JAO Youth Spreading Holiday Cheer

On November 11 this year, several girls basketball teams spent the morning of Veteran’s Day holiday assembling holiday ornaments to share with residents at the facilities formerly owned by KEIRO in Boyle Heights. This annual activity, part of The “Kids for Keiro” program, was started over 10 years ago by the JAO Invitational Girls Basketball program. Designed to encourage community service and provide volunteer opportunities for girls to engage with older adults, hundreds of youth players and their families have participated over the years, spreading holiday cheer among the residents.

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Youth volunteers distribute hand-made ornaments and chat with residents

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Leland Lau serves as president of the Japanese American Optimist Club and commissioner of the JAO Invitational Girls Basketball league.  He continues to volunteer and support residents at the facilities formerly owned by KEIRO, and encourages the league’s youth players to do the same. On their recent volunteer experience Leland commented, “Though there are new owners [of the facilities], they have welcomed us with open arms to continue the activities which we feel are so important to the seniors.” He spoke with the new operators of the retirement home and also pointed out that JAO and KEIRO were founded by community leaders, and that the two organizations have some founders in common, a special connection and reminder that volunteers of all ages are so important to the wellbeing of Our Community.

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Leland Lau with youth volunteers and their parents making holiday gifts for residents of KEIRO’s former facilities

Volunteering is not only good for the community, it’s good for your health! Join Leland, JAO youth, and the hundreds of other volunteers who continue to share their time and talents to support residents. For more information please visit our website.

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