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Caren Lock, Sejal Desai, Cynthia Yung

Orchid Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation held a virtual Grantee Celebration on October 16 featuring its members, its grantees and a special dance performance. The Giving Circle celebrated its sixth year by distributing $202,000 in grants to 13 nonprofit organizations that serve the North Texas Asian community.

Orchid Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation is a group of Asian women who collaborate, pool their resources and leverage their networks to generate community grants that support social change and services benefitting the North Texas Asian community. Orchid members, representing a wide range of Asian cultures, ages, ethnicities and professions, have as their goal to increase awareness of the local Asian population, their community needs and philanthropic opportunities.

This year’s leadership, who served for the past six years, includes Cynthia Yung, Chair; Caren Lock, Secretary; and Sejal Desai, Grants Committee Chair. Incoming leadership starting in 2020 includes Mylinh Luong, Chair Elect; Radhika Zaveri, Secretary; Gowri Sharma, Grants Committee Chair; Jean Chao, Treasurer; and Arang Cistulli, Membership Chair.

Orchid Giving Circle Chair Cynthia Yung said, “We are honored to serve the North Texas Asian community alongside other women's giving circles who focus on communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Now more than ever, our collective efforts to provide grants that directly support our most vulnerable communities is crucial.” 

The program included grant distributions to 13 deserving nonprofit organizations:

  • Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIA): Scholarships
  • Chetna: Culturally specific services to South Asian victims of domestic violence including legal services, develop skills in the workforce, and remove transportation barriers they face
  • Communities in Schools of North Texas: Chin Family Empowerment Program to support Chin students in Lewisville ISD schools
  • Dallas Chinese Community Center: Life skills, workplace equality and youth leadership development 
  • Heart House: Holistic after school program utilizing trauma-informed care to help refugee children thrive in their new community
  • IGNITE: Building Political Power in Asian American Young Women
  • It’s a Sensory World! Inc.: Staff training for a program that serves children with special needs
  • Literacy Achieves: Family Literacy Program for immigrant and refugee families, and All Have Value: Campaign addressing anti-Asian discrimination
  • Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation: Breast health outreach, education and mammogram access for Asian American women in need
  • Mosaic Family Services Inc.: Mosaic House, a multicultural house for women and children who are domestic violence survivors, and hotline interpretation costs
  • The Senior Source: Foster Grandparent Program
  • Texas Muslim Women's Foundation Inc.: Peace in the Home – Culturally Specialized Family Violence Program (PIH-DV)
  • Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation: Mental health support for Asian immigrant middle school through college students.

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, president of Texas Women’s Foundation, remarked, “Texas Women’s Foundation congratulates the Orchid Giving Circle on raising these funds during such a challenging year and for thoughtfully selecting so many amazing organizations to support. Orchid was our first Giving Circle, and they play such an important role serving the ever growing Asian community in North Texas. I also want to personally thank Cynthia, Caren and Sejal for their extraordinary leadership these past six years!”

Orchid Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation was launched in 2015. The group has provided grants in education, housing, healthcare, arts and culture, social services and more to the North Texas Asian community. In addition, Orchid Giving Circle has an interest in organizations and programs that are led by Asian women. Orchid Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation is a member of the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), a national, member-supported philanthropic advocacy organization dedicated to advancing philanthropy in Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. Orchid Giving Circle founders include Arang Cistulli, Kim Cummings, Sejal Desai, Loh-Sze Leung, Caren K. Lock, Mylinh Luong, Lynette Payne, Gowri Sharma, Thear Suzuki, Charmaine Tang, Anne Woods, Cynthia Yung, Trea Yip and Radhika Zaveri.

For more information about Orchid Giving Circle and grants, visit https://www.txwf.org/orchid-giving-circle/ or email orchidgivingcircle@gmail.com.

Texas Women’s Foundation is Transforming Texas for Women and Girls, empowering them to build stronger, more equitable communities. One of the world’s largest women’s foundations, the Foundation raises funding from a broad base of donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations. These resources support more than $7 million in investments that advance economic security and leadership for Texas women and girls through groundbreaking research, advocacy, grants and programs. Since inception in 1985, the Foundation has invested $57 million in women and girls, including $43 million since 2011. The Foundation’s statewide research on issues affecting women and girls provides decision-makers and lawmakers with critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state. Its advocacy, grantmaking and innovative programs support solutions that help Texas women and girls thrive. In addition, Texas Women’s Foundation is an acknowledged leader and advocate in the gender lens investing movement and has deployed 100 percent of its assets – endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds – in a gendered impact portfolio that yields strong financial returns and social benefits to women and girls. For more information, visit www.txwf.org, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram or donate now

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