible incident.

We are pleased to announce that the guilty party is to be sentenced this afternoon - showing that with a little help and perseverance, justice can be served.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reaching Across the Generations

2010 Friendship Dinner & Auction at the Hyatt at Olive 8.  What a blast!

Sunshine Garden Celebrates "Bite of Dragon Boat Festival"

On June 16th forty elderly from CISC's Sunshine Garden Senior Day Care Center participated in the "Bite of Dragon Boat Festival".  The event was part of a seasonal Chinese celebration program at Sunshine Garden to celebrate some of the more popular Chinese holidays.  The participating seniors had the opportunity to try over ten different traditional Chinese dishes related to the Dragon Boat Festival from different provinces all throughout China.

 Look at all of this delicious food!

Events like "The Bite of the Dragon Boat Festival" are just some of the activities that CISC provides for immigrant seniors and helps them to gradually ease in to their new lives in America by providing culture that is familiar to them.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The IFC will collaborate with AlcoSmart to have a Chinese Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST). A MAST permit is required by law to serve alcohol anywhere the State of Washington. Classes are just 3 hours long, offered in Chinese, tests are available in Chinese. After completing the course and exam, participants will receive their MAST permit on the same day.

Date: 6/14, 7/12 or 8/9 (Monday)

Time: 2-5pm

Permit fee: $40

Location: CISC's International Family Center- Seattle

For registration or details, please call 206-624-5633x4150 Cheryl Lee

Or go to

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CISC Students Featured in Youth Art Works Exhibition

The artwork of CISC students is currently being featured in a special exhibition put on through the Pratt Fine Arts Center’s Youth Art Works Program. at the Triangle Art Gallery in downtown Seattle  Each year, Pratt provides free art classes to over 600 kids and youth from Seattle’s Central District and surrounding neighborhoods, helping these students develop their individual voices and build skills to succeed in school and life.   

These pictures are from a reception that was held on May 20th at the downtown Seattle YMCA where the kids got to show off their work to the public.  The exhibition runs from May 1st-31st so there is still time to visit and see the work of these talented young artists if you haven’t already.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Redmond Play & Learn

Just found out today that one of the participants in this play and learn group, a grandfather, finds it so worthwhile he takes a $20 cab ride to Grasslawn Park every week so he can participate in the group with his grandchild.

Now, that's dedication!

To learn more, contact Saulai Cheung at or just stop by any Thursday from 10:00 to 11:30.