A fund raising drive to build a new Kin On nursing home by July of 1994 was announced last week by the Chinese Nursing Home Society (CNHS).

The CNHS wants to raise $500,000 by August 11, the date of a Building Campaign Fund Kickoff and third Anniversary dinner. “We want to announce the degree of support that we already have,” said Ark Chin, chairman of the fund drive.

To do this, the campaign will target “big hitters, the people we think can contribute $2000 or more.”

A new home would cost five to six million dollars to build. “Our capital fund raising campaign will aim for about two million in cash from the community, said Dr. John Lee.

The three-year-old facility admitted its first patient in 1987. It’s the first bilingual Chinese nursing home in the Pacific Northwest. Now Kin On is a big success and is operating at capacity with 59 residents.

“We have filled up this nursing home … the facility currently is totally inadequate as far as space is concerned. We have no air conditioning, our roof leaks,” said Dr. John Lee, President of CNHS.

“Our community needs the new facility very badly.”

The planning committee is considering an 80-bed home with the ability to expand to 100 beds. “This would be most economically feasible,’ said Lee. Ark Chin, chairman of the fund drive, said “there was an act of faith,” in establishing Kin On three years ago because the group had no experience operating a nursing home and (the Chinese community) had never raised more than $50,000 in any given year on any given project. … So everything was stacked against us. In spite of that, as of this date, we raised over $700,000,” Chin said. The community has been overwhelming in its support.”

“Our strategy this time is still to rely on individual contributions,” commented Chin. Fifty-five percent of the money raised in the first fund drive were from individuals compared with only seven percent from the business community.

Only about 20 businesses made donations during the first fund drive.”1 counted in the phone book 440 to 450 Chinese-owned and operated businesses. Even if we have 40 of them, that’s not even 10 percent,” said Chin.

CNHS has also received money from the Seattle Foundation and the Boeing’s Good Neighbor Fund. “They like to contribute to success,” Chin said.

“We have been exceptionally successful running a brand new facility,” said Fred Yee, director. “This credit goes to the staff members and volunteers, not to me.” The operation of the nursing home has to be very solid in order for the community to support it. Kin On has satisfied all the state requirements.

“We’ve had two comprehensive surveys on everything from nursing care to house keeping and maintenance,’” Yee said.“We have not missed one standard yet. It was beyond my wildest dreams.”

“We’ve had nothing but commendation from the folks in Olympia having to do with the state accreditation program,” said Lee.

“The state not only audited the operation, but audited us financially. We passed with flying colors,” Chin said.

“Their main concern was, we can’t find anything wrong with them.” CNHS has learned a great deal about the business from the Nikkei Concerns, the parent organization for the Seattle Keiro Nursing Home which is leasing the building to Kin On.

“We have been fortunate to get the hard cost data from Keiro on the construction of their new facility,” said Chin. “Keiro has been absolutely 100 percent supportive of our effort.”

Kin On’s success is also attributed to the uniqueness of the operation, the support of the community, the enthusiasm of board members and the commitment of the staff.

“We would like to stay in the International District or South Seattle,” Lee said. ‘This is where the immigrant Chinese live.” A CNHS sub-committee will finalize details about the location and acquisition of a site before the year ends.

“We would like to attract more volunteers to come to Kin On,” Yee said. Last year, 1800 hours of volunteer work was done at Kin On. However, the numbers don’t reflect the work of outside volunteers and the work of board members.

Previous articleFay Chong: ‘I am more articulate with the brush than with the pen’
Next articleThe Pig Roast Tradition