Community Member Speaks About Her Parents’ Experience With AHS’ Community Healing Initiatives Program

“An organization like AHS is important to the community.  They remind us that we’re okay, and when we’re down, we have a community we can lean on.”

Lily Chan’s elderly parents were impacted by the rise in anti-Asian hate and received support from Asian Health Services’ (AHS) Community Healing Initiatives. 

“My parents are community builders and they’re always giving. They are 73 years old, [and even though] they’re retired, they want to continue working and have their work centered around bringing celebration [to the community].” After retiring, Chan’s parents would participate in Chinese or Lunar New Year festivals by selling jade and Buddha charms. During this year’s Lunar Year Festival, they set up their tent with anticipation of fun-filled activities and celebration. What they did not expect was to be robbed four times back-to-back and lose $2,500 worth of goods in one night.

After this incident, Chan noticed how her parents were affected by the situation. They went inward and didn’t want to talk about it. Chan shared their story with an AHS staff member. Through AHS’ Community Healing Initiatives, Chan’s parents were referred to a counselor as well as offered financial assistance to help with the property loss. An AHS counselor was able to meet and speak with Chan’s mother in her native language. Receiving in-language counseling allowed for her mother to speak comfortably – something that Chan found empowering for her parents.

“Speaking to an AHS counselor was the first time my mom opened up about her feelings, about her pain and some of the trauma she’s gone through. Because of AHS, [my parents] felt like someone believed in them and would be there to help them, and that allowed them to open up more to allow for healing to come in.”

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