Welcoming Southeast Asian Immigrants and Refugees

Welcoming Southeast Asian Immigrants and Refugees

In the photo from left to right: In the picture from left to right: Sam Bitar - Executive Director of the Webster Five Foundation and Business Analyst, Webster Five; Anh Vu Sawyer – Executive Director, Southeast Asian Coalition of Massachusetts; Richard Leahy - CEO/President, Webster Five

The Webster Five Foundation has announced that as part of its Web of Caring to Make a Difference program, it will donate a match grant of $2,500 to the Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts (SEAC). The Webster Five Foundation will match donations made by any other bank or credit union up to $2,500. The funds will be used to help the coalition accomplish their mission to help new Southeast Asian immigrants, refugees, and low income residents in Central Massachusetts achieve economic viability, successfully integrate into mainstream society, and become contributors to the community, while still maintaining their unique cultural identity.

Webster Five’s Web of Caring to Make a Difference program reinforces the bank’s long-standing initiative to give back to the community by supporting local organizations that are making a difference. The Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts fits this initiative as it aims to reduce disparities of access to basic needs, healthcare, behavioral well-being and education caused by language and cultural barriers for the members of the Asian community in the Greater Worcester area. SEAC is a grassroots community organization that offers services Monday through Friday and sometimes weekends to accommodate needs.

For more than 15 years, the SEAC has provided services to assist thousands of low-income Asian families, who are considered among the most isolated and underserved population in Greater Worcester. The Coalition has made significant contributions to help people successfully integrate into society, improve access to health care, provide relief of government burdens, actively engage in local economic development and promote Worcester’s cultural diversity. For all of their dedication and cultural competency, the Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts was given the 2015 Massachusetts Non-Profit Network Excellence Award within the small non-profit category.

Richard T. Leahy, president and chief executive officer of Webster Five, stated, “We appreciate what the Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts offers to residents in the community. Webster Five is honored to support the coalition’s goal to help integrate residents into the community, get them acclimated and reduce disparities for basic life needs.”

Executive Director Anh Vu Sawyer said “We are very grateful to Webster Five for their donation, as it allows us to continue providing free assistance to the members of Worcester's Asian community who need assistance fulfilling basic life needs and adapting to society and become contributing citizens, while helping them maintain their cultural identity.”

About Web of Caring to Make a Difference

Web of Caring to Make a Difference is a bank-wide community program created by Webster Five as a tangible means for the bank as an organization and its employees as individuals to make a positive impact by supporting local organizations that also are making a difference. Through the Webster Five Foundation, the program has donated more than $2 million dollars to various local nonprofit organizations for programs that support expanding and improving access to education, culture and the arts, social services, charitable activities and community development. Requests for funding through the Webster Five Foundation are reviewed by the board of directors and are awarded to established 501(c)(3) organizations in the above sectors that qualify.
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