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What is Volunteerism?
Volunteerism is an integral aspect of philanthropy. It is the giving of time, talent and contacts to help your community and improve society. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 61.2 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2005 and September 2006. That is 26.7% of the population.

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What is Volunteerism?
Volunteering in the Asian American community
Examples of Volunteering
Volunteer Opportunities

Is Volunteerism strong in the Asian American community?
Volunteerism has always been a vital aspect of the Asian American community. During times of hardship, volunteerism has been our strategy for community survival. During times of success, it has been a way to celebrate and expand our circles of joy.
  • Mutual Aid Associations began as a response to racial discrimination and violence during the early immigration days in the late 1800s. Today, these associations continue to grow and flourish as new immigrant groups emerge and adjust to the new country. Most are completely run by volunteers. Some are now well established and have full time staff running vital community services like daycare centers and credit unions. The variety and number of such associations are astounding ranging from Korean rotating credit organizations to Chinese village associations and from Pakistani financial committees to Filipino civic groups.
  • Religious institutions have provided Asian Americans with both spiritual and social activities but also act as safe havens for immigrants. In the Japanese American community, Buddhist churches helped uprooted families post internment. In the diverse South Asian community, mosques and gurdwaras have been essential in providing a sense of community, especially in the aftermath of the September 11th tragedies. Activities ranging from picnics, baseball leagues, English classes and job training seminars are almost always run by volunteers.
  • Language and cultural schools are also organized almost entirely by volunteers. Some of these schools are run under the auspices of a religious organization or mutual aid associations.
  • Professional associations such as Chinese engineering societies, South Asian networking groups and Filipino medical organizations utilize volunteers to help newcomers traverse the many complicated steps toward stability. Once established, members often conduct civic projects and raise funds for worthy causes.
  • Of minorities that volunteer for the Peace Corps, 25% were of Asian American decent in 2002, totaling 3.6% of all Peace corps volunteers.
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What is Volunteerism?
Volunteering in the Asian American community
Examples of Volunteering
Volunteer Opportunities

What are some examples of Volunteerism?
Volunteer projects vary widely depending on your interests and the needs of a particular organization.
  • Volunteer attorneys are an integral part of the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund which provides legal services to underserved communities, especially in areas of hate crimes and where federal "special registration" mandates are enforced since the tragic events of September 11th. In addition, volunteers have been crucial in registering thousands of Asian Americans to vote, as well as providing critical translating services.
  • The Child Center of New York - Asian Outreach Program provides mental health, substance abuse, and outreach related services to Asian Americans in Queens.
    Members of the JP Morgan Aspire, Asian Affinity group, helped to re-paint the facility occupied by patients and staff.
  • Since 1992, Asian Professional Extension has reached out to nearly 1,200 Asian American children through the efforts of over 1,000 volunteers. According to the Coalition of Asian American Children and Families, 36% of Asian American children in New York City either drop out or do not graduate high school on time.
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What is Volunteerism?
Volunteering in the Asian American community
Examples of Volunteering
Volunteer Opportunities

How to find Volunteer Opportunities
in the Asian American community?

Numerous Asian American organizations in New York City have formal volunteer programs, while others host volunteers on an informal basis. It is important when deciding on a volunteer program that you and the receiving organization understand each other's interests and needs. Some organizations need volunteers only during formal business hours. Others may accommodate volunteers at all hours. The following is a list of some of the many organizations with formal volunteer programs:
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund - Founded by a group of lawyers, law students and community activists who believed that the law should be used as a tool to achieve social and economic justice for Asian Americans and all Americans.

  • AsianCinevision - Founded in 1976 by grassroots media activists in New York's Chinatown, ACV is a nonprofit media arts organization dedicated to promoting and preserving Asian and Asian American media expressions.

  • Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Inc. - APICHA's mission is to combat AIDS-related discrimination and to support, empower and enhance the quality of life of Asians and Pacific Islanders with AIDS and HIV infection in the New York City area. Through client services, education, training and technical assistance, community organizing, coalition building, policy analysis and research APICHA has already touched the lives of so many.

  • Asian Professional Extension, Inc. - Established in 1992 by volunteers wanting to address the growing needs and concerns of Asian American youth in New York City, APEX seeks to promote the personal and educational development of Asian American youth by providing Asian American adult role models.

  • Chinese-American Planning Council - One of the largest providers of social services for Asian Americans in the United States, CPC's seeks to improve the quality of life of Chinese Americans in New York City by providing access to the services, skills and resources needed for economic self sufficiency and integration into the American mainstream.

  • Filipino American Human Services, Inc. - FAHSI's vision is an empowered Filipino American community with a strong sense of identity and commitment to citizen participation

  • Hamilton-Madison House - Supporting the community since 1898, Hamilton-Madison House is a voluntary, non-profit settlement house dedicated to improving the quality of life of its community, primarily those in the Two Bridges/Chinatown area of Manhattan's Lower East Side.

  • Indochina Sino-American Community Center- Since 1990, ISACC’s has assisted immigrants and refugees integrate to society’s mainstream by providing them with programs, services, and activities to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

  • Korean American League for Civic Action As a non-profit, non-partisan, education and community advocacy organization, KALCA is dedicated to promoting the civic participation of Korean Americans and Asian Pacific Americans.

  • Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York - KCS supports and assists members of the Korean community, as well as others, to be healthy, productive individuals in this new homeland.

  • New York Asian Women's Center - As the first domestic violence organization to serve Asian communities in New York City, and one of the first in the nation, the New York Asian Women's Center works with women and children whose lives are affected by domestic violence and tries to afford them safe and independent lives.

  • Sakhi for South Asian Women - Started as a volunteer-staffed hotline in 1989, Sakhi serves to empower women, particularly survivors of domestic violence, and helps to build a society where women can live without fear and abuse.

  • South Asian Council for Social Services- Established with a mission to plan, provide, support, and advocate for a continuum of programs addressing the social service needs of the underserved South Asian and other immigrant communities in New York City.

  • South Asian Youth Action- SAYA! is the first and only organization of its kind in the United States working to develop the skills, talents, and leadership potential of South Asian youth living in New York City.

  • Minkwon Center- Established with the purpose to meet the critical needs and concerns of Korean Americans in Greater New York through our program areas of educations, civic affairs, social services and culture.
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