By James Chiao
FCSN’s annual fundraising gala is coming up. In early July, as in previous years, a gala committee was set up to prepare for this year’s virtual event. One of the themes for this year is the celebration of FCSN 25th anniversary. As part of the celebration, the gala committee decided to make a short video to document our journey and story. Jason Hwan and I were volunteered to this task.
Then I remember that we have already made a similar video in 2016 when we celebrated our 20th anniversary. We decided to use that video as the basis and add on new material from the last five years. We also recruited a young adult volunteer, Rachel Jiang, who has just graduated from high school. We were pleased to find out that her college does not start until September, and she has some free time to work on our video projects.
The new video consists of four parts. The first part “The Formative Years” tells the story of how the idea of forming the organization came about, how FCSN was founded in 1996, and traces its development with photos of many key events. The 2nd part “The Dream Project” starts in 2001 with the purchase of the vacant land by FCSN parents, the first fundraising gala, the folk song concerts, which culminated in the building of the Dream Center in 2006. The 3rd part “Building Programs” documents how we started the first South Bay ADP program in 2004, and East Bay ADP and SLS in 2006, the hiring of our management team, and fast growth of our vendorized and enrichment programs in subsequent years to serve hundreds of adults/children with special needs. In part 4 “Expand Our Dream”, it tells the story of how we acquired the Bascom property in 2014, renovated and made it our South Bay Center in 2017, and opened Friends Coffee & Tea in 2018. Finally, it brought us to 2019 when the COVID-19 hit the community, and how FCSN reacted and strived against the shutting down of in-person programs during the Shelter in Place.
It is a great story and reflects our 25 years of effort to build a community for children and adults with special needs. It shows that we can achieve a great deal when we share a common dream and are willing to work towards it. Finally, we like to thank Rachel, who completed this video just prior to departing for college. We thank her for her volunteering work during her high school years and wish her the best in college.
FCSN will celebrate its 25th Anniversary, the re-opening of our centers and the acquisition of the Osgood property, with a fundraising virtual gala “Expand Our Dream” on Nov. 6, 2021. We warmly invite you and your friends to participate in this very special event. With your support, we can expand our facility and our dream to help many more special needs individuals and families. Click here to donate. Donations of $20 or more will receive a complimentary virtual gala ticket for Saturday, 11/6, from 4-6pm.