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Immigrant communities contribute time and money to philanthropies in the US | St. Louis lawyer for immigrants Jim Hacking

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Various studies support the positive contributions immigrants have on U.S. culture, economy and society. Some critics fear that immigrants will use "our" resources and channel resources back to their native countries. The opposite is proving true when looking at the Asian-American community in New York. Members of a new class of affluent Asian-Americans who are largely immigrants are contributing and donating large sums to nonprofit groups and charity auctions here in the U.S.

These donors are making large monetary contributions to prestigious universities, museums, concert halls and hospitals. Institutions with governing boards are increasingly inviting Asian members who wish to support and better the cause. “I don’t have to ask for funds twice, because they’re beginning to understand,” Ms. Han-Andersen, a former management consultant and concert pianist, said. Lulu C. Wang and her husband are philanthropists in New York and have donated $25 million to Wellesley College, her alma mater.  The people on the boards for different organizations mostly know each other and are there to support each other’s endeavors.

According to the article, a significant part of the Asian culture is to donate to relatives, neighbors, churches and business associations. When the earthquake in India occurred the Asian American groups partnered with Indian nonprofit groups and raised millions of dollars to help with the tragedy. Critics point out that immigrants usually donate money to their native countries rather than reinvesting it in the U.S. However, the philanthropic groups spend the majority of their money in the U.S. These immigrants, who were mostly educated in the U.S., distribute money to their schools, organizations and clubs that they were a part of growing up. “In some ways for immigrants, the better off you become, the more disconnected you become from your community needs,” said Ms. Yoon, a former news correspondent for Fox who was born in South Korea and moved to the United States when she was 6. Immigrants are investing their time and resource towards those who need help and are starting out in the U.S. so that they have the ability to be as successful as they are. In fact, the majority of immigrants who inquire about donating have no idea about the potential tax deductions offered. Most genuinely want to help make a difference in the community to create a better world for their children to live in.

With auctions and charity dinners continuously occurring in Midtown Manhattan, immigrants are having more impacts on the communities where they reside. The Asian-American community may be the first to help break down the negative stereotypes associated with immigrants regarding their contributions to society. In 2012, a group of Chinese-American philanthropists, with Ms. Yuen’s assistance, formed the Chinese American Community Foundation, the first of its kind in the country. “I think in the next three or four years, there’s going to be huge growth,” she said, “because philanthropy has become mainstream.”

The contributions of immigrant groups in St. Louis and throughout Missouri is well documented.  The Post-Dispatch recently did a story on Muslim doctors from south Asia and the Middle East who run a charity clinic.  These kinds of stories need to be told.

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