By David Ikeda
I know these continue to be extremely challenging times for everyone. Personally speaking my sense of time has become somewhat off. Indeed, I actually begin each day by having to ask what day it is. It doesn’t help that as I write this message in May, it is actually snowing outside my window. From talking, Skyping, Zooming and Facetiming with others I know this feeling is shared by many in our community.
We on the board and staff at JSS have been meeting virtually frequently and regularly as we try to devise the best means to remain open and serve members of our community. By meeting weekly instead of monthly the JSS team can better and more quickly carry out our activities while maintaining safe social distancing. Nothing can take the place of face to face meetings for sure but our staff is doing their best with the online tools they have.
The board and staff have put in place office procedures to ensure the security of our clients, members and donors . We have maintained the services of our third party online security expert D-One and authorized the purchase of computers and updated software to ensure that online work from home by our staff is secure.
Re-starting our programs is a priority. Our community Outreach Worker noted at our last meeting that some of our volunteers have only now truly realized how important JSS programs are to them since many members have not had any opportunity to speak Japanese with anyone over these past months. And the need for such groups as the Single Mothers’ Support Group has never been more pertinent.
To our donors, I appeal to your generosity during this troubling time. Many of our clients and users were already facing challenges from abuse, poverty or aging—unfortunately some users suffer from all three. The current situation is only exacerbating their anxiety as you can imagine. Please help us to continue to help them.
Finally I would also like to extend my best wishes to you. Be safe. Be well. And keeping these two last directives in mind, please do what you can to help others as well.
By David Ikeda