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Program Goals

  • Match youths with elders to establish and maintain a mutual ongoing and caring relationship.
  • Help new immigrant Chinese youths adapt to their new country and to promote self-development, positive attitude and greater communication skills.
  • Provide training to empower youth to teach youth and their families and the community about disaster preparedness, health and safety issues.
  • Offer opportunities for youth to serve in numerous community activities in order to boost their self-worth by becoming active contributors to their own community.
  • Provide volunteer opportunities for the elders to link up with the youth and connecting with the community especially in better prepared for disasters.
  • Broaden the volunteer force by recruiting adult volunteers with appropriate language skills in serving our diverse population on community preparedness in San Francisco and Bay Area.


The YCE program is administered by the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter Preparedness Services Department. The program expenses are paid for partly by the chapter and partly by a special YCE fund which is based on fund raising projects of the program every fiscal year. The largest fund raising project of each year is the Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon held in San Francisco Chinatown every June. Various other fundraising projects are planned and implemented by the volunteers throughout the year.

In September 1999, the program is fortunate to receive grant from the Mabel L. Gee Trust fund. The fund is to be used in subsequent years for sponsoring community service T-shirts for the youth and elderly volunteers and scholarships for the youth volunteers to attend First Aid/CPR Instructor training classes, the American Red Cross National Convention, and Leadership Development Center. The fund is to honor and in memory of Mabel L. Gee who always had a strong sense of serving community needs. Her children, Timothy, Sherman, Joseph and Gloria, are also active supporters of the community.

Donors can sponsor a YCE project by sending checks or by supporting the program's festive activities by providing in-kind donations.

  • Send a check made payable to: "American Red Cross" and earmark it for "YCE."

    Mail it to: American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, 85 Second Street, 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105.

  • To send in gifts for festive activities or sponsoring special projects of the YCE program, please call Rita Wong at: (415) 427-8077
  • For more information about planning a gift, please call our Planned Giving Department at: (415) 427-8171

Area and Target Population Served

  • 50 Chinese new immigrant high school aged youths (14-19) from Newcomer High School of San Francisco County.
  • 100 Chinese immigrant high school aged youths (14-19) from Red Cross YCE Clubs of Balboa High School, Lincoln High School and Galileo Academy of Science and Technology in San Francisco County.
  • 50 Chinese speaking senior citizens from San Francisco who are over age 65, live alone, in reasonably good health, ambulatory and mentally alert.
  • 10 to 20 adult volunteers from the Chinese community with English-Chinese bilingual skill.

Volunteer Component

  • Youth volunteers: all high school students being recruited into the YCE program or YCE Clubs.
  • Elderly volunteers: all senior residents enrolled as elderly partners for the YCE youths.
  • Adult volunteers: all community volunteers over age 18, high school graduates, after completing an orientation session and sign up to serve the YCE program in various aspects such as involving in preparedness training, sponsoring YCE clubs, fund raising, supervising community services, elderly visiting and youth performance.

Program Activities

  • Training for youth volunteers: health and safety, disaster services, elderly care and communication skills, leadership training and peer instructor training.
  • Youth paying home visits to individual elderly partners regularly.
  • Outreach projects for mono-Chinese speaking group on disaster preparedness.
  • The program manager meeting with youth volunteers twice a week at schools during lunch hours for community service assignment and follow up of elderly visits.
  • The YCE club officers meeting with their club members at each school once a week during lunch hours for community service assignment.
  • Community services: self-organized or collaborated with others, including entertainment and assistance at convalescent homes and senior centers, disaster drills, minor structure earthquake mitigation for senior homes, health fair, street fair and Chapter events.
  • Youth organizing fund raising events such as the annual YCE volunteer recognition luncheon, outreach for donation to organize the holiday party for the elders and walkathon to hold a summer picnic for the elders.
  • Integrative activities for youths and elders such as field trips, festive gathering and summer picnic.
  • Health and safety training and disaster preparedness training by YCE peer instructors for youths not enrolled in the program.
  • Interest groups such as web-page designing group, singing group, drama group, and dancing group to develop their skills and talents to provide performance for elders.
  • Outreach projects for mono-Chinese speaking group on disaster preparedness.
  • Youth and elderly service resources and referrals.

Recognition & Awards

In serving the community for thirty years, the Youth for Chinatown Elderly Program gained high recognition from the community for the volunteers' meaningful intergenerational service. The program also received National Awards from American Red Cross over the years. Each year the Mayor of San Francisco, representative of the Board of Supervisors and community leaders show their support and recognition at the program's Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon in Chinatown for the work done by the youth volunteers. The program is well supported by the Chinese media in San Francisco on covering most of the meaningful voluntarily services that the program youth volunteers served in the community.

    List of Awards Received:

  • 2002 YCE Program Coordinator, Rita Wong and community volunteer, Michael Wong received the National Partnership Award in American Red Cross.
  • 2001 The YCE Community Preparedness Poster Board won the Most Innovative Project Award in American Red Cross National Convention.
  • 2001 National winner of the George M. Elsey for Outstanding Involvement of Youth in American Red Cross as part of Bay Area Youth Services.
  • 2001 American Red Cross Mountain Pacific Region Level II Award Winner for Diversity Outreach.
  • 2000 American Red Cross Pacific Region Level II Award Winner of George M. Elsey for Outstanding Involvement of Youth.
  • 1997 National Winner of the School and Community Award for Youth in Health and Safety in American Red Cross.
  • 1995 National Winner of the George M. Elsey Award for Outstanding Involvement of Youth in American Red Cross as part of the Youth Services.
  • 1991 National Winner of American Red Cross Young Adult Initiatives Tournament.

For more information, or if you are interested in making a donation to YCE, please call (415) 427-8077.

Community Preparedness Services | Youth Services


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Interactive Zone

Leadership Development Center

What Can YOUth Do?

Youth for Chinatown Elderly

Youth Newsletter

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Site Map : All photos by Gene Dailey.