Monday, May 7, 2012

APA Month Charity Spotlight: Asian Pacific Women's Center

One of the most private things I've ever done is volunteer with children who have survived domestic violence.

The Asian Pacific Women's Center in Los Angeles, CA provides a transitional shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence.  I can't describe how important this is in the Asian, and particularly immigrant community.  Due to culture, language barriers, and lack of resources, Asian immigrant women often have few or no one they can reach out to when they're in a violent situation.

I keep this on my fridge
I ran a biweekly movement and expression class for the children living in the shelter, drawing on my background as a dancer and my graduate training in somatic therapy.  We used art, movement and story-telling to bond, exercise, and dream of the future.  Occasionally a mother would stop by.

Every session, I heard a little more about their backgrounds and little snippets of how they had lived.  I watched the way they interacted - a combination of childlike joy and abandon, with moments of heartbreaking sensitivity and emotional arrest.  Each time, I came home and cried.

I never told anyone I was doing this.  But today I want to tell you because the organization deserves to be recognized and they need support.

Their annual gala is coming up at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  If you are in the area, please consider attending.

If you can't go, please consider donating or volunteering even just a nominal amount of time per month.  The program director, Kristina Rim, gave me a message to share:

Household goods in good condition are always needed and any administrative or direct service volunteers are also needed. People can contact me,, with any questions
I'm going to make a drop-off of goods after APA month and if you live in the L.A. area, I'm happy to collect goods from you to bring to them as well.

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