Our April Non-Profit - Vancouver Chinatown Foundation

Blackbird Fabrics donates 1% of our revenue each month to a rotating non-profit. With the help of recommendations from our team members, friends & family, and our customers, we choose non-profits that support causes that are important to us and our community. You can find a full list of organizations that have supported here!

Our non-profit for April is the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation (VCF).

Wendy, our Community Engagement Coordinator, had the opportunity to speak with Lisa So, Senior Event Planner, from the Foundation to find out more about the organization and their ongoing initiatives.

The Vancouver Chinatown Foundation is currently working on a number of projects (visit the Foundation’s website for a full list of their ongoing projects), but here is a snapshot of their current initiatives. 

The Foundation owns and manages the May Wah Hotel, a neighbourhood SRO for low-income residents. The hotel was purchased in 2017 to provide affordable housing, preserve cultural heritage, and to create a safe and social community for seniors living in Chinatown. During COVID-19, the Foundation has been providing meals purchased from local restaurants for residents through the Meals for the May Wah program, which simultaneously helps put money back into local businesses and ensures that residents receive daily hot and culturally appropriate meals. Over 7,000 meals have been purchased from and for the community.

A cultural project that the Chinatown Foundation is currently working on is the Chinatown Storytelling Centre. The Storytelling Centre will be opening this year, and will celebrate the Chinese Canadian journey sharing stories of those who have come before us, starting with the Gold Rush to the present day. The team is also working with youth groups from the community to record and share their experiences as Chinese Canadians living through the pandemic. The Storytelling Centre is part of the Foundation’s strategy for the cultural revitalization of Chinatown.

There are Chinatowns in all parts of the world so I asked Lisa if there are other ways that individuals can help within their own communities and their local Chinatowns. She expressed that other Chinese and Asian-populated communities have faced similar challenges during COVID-19 as a result of anti-Asian racism. In addition to violence and vandalism, there has been an overall decrease in foot traffic which has negatively impacted businesses and livelihoods. The easiest way to help is to order food from Chinatown restaurants and support  family-owned stores by buying local. There are also numerous charitable and community organizations that could use help, any contribution can make an impact!

We want to extend a big thank you to Lisa for speaking with us and for all the work that the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation is doing for our community.

Learn more about Vancouver Chinatown Foundation here.