Northampton, MA –News Direct– Las Vegas Sands
Vida Lin had no intention of becoming the advocate for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities of southern Nevada. Born and raised in San Francisco, she grew up working in the family restaurant business and built a career as an insurance broker. Lin arrived in Las Vegas in 1994 when tragedy struck and she stepped in to help her family.
“My brother-in-law had died unexpectedly and my sister was facing a lawsuit,” Lin explains. “At the same time this was happening, my eight-year-old nephew was being bullied by students and teachers at his school because of his ethnicity. It was an incredibly difficult time for my family – my goal was to help them however I could.
However, while helping her family, she discovered a profound lack of resources to support the Asian American Pacific Islander community, which numbers more than 387,000 people in the state.
“When I arrived in Las Vegas, I quickly saw that there just wasn’t enough support or help available for my community to help them meet their needs,” Lin recalled. “On top of that, many face discrimination and prejudice, which makes accessing services even more difficult. There is also an unspoken rule among Asian communities: never complain. So people really suffered, but never said a word. Their voices were not heard. I decided I was going to do something.”
Lin set out to establish a community center for the AAPI community in the Las Vegas area to improve general well-being and education through direct service and advocacy work with other stakeholders. In 2015, she founded the Asian Community Development Council (ACDC), the first organization of its kind in the region to meet a myriad of needs, ranging from helping residents with voter registration and subscription to health insurance to food and rental assistance and other emergency services.
Under Lin’s leadership, the ACDC grew steadily, but she understood that it was essential to strengthen all of the services offered and position the ACDC for future growth. “In each of our programs, there was an urgent need for language support. It highlighted all the social issues we were trying to address. All too often, the best option for people is to have an English-speaking family member to help them, but in many cases that person is underage. People cannot defend themselves or seek out the services available to them if they cannot understand or navigate the required processes. »
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated this need as more and more families faced health challenges, economic hardship, and an increase in anti-Asian discrimination and crime. of hatred. Lin knew it was time to move on to her plan.
In early 2021, ACDC launched a fundraising campaign to expand its language bank and launch a language helpline to help facilitate access to essential social services for Filipino, Chinese, Korean communities. , Vietnamese and Thai from southern Nevada. In May, Las Vegas Sands donated $75,000 to kick off the fundraising campaign.
“Sands’ donation was the largest we have received to date from the Las Vegas community and has allowed us to begin offering language services now while fundraising continues,” Lin said. “It was truly a game-changing investment that strengthened all of our programs, from distributing food to supporting a citizenship pathway to providing urgently needed COVID-19 vaccine education.”
Currently, ACDC’s language bank is available in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai and Tagalog upon request. It is free regardless of immigration status. But the ACDC has only raised about half the funds needed to make the language bank a permanent service, and Ms Lin aims to add more languages to the hotline, including Hmong, Hindi, Urdu, Farsi, etc.
“Sands Cares funding for ACDC’s language bank responds to our strategy to help underrepresented communities overcome barriers to accessing services that cause or sustain difficulty,” said Ron Reese, Vice -Senior President of Global Communications and Corporate Affairs at Sands. “The work ACDC is doing with the Language Hotline will ensure that AAPI’s voices are heard and resource needs are met. We encourage our peers and the public to follow our donation with contributions to fully develop the hotline to better serve the AAPI community.
To learn more or support the ACDC Language Bank, visit www.acdcnv.org.
Watch additional media and more ESG stories from Las Vegas Sands at 3blmedia.com
See source version at newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/asian-community-development-council-addresses-language-barriers-to-critical-services-with-sands-cares-funding-724364906