"Our Journey, Our Stories": AACS's 40th Anniversary Celebration

November 2016

In This Issue

Women's Quilting Group 

Thursdays, 1pm-3pm @AACS

This project seeks to connect women, share stories of  courage, create beauty, and move towards healing in our lives with one another. 

All craft supplies will be provided, and take-home kits will be available. The group will be hosted at AACS (4700 Reed Rd., Suite B, Columbus Ohio, 43220).

To learn more about our quilting group or are interested in attending, please contact our Program Coordinator, Yihong Dong at ydong@aacsohio.org  or 614-220-4023 x 100 .

Ikebana Classes:
Japanese Art of Flower Arrangement

New sessions will resume in December, 2016

To learn more about our Ikebana classes or are interested attending, contact our Program Coordinator,  Yihong Dong at ydong@aacsohio.org
or 614-220-4023 x 100.

Documentary Screening:
Audrie & Daisy

11/30 (Wed) @ 5:30 - 8 pm
Trinity Catholic School
1440 Grandview Ave.
Columbus, OH 43212

AUDRIE & DAISY is an urgent real-life drama that examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools and communities when two underage young women find that sexual assault crimes against them have been caught on camera. From acclaimed filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (The Island President, The Rape of Europa), AUDRIE & DAISY - which made its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival - takes a hard look at American's teenagers who are coming of age in this new world of social media bullying, spun wildly out of control.

-- Description from Audrie & Daisy website

AACS invites parents and community members to attend this FREE documentary screening. Come learn more about the social landscape that young teens in America face today and be the influence in your child's life that he or she needs.

Visit the  Audrie & Daisy website for more information about the film.

Kindly RSVP to Asafu Suzuki (asuzuki@aacsohio.org or 614-220-4023 x.240) by 5 pm on 11/29

Senior Benefits Program

If you have questions about:
-Medicare Part A, B, & D
-Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)
-Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
-Food Stamp Program (SNAP)
-Where to go for help
-Other related questions

Please contact  Yihong Dong at  614-220-4023 x100 or  ydong@aacsohio.org
Affordable Care Act

Open Enrollment Period for 2017:
11/01/2016 - 01/31/2017

Get free help signing up for health coverage (Obama care and Medicaid)!
For more information, please contact:
Chin-Yin Shih 614-220-4023 x 224 or cshih@aacsohio.org

Korea 1950
11/11/2016 - 04/02/2017
Ohio History Center

See an extraordinary exhibit of Korean War photographs taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning  Associated Press photographer Max Desfor.

Adult: $10
Youth(6-12): $5
Senior(60+): $9
Ohio History Connection member or Child(5&under): Free.
APIASF General Scholarship

The APIASF General Scholarship Application is now available!  This scholarship is a great opportunity for High School Seniors and Current College Students.

Deadline to Apply: Friday, January 11, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST

Contact applicant@apiasf.org for more information.

Lao Volunteer Donation Association:
Monthly Provisions Giveaway

11/19 (Sat) @ 11 am - 2 pm
1160 Alum Creek Drive
Columbus, OH 43209

Families who qualify can receive fresh fruits, veggies, and other staples. Bring your own Bag!

For more information, please call the Lao Volunteer Donation Association at 614-506-1167


From the Director

Greetings, AACS Family!

Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans get together with our families and friends to celebrate what we are thankful for in our lives. This year, there are two very important events which will help me to appreciate why it is so important to give thanks to those who made this event more meaningful. First, we will have voted on November 8th and have a new President. It does not matter which candidate become the next President? We have done our job as a good citizen and made the decision. Then I am starting my Thanksgiving celebration a couple of weeks early as AACS marks our 40th anniversary with our annual gala fundraiser on November 11th. Under the theme of "Our Journey, Our Stories," the event will celebrate the 40-year journey of our agency and the individual stories of the many staff, volunteers, board members, and supporters who have made it possible for us to continue serving the ever-changing needs of our community.

Since 1976, AACS has strived to strengthen and empower the Asian/Pacific Islander (API) community in Central Ohio. From our humble origins as a small gathering of like-minded individuals, AACS has grown into a community-based organization that serves thousands of individuals every year through our four departments.

The past year has been a time of notable achievements for our agency. The Asian Free Clinic's two medical directors received the Columbus Business First EPS Community Health Care Hero recognition. We have continued to build capacity and experience in providing culturally competent social services to Asian-born trafficking survivors, receiving referrals and consultation requests from Ohio and beyond. The Healthy Asian Youth (HAY) summer camp had its most successful year yet with increased participant numbers and more enriched programming. Our newly implemented quilting and ikebana classes have created a space of social support and healing for our participants.

Although these achievements and others demonstrate just how far we have come a long way over the past four decades, every day is a reminder that we have much more work to do for the empowerment of Asians/Pacific Islanders in Central Ohio and beyond. 30-35% of Asian-Americans are limited English proficient (LEP), but language assistance at courts, health care facilities, and polling locations often fall short. Domestic violence and sexual assault are underreported in Asian communities due to shame and stigma. Despite the "model minority" myth, Cambodian-Americans and other Southeast Asian-Americans suffer from much higher high school dropout rates than African-Americans and Latinos. Asian-Americans are also registered to vote at lower rates than other major ethnic groups, resulting in the underrepresentation of our voices in the democratic process.

Still, I remain thankful. I am thankful for the dedicated staff who always go the extra mile to serve our clients. I am thankful for the selfless volunteers who donate hundreds of hours to support our many programs. I am thankful for the patience of our board members. I am thankful for our interpreters who will take calls at a moment's notice for our community members who need language access. I am thankful for our donors, grantors, and other supporters who provide the resources that make it possible for us to continue serving the community.

Whether or not you are able to join us on November 11th, I urge you to make a renewed commitment to support our journey as we take our first steps towards the next 40 years. I am asking you to help make a difference in the life of another living in your community with a monetary contribution so that we can continue to provide the critical services. You may be helping a student from the West Side who strives to attend college. Or a New American looking to cast his vote for the first time. Or a DV survivor standing up against the cultural stigma to speak up about her experience. Or an immigrant entrepreneur with an American dream. These are the people in your community who contribute to society but need a little support through our services.

You can help support us and the people we serve through a donation made payable to AACS. AACS is a 501(c)(3) corporation, and an acknowledgement letter will be issued upon your donation for your use for tax purposes. We hope you will consider supporting us and hope to see you at our Gala and at future events!



November 8 is Election Day!
Don't forget to vote!!

Early voting is going on NOW. If you are voting  absentee  in Ohio, make sure it is postmarked on or before November 7 . You can also drop off your absentee ballot in-person at your county board of elections  before polls close on Election Day (November 8).

If you are voting in-person (early or on Election Day), don't forget to bring your unexpired ID or utility bill. Polls on Election Day are open on November 8 from  6:30 AM to 7:30 PM .

If the poll worker cannot find your name, make sure they have the spelling correct and have your first/last names in the right order.

If your name does not appear on the list, you can still vote a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots will only be counted if the board of elections can determine your eligibility, so make sure to go to your board of election with your ID or utility bill within 7 days of the election to make your vote count.

You have the right to vote without being discriminated against or being intimidated.

You cannot be turned away for not being able to understand English.  **Please make sure any limited English proficient citizens you know understand that this is their right!!!**

You have the right to bring an interpreter of your choosing to the voting booth to help you read the ballot. The interpreter does not have to be an eligible voter (i.e., they can be a non-citizen or teenager under 18).

If you have any questions about voting or need help voting, call  1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-274-8683).

Bilingual assistance is available in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali.

*Need transportation to the polls or interpreter on Election Day? Contact us at asuzuki@aacsohio.org or 614-220-4023 x.240 before Election Day*
AACS Receives Second Nomination for a Liberator Award
For the second year in a row, AACS has been nominated for a Liberator Award for our work in serving human-trafficking victims.

Please show your support by voting for us in the Organization/Church/Civic Club category! You can vote by going to this link, selecting "Ohio" for the state, and scrolling down to the appropriate category and clicking on the box for AACS. Voting goes on through the entire month of November.

Thank you for supporting AACS in the fight against human-trafficking!!
AACS Makes Over 1,200 Calls for GOTV Phone-Banking

On October 28th and 29th, AACS hosted phone-banking events as a member of the Ohio AAPI Civic Engagement (ACE) Network. Our dedicated volunteers made a total of 1,236 calls, reminding registered AAPI voters to vote in the current elections. Thank you to all who supported our events with a special shout-out to the ladies of Kappa Phi Lambda (KPL) of The Ohio State University!!

Halloween Fun at ESL Class!