Volunteer Translators Make a Big Impact - Little Tokyo Service Center

Volunteer Translators Make a Big Impact

translation support

We all need a helping hand at times, and LTSC is no different. Because of our dedicated volunteers, LTSC is able to reach more people in need and amplify our impact in the community.

When we think of volunteering, translating documents may not be the first thing that comes to mind–but LTSC’s volunteer translators, Natsu Lefkowitz and Mary Escalante have been a huge asset since they started earlier this year. From caregiver info sheets to event fliers targeting local residents, Natsu and Mary help us translate English documents into Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

“Sometimes, we receive informational materials from the County or City which have great information that is useful for many of our clients and residents. However, since these materials usually only come in English, without our translators’ help, these materials would not be accessible for non English speakers, which account for a large percentage of our clients and residents,” explained Deanna Atkinson, Assistant Director of Administration at LTSC.

LTSC’s social services staff is competent in multiple languages and offer in-language support to our clients, but translating resources and documents is often very time consuming. Our volunteer translators’ work allows staff to spend more time doing outreach and working with clients, helping LTSC to reach more people in need.

“I like that I’m able to utilize my skills to help the community and support LTSC’s work,” said Natsu. Having lived in both Korea and Japan during her youth and college years, Natsu has aspirations of becoming a court translator. “Volunteering with LTSC gives me the opportunity to get important translation work experience while also helping others,” she added.

Similar to Natsu, Mary is also an aspiring translator and interpreter, and began helping LTSC to get some valuable work experience. “Since I live in Peru, I didn’t know much about Little Tokyo or LTSC, and I was surprised by how diverse their clients were. Being in a foreign country and not knowing the language can be uncomfortable and scary, so I want to be able to help these people feel comfortable in their new homes,” explained Mary.

Thanks to Natsu and Mary’s support, our social workers are better supported in serving their clients, and clients are able to receive resources and documents in their preferred language. We deeply appreciate volunteers like Natsu and Mary who truly make a difference!

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with LTSC, please head over to our Volunteermatch Page!

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