China Town Business Improvement Area
Volunteering has shown this volunteer that everyone has a role to play in making their communities great.
Grace is the chairperson for the Chinatown Business Improvement Area and has been involved with Chinatown and the Chinese community for five years.
“Everyone has a role to play in a community – and I hope that more people will volunteer and understand that by volunteering in the community, you can actually make a big difference,” Grace says.
“It may not be obvious at the time, but you can actually see that over time, working together with all the people who are like minded can make a big difference.”
Grace got involved in Chinatown when the developers were planning to build a large 30 story tower in the community. Community held a protest and marched on city hall. The community was able to stop the development.
The community doesn’t oppose new development, but they want to have a voice in how their community redevelops and changes.
To be engaged with her community, she got involved with Tomorrow’s Chinatown.
“I’m on the advisory group and I try to engage as much as I can in every meeting,” Grace explains. “I hope everybody does the same because by hearing all the different voices and perspectives, we will be able to reach a common ground that will be beneficial to the community as a whole.”
She stays involved because she can witness people with different perspectives and interests coming together and finding a strong common goal.
“We trust each other. Building trust, building the friendships and working towards a goal is a step-by-step process,” Grace says. “We celebrate any milestone that we achieve and vent to each other when we have setbacks.
“We can actually collaborate and think more collaboratively to overcome those challenges. Working towards that [goal], I feel like going through this journey, I have made a lot of friends and I’m seeing the community coming together. That’s very interesting and enticing to me.”