For the past few years, I’ve dedicated my birthday to support the causes I care about most. This year is no exception. I look at these mini fundraisers as a way to share the uplifting feeling of giving back and making a difference. Honestly, that’s the best present I could ever receive. It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I’ve kept a low profile for a bit since starting grad school – but I find comfort knowing that I am doing what I love and working to make the world a better place.
As I look forward to my 25th birthday next week, I ask you, my AMAZING friends and family to consider a donation of $25 to support the New Generation Nikkei Fund (NGNF) – a collaborative giving circle comprised of community members affiliated with the 3 remaining Japantowns (Little Tokyo – Los Angeles, San Fransisco and San Jose). I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with NGNF recently and I truly believe in and support their innovative mission.
Envisioned by the new generation of leaders of the Japanese American community, NGNF strives to…
- Build a new generation of Japanese American and Asian American philanthropists through a culture of giving
- Enhance collaboration and communication across Japantowns and Nikkei communities at large
- Sustain community-based organizations with a grant(s) and a new generation of donors
Through my involvement in the JA community, my role as a board member/high school leadership co-director for Kizuna and especially this past year serving on the Nisei Week court, I’ve been inspired by this new generation of community leaders – here in LA and in our sister communities in Hawaii and Northern California – passionate and dedicated to keeping our nikkei spirit alive and thriving! On each of our goodwill trips, I discovered that all of our communities are eager to engage the next generation.
Collaborative initiatives like NGNF’s giving circle allow young people (who might not necessarily have the time to volunteer or serve in a leadership role) to contribute in a meaningful way, while learning more about current organizations and programs.
Not only will your $25 contribution make me the happiest birthday girl in town, it will earn you a vote in determining where 50% of the total NGNF funding goes towards. Trust me, all of the organizations have innovative and exciting programs/projects that definitely deserve support! Once the donation period ends, on November 15, 2017, all donors (who give at least $25 will receive a ballot with a list of participating grant seekers.)
If you are unable to give at this time, that’s totally fine! I just ask that you use this as a reminder to do something that will better the world around you. Whether it’s picking up a piece of trash on your weekly jog, writing a thank you note to someone you appreciate or even just sharing a smile with a stranger. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this. I’m humbled and extraordinarily grateful for 25 years of this beautiful life, the incredible people and experiences it’s brought and the many more adventures I have to look forward to.
I’ll leave you all with an excerpt from one of my favorite poems,
We Were Made for These Times by Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once,
but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.
Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul,
to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely.
It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom,
will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.