Authors: Elaine Zhu and Renny Ma
In 2015, the Jasmine Giving Heart Program continued to strive to uphold the mission of the Jasmine Chinese Dance Group: to share Chinese culture through dance performances, and to build friendships through community service. Every month, youth members of the dance group have traveled to Grace Gardens Senior Nursing Home to showcase their talents. They have performed various Chinese folk dances, pieces on the piano, as well as violin. Jasmine youth members will also perform at the Santa Marta Retirement Community's Chinese New Year celebration. Engagement in local performances has provided opportunities for the Jasmine youth to give time to the community and provide enjoyment for the elderly. In addition to monthly performances, the Jasmine Giving Heart Program also hosts an annual benefit dinner. In September of 2015, the third annual Moon Festival Benefit Dinner for Operation Breakthrough was held. Highlights of the event include Gu Zheng performances, a Long Ribbon dance, and a Xinjiang dance, among many others. Chinese food was catered by KC Buffet in Shawnee, Kansas. With hundreds of hours of preparation, the help of thirteen volunteers and performers, and over one hundred guests, the Jasmine Giving Heart Program was able to raise $917 to support the children of Operation Breakthrough. The year as a whole was an exciting journey; through performances, volunteerism, and leadership, the Jasmine youth members were able to grow and develop, while giving back to the community at the same time.