Yu-Ai Kai, a senior center in San Jose’s Japantown for the last 41 years, provides a senior day program, social services, bilingual case management, a nutritious lunch service, including Meals on Wheels, and a variety of classes, activities and trips for seniors, designed around its Healthy Aging Initiative.
During SVGives 2015, Yu-Ai Kai was able to raise a total of $101,605, including $55,875 from 360 donors, assisted by a $35,000 matching grant provided by long-time supporters. The results were more than double the $47,187 raised during the first SVGives in 2014.
Yu-Ai Kai's motto is "friendship and love." The organization credits its successful operation to an incredibly dedicated staff and board, as well as 1,200 volunteers, who give tirelessly in the name of promoting healthy aging, encouraging independent living, and advocating for all seniors.
Yu-Ai Kai currently serves more than 3,000 seniors and their families annually. This note from the family member of a senior participant echoes what staff and volunteers hear frequently: "My mom is 94 years young. She comes to the Senior Center Monday through Friday, eats healthy lunches, and keeps physically active with activities. Thank you, Yu-Ai Kai for fulfilling mom's life!"
While the organization’s history is rooted in Japanese and Japanese American culture, programs and services are open to any senior in the community. Yu-Ai Kai leaders say they hope others will share their vision to help seniors age well and thrive, and will contribute again during SVGives 2016.