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Social Welfare Committee Awards $20,000 to Umenoki Gardens

The BCA Social Welfare Committee has awarded a $20,000 grant to Umenoki Gardens Senior Home, located on the grounds of the Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church in Union City, California.

Umenoki provides 24-hour palliative care for seniors who can no longer care for themselves and require more assistance than their families can provide. The care philosophy integrates Buddhist principles and Japanese culture to maintain the spirit of the Japanese American culture and community. People from all backgrounds and religions are welcome at Umenoki.

The grant will help cover a shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic when the number of residents at the home was reduced by 50 percent. Each resident was given a single room to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Umenoki is the only senior care facility located on the grounds of a BCA temple. It was founded in 2006 by members of the Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.

The founders had a vision to create a place filled with positive energy with an acceptance of death at the end of life. The residents and families have the opportunity to participate in services, celebrations and activities at SACBC.

The Japanese food and culture are especially important for residents with memory loss or dementia who light up with happy memories of celebratory foods and Japanese American traditions from the past.

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