(Contest Nominee) APDC Empowers Asian Pacific Refugees to Move Forward with New Life in Colorado

APDC is one of seven nonprofits nominated in Citywide Banks CHARITY HAND-UP CONTEST taking place on Facebook from November 2-22, 2015. The public is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. $8,000 in cash donations will be split between the charities based on the voting results. CLICK HERE for voting page.

Refugees coming to Colorado from Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and other parts of Asia have become the state’s fastest growing ethnic minority group reaching close to 150,000. The group has unique cultural and language barriers that make it challenging to adapt to living in the United States. The Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) helps these new metro Denver residents by providing specialized mental health and primary healthcare services, job readiness training, and victim assistance programs. APDC is one of seven Colorado nonprofits nominated in the Citywide Banks Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place November 2-22, 2015.

“Our work helps so many people in need, from a variety of backgrounds. We don’t turn anyone away. Our system of care is culturally appropriate and our integrative approach has made a positive impact on so many of our clients’ lives,” says Jane Lundwall, director of marketing and development for APDC.

The APDC was founded in 1980 by retired clinical psychologist Dr. Rudolph Lie with the help of the Asian Human Services Association and Park East Mental Health Center, to address the mental health needs of the Southeast Asian refugees arriving in the Denver area after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Soon after, they began treating these refugees for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and a whole host of other behavioral health problems, the organization realized that this population needed help far beyond mental health treatment.

They slowly started adding services based on the needs of the communities, which includes refugees and immigrants from Nepal, Burma, Bhutan, Philippines, Cambodia, Korea, Laos, China, Japan, and others.

Lundwall says their model of using navigators; full time staff living within these ethnic communities who speak the language and can share the needs and issues of that particular community with APDC program directors, has helped the nonprofit overcome language barriers and gain the trust necessary to making these immigrants feel comfortable about reaching out to APDC for help.

“We continue to grow and adapt our programs as needed, based on concerns and issues the Patient Navigators share from their community leaders,” says Lundwall.

Jyoti Sapkota, APDC Patient Navigator shared, “Many clients do not feel comfortable expressing their health conditions with our providers, however, they feel free to share their issues with the Navigators where we can help bridge the gap for our clients. I love being a Patient Navigator and making a difference in their lives.”

APDC offers six broad areas of services and programs:

  • Victim assistance for those who have experienced a crime or abuse
  • Behavioral health services, including Gardening as therapy and Elder Wellness programs
  • Primary care health services for children and adults
  • Health programs, one focused on preventative health screenings for women, and another providing assistance in navigating registration for health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps and other social services
  • Youth Leadership Academy, a comprehensive tutoring and mentoring program to foster leadership for students in middle school through college
  • Adult Education centered on English language instruction, citizenship classes, and other job readiness training

Under these broad categories they offer psychiatric medication evaluation, legal aid, family and couples counseling, GED classes, job placement programs, and computer skills workshops. They are constantly adapting and adding services to meet their clients’ needs, and always making sure that their services and programs are culturally appropriate for the communities they assist.

They also have a for-profit division called Colorado Language Connection that provides language translation and interpretation services in schools, hospitals, and the legal system that they use to help fund their nonprofit division.

As word of their services has spread, so has the number of people coming to them seeking help. As a result, their English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are full with waiting lists, and the after-school programs are in need of mentors and tutors. APDC is looking for additional classroom space to meet the demands and provide for all interested.

Additionally, APDC is looking for volunteer tutors to help with homework, computer skills, research projects, or just to speak English with adult learners and students in their after-school programs to help them practice.

If APDC Receives Most Votes in Contest
A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would go toward helping their adult education and youth programs, and also support a larger community garden initiative that serves behavioral health clients as therapy. Specifically, it would go toward supporting Adult students with the inability to pay for 10 week ESL classes and manuals. Funds would also support youth summer programs, overnight camp, and golf and soccer equipment needed to develop fundamental skills so that students can learn a sport, apply for college scholarships, and integrate better with their American peers. A portion would also be used to expand a community garden initiative encouraging participation in the therapeutic benefits of farming/gardening and the potential to focus on behavioral health and the social aspects that are vital for those in the Asian refugee and immigrant populations served at APDC.

For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.APDC.org or follow it on Facebook at Facebook.com/APDCf.

How to Give APDC a Hand-Up

  1. VOTE FOR APDC on contest voting page at Citywide Banks Facebook page
  2. POST A COMMENT about APDC on the Citywide Banks Facebook page
  3. SHARE posts about this contest with your family, friends, and coworkers
  4. “LIKE” APDC’s Facebook Page (the charity nominee with biggest % increase in Facebook followers during contest will receive an extra $500 donation from Citywide Banks)

How to Cast Your Vote – November 2-22, 2015
The contest is open to the general public within Colorado (non-customers welcome to participate; no purchase necessary). The easiest way to vote is online by clicking the “Charity Contest” tab on the Citywide Banks Facebook page at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to “like” the bank’s Facebook page to submit a vote/entry online. One vote/entry per person is permitted during the 21-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users can use the sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity. There is even an added bonus prize drawing for those voters that post the contest on their own Facebook timeline.

About the Citywide Banks Charity Hand-Up Contests
Citywide Banks is a 52-year-old, family operated, Colorado focused business bank that is passionate about supporting Colorado charities. Through our Charity Hand-Up Contests, seven Colorado causes are nominated by our employees to be showcased through social media and in our branches. Then, we ask the community to vote on Facebook for their favorite. Based on final vote standings, Citywide Banks splits $8,000 in donations. The charity with the most votes receives the top $5,000 donation. Contest voters can also enter to win great prizes, including dinner for two at a top Denver restaurant. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. More contest details are at CitywideBanks.com/contest/.



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