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Chinese Culture Center Adapts to Growing Community (Video)

It’s the year of the horse.

As the Chinese Community celebrates the New Year, one center in Gaithersburg is expanding to adapt to the growing Chinese community.

From learning English, to exercising, to practicing calligraphy, the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center has been bringing Chinese-Americans together for more than 30 years.

“It changed a lot and right now actually 30 years ago we were hoping that someday we would have our own location to manage activities because before that we were using the Montgomery County facilities for our activities,” said Ned Li, Deputy Executive Director of Special Programs at the CCACC.

And the hope came true.

Close to 40,000 Chinese-Americans call the County home, and the community is growing. So the center is doing its part to expand and keep up.

“The board of directors actually debated long and hard for over several years and finally with the help of some donations and the savings from the center we were finally able to start the adult daycare center because the initial cost is pretty high,” said Chih-Hsiang Li, Executive Director of the CCACC.

The idea took off and in just five years, the program for low-income Chinese-Americans grew from just a few participants to more than 300 adults with disabilities or illnesses who are bused to and from the adult daycare center for rehabilitation programs and health services.

“We feel that the daycare plus other programs are really serving the community well,” said Ned Li. “One of our purposes was trying to be a focal point of the community but of course we still have a lot to do to get other groups or communities involved, we still have a lot to do.”

This month the center is expanding their adult daycare program to seven days a week and is starting renovations to make room for their cultural classes that attract more than 2,500 local residents.

The center also hopes to bring an after school program to young students later this year.

“Everyday I see the happy faces of the seniors and also the faces of some people who appreciate the service and see a lot of people who need the service it really gives you much more satisfaction than any accomplishment you have in your career or otherwise,” said Chih-Hsiang Li.

Find more information about the CCACC through their website here.

Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).


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