LTSCene – December 2021 - Little Tokyo Service Center

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LTSCene Monthly Newsletter

December 2021 Issue

Title image, "Spreading Joy" December LTSCene


Dear Friends,

As we close out 2021 and look forward to the new year, I’d like to take a moment to thank all our donors and supporters for your continued generosity and support.  Because of you, we are able to work towards our mission of creating positive change for people and places.

Looking back at the past year, we faced many challenges, but celebrated achievements as well.  When times were tough, we were able to lean on our network of friends and supporters to help push us through challenges, and for that we are extremely grateful. Together, we reached major milestones in our real estate projects and created new programs to support our community. We will carry that momentum into the new year, as we look forward to putting the worst of the pandemic behind us, and keep our focus on finding more solutions to create positive change.

Once again, thank you to our donors, volunteers, supporters and employees, for your dedication to LTSC and making a difference in our community. I hope you all enjoy a safe and wonderful holiday, and I look forward to seeing you (in person!) in 2022.

in gratitude, Erich Nakano, Executive Director

title text: 2021 highlights

recap image


With your support, LTSC reached new milestones this year! Here are some of our top highlights from 2021:

Building Affordable Housing

  • The ground lease for LTSC’s First Street North Apartments (formerly ‘Go For Broke Apartments’) tripled in size after Councilmember Kevin DeLeon’s City Council motion was approved. This increased the project’s affordable housing units from 77 to 248 units.
  • LTSC acquired an 11-unit multi-family apartment building in East LA in partnership with Fideicomiso Comunitario Tierra Libre (FCTL). LTSC will work with FCTL to make renovations and manage the property, with the eventual goal of turning over ownership to the tenants. This partnership is part of LA County’s  pilot Community Land Trust (CLT) project, which LTSC helped to create. 


Assisting People in Need

  • LTSC continued meal deliveries into 2021, to help address food insecurity brought on by the pandemic. The LT Eats program wrapped up in June after 65 weeks, serving over 18,900 meals to seniors with the help of over 40 volunteers. The South Bay meal program also ended in June, with over 5,800 meals served. Our resident services team continues to deliver pantry items to families in need, with over 3,500 bags of fresh produce and shelf-stable items provided throughout the pandemic. 
  • Changing Tides (CT) launched a new therapy stipend program this year called CT Stream. This program prioritizes Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) young adults in need of non-acute therapy, such as mild to moderate anxiety or depression. CT Stream strives to make mental health accessible by covering the full cost of 6-10 therapy sessions.

Strengthening Little Tokyo

  • In partnership with Wesley Health Centers, LTSC brought mobile vaccine clinics to Little Tokyo, providing 529 COVID-19 vaccine shots to seniors and essential workers. The recent booster clinic, funded by Keiro, provided 137 booster shots.
  • The ‘Little Tokyo Neighbors Community Outreach Team’ was formed! This team of LTSC residents in Little Tokyo came together to create positive change in the community. Their first project was organizing a neighborhood event to showcase resident artwork and gather input on community improvements. 
  • The Small Business department supported over 50 small businesses, receiving over 5 million dollars in loans and grants.


Nurturing Families

  • 2021 was Terasaki Budokan’s first full year of operation! With a variety of programs and rentals, Budokan reached new milestones and impacted over 20,000 visitors. See Budokan’s highlights here:
  • Mi CASA, LTSC’s after school program, held its first summer program in 2021. This 5-week hybrid summer camp, hosted at Terasaki Budokan, served a total of 52 youth (ages 6-18) from local low-income families.

title text: thank you, evelyn yoshimuraAs one of LTSC’s three original staff members, Evelyn helped shape the organization’s spirit.


Evelyn Yoshimura joined Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) on October 15, 1980 as one of the organization’s three original staff members. Her retirement comes after almost 40 years at LTSC and decades of work in the Little Tokyo community. As LTSC’s Director of Community Organizing, Evelyn’s social activism and grassroots organizing helped steer LTSC’s mission and values over the years. Her wisdom, moral compass and moxie will be sorely missed–but her vision and legacy continues on in LTSC’s work.

Click the button below to read Evelyn’s full retirement piece!

“I first met Evelyn Yoshimura in the mid-1970's when I got involved with the Little Tokyo People's Rights Organization that was organizing residents and stakeholders to fight evictions of low income residents and small businesses back then. Evelyn was a ``veteran`` activist and I was a young kid who didn't know much. But she took the time to take me under her wing and helped me understand the history and significance of Little Tokyo. As a child, my family would come to Little Tokyo for festivals and shopping–but Evelyn's wisdom and experience built a deeper connection and commitment to preserving and fighting for Little Tokyo in me - something that has stuck all these years. While I was off to college up north, Evelyn worked very closely with my parents - Bert and Lillian Nakano - throughout the redress and reparations movement. She was a great friend and source of support to them. And so when I was able to start working at Little Tokyo Service Center, and was able to work with Evelyn again, it was like a homecoming. She is one of our unsung heroes, and while she may not be as widely recognized through awards, by public officials and in the media as she deserves–if you talk to generations of people involved in the community, she is deeply respected and loved.”

Erich Nakano, LTSC Executive Director

“Evelyn was my 'go to' person, my 'sounding board' who would jump in when things had to be done quickly. She played important roles in struggles like the Rafu Shimpo Workers Support Committee, NCRR and redress, anti-apartheid and the Free South Africa Movement to name a few. She was the person I checked in with about responding to the attacks on Muslims and Arab Americans after 9/11 which guided NCRR leadership to plan the vigil in Little Tokyo.”

Kathy Masaoka, LTSC Board of Directors

“Evelyn brought thoughtful, level headed perspective to difficult conversations while clearly advocating for ideas and principles she believed in. She worked with people as one of them, not as someone who stood apart from ordinary folks. That was her strength. Her contributions can be measured by the number of hearts and minds she touched, from the elders living in Casa Heiwa and Little Tokyo Towers, to the family-owned businesses, to the young people from various campuses that sought her guidance.”

Mike Murase, Former LTSC Director of Service Programs and Founding LTSC Board President

title- vaccine booster clinicLTSC Hosts Booster Shot Clinic to Protect Little Tokyo Seniors and Essential Workers

LTSC staff provides language support at vaccine clinic

Partnering with Wesley Health Centers and funded by Keiro, LTSC hosted a COVID-19 booster clinic at Terasaki Budokan last month, administering 137 doses to essential workers and seniors in Little Tokyo. The clinic was conveniently located within walking distance for both seniors and essential workers, with language support available in multiple languages, making the booster clinic accessible to all.  With the new variant and case numbers rising again, we urge our readers to stay safe this holiday season!

title- celebrating a3mAfter 30 Successful Years, A3M Program Closes

a3m collage2021 marks a pivotal year at A3M, as we celebrated 30 years of life-saving work on November 19th. We are sad to announce that we are also preparing for the closure of A3M at the end of this year. In an effort to centralize all marrow donor registration activities, the Be the Match Registry will not be continuing their partnership with recruitment centers such as A3M, with the intention that their recruitment work will continue through the Be the Match organization. To address the need of finding marrow donors for patients of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) ancestry, Be the Match is in the process of creating an API program which will be spearheaded by Susan Choi, A3M Executive Director.

Over the last 30 years, A3M is very proud to have added more than 330,000 donors to the marrow registry, creating more than 9,000 marrow and stem cell matches. These life-saving matches were possible because of the generosity and passion of supporters like you. As A3M closes its doors, we’re left brimming with gratitude and pride for all the miracles we created together. The A3M team would like to extend a huge thank you to all of their patients and our supporters.

For a look back at A3M’s 30 years of life-saving work, watch our 30th anniversary video here:

title- navidad en el barrioLTSC Spreads Holiday Cheer to Residents with Navidad en El Barrio

Father and daughter pose in front of christmas backdrop at navidadLTSC hosted its annual holiday event for our residents and Angelina Preschool families. As a Navidad en el Barrio distribution site, LTSC distributed 120 food baskets filled with pantry items, fresh produce and poultry. We also spread holiday joy with toys for the kids and blankets and socks for the families. Thank you to Baby2Baby and the APA Toy Drive for your generous donations! 

We’d also like to extend our gratitude to our volunteer groups: students from Brio College Prep, the Canadian Consulate General’s Office, US Bank and LTSC volunteers. Yocelinne, a student from Brio College Prep, explained, “I chose to do my high school volunteer hours here [at Angelina Preschool] because it looked fun and I wanted to help families in need. I want to volunteer at LTSC more because it feels good!” 

If you are interested in volunteering with us at a future event, please check our VolunteerMatch page by clicking the button below!

title- Changing tides galaChanging Tides Host their 3rd Annual Gala

group photo of CT CrewChanging Tides’ third annual gala was on November 28th, 2021 at a beautiful ocean-side estate in Palos Verdes. This year’s event theme was “Gratitude“.  Guests and generous sponsors enabled Changing Tides to raise much-needed funds to expand therapy stipends for youth and young adults and to support ongoing outreach activities to reduce the stigma around mental health. Speakers included friends and supporters of Changing Tides, and Dr. Timothy Fong, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. We are so grateful to our supporters, our event host, guest speakers and volunteers for making the event an overwhelming success!

Please Support LTSC this Holiday Season

YOU can help seniors thrive into the new year! With booster shots on the way and the pandemic lingering on, we still need your help.

Donate now to make a difference for our seniors and the Little Tokyo community.

EOY Video link

title- donor spotlight


“LTSC does vital work in the community, providing resources to people in need–like affordable housing, mental health services, and aid to small businesses. Especially with this past year’s spike in anti-Asian hate, it is important to support organizations like LTSC who empower and uplift the Asian American community. If you have the means, I would encourage you to volunteer or make a donation to LTSC. Whether you’re part of the Asian American community or not, your support will help strengthen communities of color in LA!” -Olivia, LTSC Donor

title- covid updateOmicron Variant and Vaccines
Scientific studies are underway to learn if Omicron is more contagious, causes more severe diseases than other variants, and how effective vaccines are against Omicron. The best way to protect yourself from this variant is to get fully vaccinated and boosted, combined with continuing to practice prevention methods such as wearing a mask and minimizing large gatherings. For more information on the Omicron Variant click here.

COVID-19 Booster Vaccines

Anyone age 16 and older in LA County is eligible for a booster dose.

  • This includes people who got their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna at least six months ago. This also includes people who got their J&J dose at least two months ago.
  • Boosters are especially important for people 65 and older and people with underlying health conditions.
  • Boosters are also one of our best ways to slow the spread of the new variant of concern, Omicron.
  • Children 5-15 are not currently eligible for booster doses.

header text "quick updates"

LTSC Thanksgiving Turkey DistributionsLTSC volunteer handing out turkey to resident

This November, LTSC distributed 70 turkeys and food baskets to families in our buildings. Thank you to the offices of Councilmember Kevin De Leon, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago and Councilmember Gil Cedillo for their generous donations!





Thank You Baby2Baby and APA Toy Drive

LTSC would like to extend a warm thank you to Baby2Baby and the APA Toy Drive for helping us make the holidays bright!! With toy donations from these two organizations, LTSC was able to distribute toys to our residents and  students of Angelina Preschool. 






Volunteers from Ares Management pose with food deliveryThank You Ares Management

Thank you to the AAPI Employee Resource Group at Ares Management for spreading holiday cheer!  They provided and distributed 54 meals, purchased from a local small business, to low income seniors in Little Tokyo last week. The seniors were extremely grateful to receive the wonderful meals. Thank you!






Daimaru Now Leasing!

Daimaru is now leasing rooms! Located on First St. in the heart of Little Tokyo, across the street from the Japanese Village Plaza, Daimaru is walking distance from restaurants, nightlife, public transportation and more.  For more information, click here to visit the Daimaru website!


title- holiday gift guide

Go Little Tokyo for the Holidays

Still looking for some last minute gifts? Shop small and support Little Tokyo small businesses! If you’re looking for some inspiration or ideas for some good gifts, check out the holiday gift guide curated by our friends at Go Little Tokyo!

Click here to check out the holiday gift guide.

your donation makes a difference

There’s many ways to give this holiday season!

Maximize your impact by becoming a monthly donor, or honor a special person by making a tribute gift.

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November 2021 Donors

Thank you to all our supporters for your contributions last month!
Add your name to the list by making a DONATION today.


Janee Allsman 

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. 

Anonymous (24) 

PayPal Giving Fund 

Dennis Arguelles 

AT&T (2) 

Ron Baca 

Karen Bronson 

Alicia Burr 

Elizabeth Burton 

Ryan Caldera 

Karen Cameron 

Diana Cardenas and Ben Segura 

Shirley Chami and Daniel Kerson 

Charles Schwab 

Yi Bing Chen and Ming Shan Liang 

Ben Chida 

Samantha de Castro 

Jeffrey and Lorraine Dohzen 

Lan Nguyen, Esquire Consulting Inc. 

Shizu Lane  

Dante Federici 

Sumi and John Foley 

Fred Fujioka 

Susan Fujisaki 

Jan Fukuhara Dyck 

Robert Guffin 

Glenn Hamanaka 

Lisa Hasegawa 

Kerin Higa 

Frank and Betty Hiji 

Alan Hino 

Mark and Sharlene Hirai 

Duane and Joy Hirayama 

Bang Hoang 

JD Hokoyama 

Meghan Holtan 

Melvin Honda 

Iida Family 

Randall Imai 

Brenton Inouye 

Dick and Pauline Kaku 

Minao and Meera Kamegai 

Jean Kato 

Alan Kawa 

Gary Kawaguchi 

Rosalyn Kawahira 

Corey Kawamoto 

Raymond Kawamoto 

Adam Kawasawa 

D.K. Kazahaya 

Randy, Audrey, Kristen, and Kevin Kiehm 

Dennis and Lorraine Kimura 

Sadao and Faye Kimura 

Steve and Akemi Kayleng Knight 

Carolyn Kobayashi 

Elaine Kokubun 

Joan Stonehouse 

Ford and Frances Kuramoto 

Emily Kuwahara 

Elisabeth Lassanyi 

Kelvin Lee 

Oliver Lee 

Seol Lee 

Lori Magallanes 

Susan Maki 

Haley Marsh 

Cynthia Masada 

Ayako Masada 

Gary and June Masada 

Kathy and Mark Masaoka 

Charlotte and Vince Matsudaira 

Traci Matsumoto 

Bob and Teresa Matsushima 

Diana and Yoshi Matsushima 

Microsoft Rewards / Give with Bing 

Amy Miyakawa 

Marcus Mizushima 

MUFG Union Bank 

Mike Murase and June Hibino 

Nicole Murph 

Coleen Nakamura 

Reine Nakamura 

Debra Nakatomi and Bob Miyamoto 

Sharon and Robin Nakazaki 


Patricia Nicholson 

Jon and Janice Nishimori 

Steve and Karen Nishimori 

Takashi and Suzuko Oda 

Cindy Ohara 

Hiroko Okazaki 

John Okita and Michiko Yamamoto 

Mei Ong 

Ryan and Denise Onishi 

Susan Osa 

Masanobu Oshiro 

Agnes Regeczkey 

Eve Reynolds 

David Sakamoto 

Tadashi and Geri Sakuma 

Margaret and Ken Shimada 

Jeff and Christine Shimane 

Paul and Kay Shishima 

Spotify (4) 

Grant Sunoo and Emily Mayeda 

Michael Suzuki 

Esther Taira 

Edwin Takahashi 

Hayahiko and Sumiko Takase 

Kelly and Rintaro Takasu 

Yuka Takeuchi 

Bessie Tanaka 

George Tanaka 

Diana Tani 

Michi Tanioka 

Chelle Tateishi 

Craig and Cheryl Tateishi 

Kathleen Thurn 

Marc Tsukahira 

Dr. Grant and Debbie Uba 

Russell and Susan Uchiyama 

Keith Umemoto 

Mark and Vivien Usui 

Lori and Yoshi Usuki 

Naomi Uyeda 

Marsha and Gary Watanabe 

Lesley and Russell Wong 

Stacy Wong 

Janet Yamamoto Concannon 

Kai Yamamoto 

Catherine Yen 

Margaret Yonekura 

Jeff Yonemura 

Tribute Gifts 

In Honor of George  

Jessica Chang 


In Honor of Hillary’s birthday fundraiser 

Genevieve Carpio 

Scott Carter-Eldred 

Xiomara Forbez 


Hillary Jenks 

Alanna Kilty-Heck 

Belinda Lum 

Bill and Ruth Watanabe 

Kathee Yamamoto Fleming 


In Honor of Merilynne Quon  

Richard Quon 


Memorial Gifts 

In Memory of May Arakaki 

Paul Inafuku 


In Memory of Toki Hirai 



In Memory of Terry and Bob Hulse 



In Memory of William Ishibashi 



In Memory of Fred (Tadashi) Kato 

Todd Fujimoto 


In Memory of Edward Kotani 

Leonard and Marsha Young 


In Memory of Dean Matsubayashi 

Leslie Ito and Steve Wong 


In Memory of Pattie Haines McDonald 

Jeanne Nelson 


In Memory of S. Stephen & Sally Nakashima 



In Memory of Fuji, Mas and Sally Okabe 

The Okabe Family 


In Memory of Judy Nishimoto Ota 

Kathy and Mark Masaoka 


In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson 

Emily and Dan Weaver 


In Memory of Kiyoshi and Chieko Shimokaji 

Michael Shimokaji 


In Memory of Sally Shoji 

David and Debbie Endo 


In Memory of Dr. Walter Sumi 

Karen Bronson 


Terasaki Budokan 

Akemi Arakaki and Takao Suzuki 


Eric Hernandez 

Leslie and Travis Honda 

Hoops for Friends 

Bak Jong 

Gregory Kame 

Aiko Kawaratani 

Helen Kim 

Norman and Mardy Maehara 

Don Matsumoto 

Judy Matsuzaki 

Art and Margie Mio 

MUFG Union Bank 

Richard and Masako Murakami 

Mike Nitake 

Craig and Cindy Ogawa 

Jason and Rachelle Samson 

Asaki Shinada 

Joanna and Kevin Su 

Don and Jocelyn Tahara 

Linda Tanamachi 

Nancy Toyota 

Scott Umemoto 

Loana Valencia 

Stacie Williams 

Evelyn Hori 

Jayne and Gideon Young Family 


Terasaki Budokan Memorial Gifts 

In Memory of Dean Matsubayashi 

Dee Montealvo 


In Memory of Pam Nakano 

Tim Nakano 


Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) 


Avon Protection 

Susan Carrier 

Patricia Hirata 

Diane Honda 


A3M Tribute Gifts 

In Honor of Krissy Kobata  

Patricia Nomura 


In-kind Donations 

Hosoda Bros. Inc. 

Innovative Skincare 

Hiro Watanabe 

Marsha and Gary Watanabe 


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