2018 Grant Recipients

Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2018 cycle of Keiro’s Grants Program! Keiro is looking forward to working with all 30 of these organizations to help reduce social isolation among older adults and caregivers in the Japanese American and Japanese community.

(Recipients in alphabetical order)

American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors (ASA) is an organization that supports atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha) with annual exams, visits from doctors, and an annual commemoration ceremony for A-bomb victims and survivors.

  • Support from Keiro will help bring together hibakusha from Los Angeles and Orange Counties for an opportunity to socialize and talk about their experience while offering time and space for members to come together.

Centenary United Methodist Church has over 100 years of history serving the local Japanese American and Japanese community. Their focus is on enriching lives, to have their members empowered to impact the world.

  • Support from Keiro will help CUMC to install a fully functioning digital sound system that will allow their older adults and caregivers to better hear the church’s services and announcements. This can reduce their sense of isolation and disconnectedness associated with hearing impairments.

Cerritos Baptist Church is home to a congregation with many Japanese American older adults and caregivers. CBC provides activities and fellowship aimed towards experiencing grace and growing in love for its members.

  • Support from Keiro will help provide opportunities for older adults and caregivers to connect with each other for fellowship and support. Funding will support gatherings to attract those who are at-risk for isolation.

Christ Episcopal Church in Redondo Beach is the site for weekly opportunities of engagement and enrichment through the New Community “Fureai” program which started in 2018. This program brings together the local community and offers opportunities for socialization.

  • Support from Keiro will be used to support this new community “Fureai” program that brings together both Japanese-speaking older adults and their caregivers through programs and activities such as cooking classes, English conversation classes, and adult coloring classes. Transportation support is also provided through this grant.

Continuing Education for the Nikkei Widowed, Inc. provides support to Japanese American and Japanese older adults who have lost their spouses.

  • Support from Keiro will assist CENW in continuing its vital outreach to the widowed through regular social gatherings, educational seminars, and grief support, helping members overcome the hardships of widowhood, an experience that can trigger social isolation.

East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center has been holding its Senior Wellness Program for over 35 years and has expanded to offering it on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This program offers social activities, exercise programs, a nutritious lunch, and educational seminars to its older adult members.

  • Support from Keiro will help expand the current two-day program and will continue to support transportation for homebound members, who are at risk for social isolation, to attend and participate in activities.

First Presbyterian Church, Altadena was established over 100 years ago and serves a congregation of primarily Japanese American older adults.

  • Support from Keiro will allow for continuation of the “Otomodachi Outreach” program that provides focused and coordinated outreach to the most vulnerable older adults among their congregation who are at risk for social isolation. This outreach will continue with the intent to expand the program into the neighboring community to support a greater number of older adults.

Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute has served the Japanese American and Japanese community living in the South Bay for over 50 years through educational, social, and cultural programs for all ages. They offer a variety of programs throughout the week serving around 900 older adults annually.

  • Support from Keiro will help maintain GVJCI’s bilingual staff associate position, continuing to bring both English and Japanese-speaking older adults together and bridge the gap between these communities. Morning café-style conversations and senior workshops will also be utilized to help outreach and offer more opportunities to socialize.

Grateful Crane Ensemble, Inc. conducts concerts that benefit the emotional, social, and intellectual wellbeing of Japanese American and Japanese older adults and their caregivers through performing their favorite songs in both English and Japanese.

  • Through support from Keiro, GCE will hold facility-based memories concerts that will provide entertainment to both caregivers and loved ones across Los Angeles County.

Japanese American Christian Chapel serves both Japanese American and Japanese residents of Ventura County, and is focused on providing Sunday services, community outreach, and advancing their mission to care for the elderly.

  • Support from Keiro will help establish the Genki Living Lunch Bunch program that will provide an intervention and prevention program to address the prevalent problem of loneliness and social isolation among Japanese American and Japanese older adults living in Ventura County.

Little Tokyo Nutrition Services has provided daily hot Japanese lunches and referral services to older adults living in Little Tokyo and the surrounding area for over 40 years.

  • Support from Keiro will fund almost 8,000 additional hot meals to the older adults in the local community, as well as birthday and holiday gatherings that will provide extra opportunities to socialize.

Long Beach Japanese Cultural Center and Long Beach Harbor Pioneer Project has focused on improving the quality of life for older adults in the local Japanese American and Japanese community for over 60 years.

  • Support from Keiro will continue to help expand the current monthly lunch program to provide meals three times a month, in order to provide more frequent opportunities for their members to come together and socialize. The program will include an affordable lunch, exercise classes, health education, and transportation support.

Los Angeles Holiness Church (English Division) is a multi-generational Christian church founded in 1921 that serves both English and Japanese-speaking congregations. With an aging congregation, LAHC enhances the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical wellbeing of older adults and caregivers in its congregation through its Senior Ministry and Caregiver Support.

  • Support from Keiro will continue to support the church’s caregiver support group and other programs for older adult members, including widows, needing additional physical and emotional support.

Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple has been providing weekly religious and spiritual services for Japanese American and Japanese families since 1905. The temple also serves as a gathering place, offering regular activities and social support.

  • Support from Keiro will fund tai chi and qi gong classes for older adults, providing weekly social and exercise opportunities. New chairs will also be purchased, ensuring that older adults can comfortably participate in the temple’s activities – lack of accessible equipment or facilities can often be a barrier to older adult attendance.

Los Angeles Men’s Glee Club has been supporting Japanese American and Japanese older adults in the community through special choral performances and concerts for the past 20 years as the only Japanese men’s chorus in Southern California.

  • Support from Keiro will help host LAMGC’s annual concert that brings together the older adult members of the choir with the community and older adult audience. Through this 20th anniversary concert, LAMGC will target those at-risk for isolation by providing an opportunity to get out of the house and socialize while enjoying music.

Mission Valley Free Methodist Church focuses on connecting people and providing care to those in need with the purpose of becoming a loving community. Nearly 30% of its members are 65 and older.

  • Support from Keiro will sustain MVFMC’s monthly lunch program that engages its older adult members through education, exercise, and other social activities. This program continues to offer older members the opportunity to enhance their social networks.

Newport Beach Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple has a vision to provide knowledge and resource for Japanese-speaking seniors in the Orange County area.

  • Support from Keiro will fund birthday celebrations and educational conferences. This provides a unique level of Japanese language support through the temple’s services to the Japanese community of Orange County.

Nikkei Choral Federation of Southern California is a federation of six choir groups from across Southern California with 120 members. This group hosts a joint concert that promotes mutual collaboration among Nikkei Choral groups.

  • Support from Keiro will help support a concert and practice opportunities for the 120 members of the choral federation. These practices provide opportunities for older adult members to interact and strengthen their social ties along with a concert that will showcase their efforts.

Okinawa Association of America provides programs to promote Okinawan culture and enhance the welfare of its members. Nearly 75% of OAA’s members are older adults.

  • Support from Keiro will help OAA create two separate lunch programs to help engage its different member bases – the Japanese-speaking members and the English-speaking members. These lunch programs will provide culturally sensitive meals and activities for the members while re-engaging them and offering a chance to socialize and remain connected.

Orange County Buddhist Church serves families of all ages seeking spiritual awakening through Shin Buddhism and offers a variety of regular programs to its hundreds of older adult members.

  • Support from Keiro will allow OCBC to continue its Tomodachi Bento program, where church volunteers deliver nutritious bento to participants while also engaging them in meaningful social contact and conversation twice a month to help ensure that the homebound members do not become socially isolated.

Orange County Friendship Choir is a Japanese-speaking choir group founded in 2009 comprised primarily of members over the age of 65.

  • Support from Keiro will help OCFC provide transportation and concert support for the older adults in Orange County to allow them to attend performances and to help keep the older members of the choir active.

Orange County Japanese American Association promotes social services and Japanese cultural activities in Orange County. With over 1,500 people served annually, OCJAA strives to meet the needs of Japanese older adults through classes, seminars, and other engagement opportunities.

  • Support from Keiro will help OCJAA enhance the services provided to the organization’s caregivers through their Kaigo no Kai program while also supporting transportation needs of older adult members to attend activities so they can remain involved with OCJAA’s various events.

Pasadena Nikkei Seniors was established to enhance the quality of life of and provide a comfortable social environment for older Japanese American and Japanese members. As a completely volunteer-led organization, PNS sponsors events throughout the year including monthly lunches, flu shot clinics, bus trips, and educational courses.

  • Support from Keiro will provide ongoing support for the monthly lunch program and excursions for its members. Keiro’s support will help keep the meals affordable and ensure that PNS can continue offering valuable social engagement for its members.

San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple serves nearly 200 individuals, including many older adults in the San Fernando Valley area.

  • Support from Keiro will allow SFVHBT to implement an innovative approach to keeping its older adult members engaged. Members who are hard of hearing will have easier access to a new audio system through Wi-Fi and mobile devices. Ensuring that all members can hear services and activities helps keep them engaged and coming to the temple.

Seinan Senior Citizens’ Club was founded in 1971 to address the needs of Japanese older adults. Currently serving over 200 members, many of whom are over age 80, SSCC provides classes, lunches, karaoke, and arts courses in the Crenshaw area.

  • Support from Keiro will enable Seinan to undergo a capital campaign to improve the Social Hall. This project will allow members to safely enjoy the center and take part in the many social activities offered by this Japanese senior center.

Union Church of Los Angeles is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational church located in Little Tokyo and has been serving the Los Angeles area for over 100 years.

  • Support from Keiro will help enhance Union Church’s Koinomia program, which provides older adults the opportunity to participate in local social and educational day trips and shows at the Aratani Theater.

Venice Japanese Community Center was founded almost 100 years ago and continues its mission to preserve, share, and promote Japanese American and Japanese culture. The center provides many activities for multiple generations and has a large population of older adult members.

  • Support from Keiro will help establish a Senior Wellness Program at VJCC to supplement ongoing programs at the center. The goal of this programming is to offer home-bound members, whom are at greater risk for social isolation, attractive and accessible programs aimed at increasing social connectedness and resources for members.

Visual Communications Media is a community-based non-profit media arts organization that provides services for the older adult community in Little Tokyo through its digital histories program.

  • Support from Keiro will support the instructor of this program that aims to engage older adults by providing them resources and opportunities to share their stories with the younger generations.

West Covina Christian Church’s Harvesters Senior Ministry program was established in 2015 after church members recognized the growing needs of its older members. The Harvesters provide much-needed support and social engagement to its members.

  • Support from Keiro will help the ongoing Harvesters’ activities as well as the widows group and the Compassion Care Ministry. This year’s programming will mainly focus on community building within these different groups of the congregation and enhancing services for church members.

Zenshuji Soto Mission has served the Japanese American and Japanese community through spiritual support and regular programs since 1922. Zenshuji continues to develop new activities for its older members.

  •  Support from Keiro will continue to support the Zen Aerobics program, which provides spiritual-based exercise instruction aimed at balancing the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the program participants.