The Pandemic has broken the very fabric of our economy and in Oakland and San Francisco its impact is acutely felt in Chinatown. The need to close to follow shelter-in-place guidelines created to slow the spread of the coronavirus ignited a giant negative economic impact. That caused Jocelyn Tsaih to start a fund-raiser called “Save Our Chinatowns”.
Here’s what she wrote in explaining the need for the fundraising effort:
Since the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, SF and Oakland Chinatowns have seen a steep decline in business.Racially-motivated fears have caused a lot of people to keep their distance from both Chinatowns. Restaurants have had to lay off staff members, cut working hours short, shut their doors completely, and ask for lowered rent. The decline in foot traffic for the restaurants are also hurting other local businesses in the area, such as tea shops and markets, that usually rely on these customers for business.
The funds will be going to two specific nonprofits – Chinatown Improvement in Oakland and Chinatown CDC in San Francisco. In Oakland, we are using the funds to make large weekly orders at specific restaurants and having that food delivered to homeless shelters and essential workers in the area. In SF, we are funding Chinatown CDC’s food delivery program where meals from local restaurants will be delivered to seniors and residents in SROs and public housing. Please consider donating in order to save some of your favorite spots – ones that fed you while you were hungry and ones that brought you priceless joy when you took a bite of that sesame ball, egg tart, or pineapple bun.
Oh, and that racially-motivated fear Jocelyn Tsaih pointed to came from President Donald Trump, who worked to call the coronavirus The China Virus, not so much because of reports of where the virus originated, but as part of his ugly overall strategy of racial division to gain votes.
Since then, and on the way toward raising over $38,000, Save Our Chinatowns reported on news events:
May 8, 2020 by Jocelyn Tsaih, Organizer
Hope everyone’s been safe and healthy! Just wanted to update you all on how funds have been utilized recently. We’ve been supporting Chinatown CDC’s Feed & Fuel program where meals are being delivered to seniors and residents of SROs and public housing in SF Chinatown. We’ve also been working with Good Good Eatz to order food from Oakland Chinatown, and this week the food was delivered to the construction crew working on affordable housing at Brooklyn Basin.
Please follow them both on IG for updates and to see how your help has an impact: www.instagram.com/goodgoodeatz
Thank you all so much for your support. Take care!
June 29, 2020 by Jocelyn Tsaih, Organizer
We reached our $25k goal! We’re upping it a little to $30k as a last increase. After we reach $30k, we will be focusing on alternative methods of raising funds for our Chinatown communities.
For example, we’re starting a new project where artists create limited edition merchandise for local businesses, with all proceeds from the sales of the products directly supporting the businesses they’re designed for.
Our first product is a tote bag for The Fortune Cookie Factory in Oakland Chinatown, designed by SF-based artist Katie Benn. You can find the purchase link here: https://saveourchinatowns.bigcartel.com/.
The Fortune Cookie Factory has been operating since 1957 and is one of the last places in America to make fortune cookies by hand. Learn more here: https://www.oaklandfortunefactory.com/.
Thanks again as always, and please follow us at @saveourchinatowns on Instagram for updates!
September 17, 2020 by Jocelyn Tsaih, Organizer
We hope everyone’s been doing alright during these times. While we are getting close to our final goal, we wanted to share an update that all donations from here on out will be directed towards aiding two Oakland Chinatown restaurants that have been unfortunately destroyed by a dumpster fire this week. We are working with Good Good Eatz to raise funds for this effort.
Here is an article that shares more details about the incident: https://sf.eater.com/2020/9/17/21444041/rang-dong-huangcheng-noodle-house-oakland-chinatown-fire-closed
Please share this with others if possible, we’d really appreciate it!
Thank you all for your continuous support and generosity.
The fund-raiser is still going. You can donate here https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-our-chinatowns/donate
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