Korean American Family Services (KFAM), a non-profit which provides counseling and other services for those in the Korean community, will be expanding the ways through which it funds its pro bono counseling program, the group announced on Tuesday.
The program, called the ROCK Project (Resilience to Overcome Challenges for Korean families), began in 2015 with a donation of $50,000 given by an anonymous giver who asked that the money be used to offer free counseling to those who are undocumented, those with low-income, or those with no insurance, who may hesitate from seeking counseling. Another anonymous donation of $50,000 was given in 2016, allowing for the continuation of the project.
This year, KFAM seeks to broaden its sources of funding for this project to be able to serve even more people, and will be launching fundraising projects to do so.
“Through the two generous donations in the last two years, KFAM saw the need of the Korean American community,” the group stated. “Therefore, KFAM has launched the ROCK Counseling Project. This project will raise funds to help provide more pro bono counseling sessions for clients with quality mental health care in a supportive and culturally responsive environment.”
The first fundraising project will be through participation in the LA Marathon, hosted by Sylvia Kwon, the counseling project director.
The names of those who sponsor Kwon’s marathon run will be displayed on her running bid.
“Running the marathon and counseling share a commonality in that when you run together, you’re strengthened by each other,” said Kwon. “This is the 66th marathon that I will be participating in, and I will run keeping in mind those in the Korean American community who are currently enduring difficult situations.”
The non-profit stated that while 18 individuals were able to receive pro bono counseling in 2014, that number increased fourfold in 2015 to 77 individuals with the ROCK Project.
“KFAM provides as much affordable or pro bono services for the Korean American community as possible through federal and state funding, individual donations, and fundraising projects,” said KFAM’s executive director Connie Chung Joe. “Our hope is that those who are going through parental issues, marital conflicts, depression, anxiety, and other issues will not hesitate to seek counseling because of the cost.”