My good friend Jean introduced me to this fabulous woman, Kendra Lee. Jean knew that both of us worked in the Chinatown area and decided to connect the two of us. Kendra has just recently become the new executive director of the Greater Chinatown Community Association.
Although, I am involved in the community, I didn't know what the GCCA was about. Luckily upon meeting Kendra, she immediately offered me a tour of their location on Mosco street.
Mosco street is tiny and their location is tiny. Despite the size of their staff and location, the GCCA is able to touch the lives of so many members of our community. I was very impressed. I can see that their secret is the heart behind the organization. Everyone who either works or volunteers their, exudes such a positive and giving aura.
So what exactly does the GCCA do? I'm going to put it all out there, since I was once in the dark about this as well:
(1) They help inform members of the community about what benefits or social services they may be able to get. This includes social security information, food stamps, etc.
(2) The GCCA sponsors events for the community.
(3) They operate a free medical office three times a week. This is primarily for people that are uninsured or dependent on Medicaid or Medicare. Acupuncture /Massage therapy and Chinese slow motion Tai Chi exercises are offered to individuals with chronic illness and pain.
(4) GCCA offers adult education classes that include ESOL, computer training, and civics/government classes. These classes help them to prepare for their citizenship interview. Computer classes often help them to qualify for better jobs.
Although the GCCA has been helping community members for over 30 years, I can tell that it has much more growth ahead of them. I'm glad to see Chinese youth like Kendra, coming back to help our community. I admire her enthusiasm and hard work and I am sure that it will take the organization far.
More information can be found at www.gccanyc.org