One of the joys of volunteer work is seeing the ways it makes a
difference for others. I recently had the joy of visiting three
churches benefiting from the Beulah Older Adult Grant Fund.
One of the joys of volunteer work is seeing the ways it makes a difference for others. I recently had the joy of visiting three churches benefiting from the Beulah Older Adult Grant Fund. In my capacity as a committee member who decides what projects get funded, it was my privilege to review the Korean United Methodist Church of Santa Clara Valley.
Their funding request is for a program to benefit a group of seniors ages 55 and older who meet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays. They greeted me by proudly showing me a highlight video of the activities. When I arrived during choir practice, about 20 women were preparing to sing at a mostly Korean nursing home in English and Korean.
They were practicing their English by singing Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.”
I was interested in checking out this program in particular because it is where Rev. Eric Cho served in the past as an associate pastor. He is now serving as Gilroy’s first Korean-American senior pastor. The Korean-American church is one of the fastest growing churches in California. The goal of Beulah is to enrich the lives of older adults by supporting the development of services by, with and for older adults.
“A lot of seniors just sit at home,” said Kathy Kim, director of the Korean program and Morgan Hill resident.
“This way, one day a week, they get out and do something better.”
Kim is a 69-year-old Korean immigrant and retired Kaiser pharmacist who donates to St. Joseph’s Family Center in Gilroy and is an active volunteer throughout South County. She is actively working on campaigns dealing with causes which include the malaria campaign among Koreans, the immigration task force, senior ministries with housing concerns, domestic violence and human trafficking.
Past Beulah funding has allowed the group to knit baby blankets for hospitals, as well as baby hats, lap blankets and neck scarves. This is on top of serving at Sacred Heart Community Services in the food pantry and clothes closet while making more than 100 baby nightgowns by hand.
As for the program in need of funding, the exercise portion is led by a professional coach who looks like the Korean version of Jack LaLanne and includes a series of calisthenics and choreography that requires a lot of coordination.
Most of the class participates in either badminton or line dancing and most do both.
Participants say the activities get them out of the house, makes them feel alive, helps them to grow and provides a sense of worth.
“It gives something to do just for myself,” said widowed mom of two, Sue Kim.
Needless to say, my report is going to be very favorable. I will be recommending full funding for this exemplary program.
For more information, contact chairwoman Sarah Pryor at [email protected] or download application at