A helping hand for the local Hmong and Southeast Asian Communities, Lao Family Community Empowerment strives to empower and provide outreach for those who need it. Since forming in 1984, the organization has helped Hmong refugees in Northern California find stability, education, and a sense of community through its specialized programs and health initiatives. Lao also puts on the Stockton Hmong New Year Celebration each year to help preserve and showcase cultural traditions.
Sweet sounds and spicy flavors permeate the annual Taste of San Joaquin, which attracts local merchants and bands for a cook-off under the summer sun. During the fest, a BBQ competition will feature smoky creations. Patrons can sample pork ribs, loaded baked potatoes, and beef brisket off the grill while sipping on frosty beers. Kids can play in the activity area with face paint and activities, while live bands cover everything from blues classics to lively Latin tunes.
Proceeds from the event go to stimulate the local economy and support nonprofits, with $0.80 of every dollar spent going to the locally owned business that sponsored the food and $0.20 going to a local charity. In the past four years, the Taste has donated more than $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations such as the San Joaquin Bike Coalition and the Child Abuse Prevention Council.
San Joaquin County Historical Museum preserves the posterity of more than 50,000 local historic items—including Native American, pioneer, and agricultural artifacts—dispersed and displayed on more than 18 acres, eight exhibit buildings, and four historic buildings. Visit the one-room Calaveras School, take pioneer-décor tips from Stockton founder Charles Weber's cottage, or study historic tactics in roadrunner-coyote warfare in a working blacksmith's shop that dates to the 1880s. Kids can ooh and ahh over special dioramas and a children's gallery and dream of growing up to become the 24,000-pound, gas-guzzling, till-wheeled behemoth known as the 1919 Holt 75 Caterpillar tractor, currently being restored to full working order.
Seneca Family of Agencies was founded in 1985 to prevent foster youth from getting lost in the system and failing to achieve their potential. Today, as a leading children's mental-health agency in northern California, Seneca has expanded its programs to serve emotionally troubled youth and their families in a variety of situations. Seneca provides a broad range of residential treatment, school-based programs, and at-home services, all run by staff members who are dedicated to providing unconditional and individualized care and using whatever tools necessary to help people cope with crisis. They also collaborate with local agencies to ensure families receive adequate support services. In-school mental-health teams allay temporary spikes in emotional instability, whereas one-on-one meetings and group meetings with foster families help youth identify their support circle.
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