Helping Jersey City Filipino Residents
The Filipino American population in New Jersey is over 143,000 based on 2018 US Census data. Today, PAFCOM (Philippine American Friendship Community, Inc.) is the biggest not-for-profit organization in the state, led by inspired community leaders with bold, implementable ideas and powered by legions of engaged members coming from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
PAFCOM‘s vision is the assimilation of Filipino Americans into the mainstream America, where various ethnic communities coexist and thrive. This vision remains alive by the diverse and benevolent programs sponsored by PAFCOM to support deserving Filipino American residents of Jersey City, as well as those residing in adjacent communities.
The core tenants of PAFCOM are as follows:
- Preserve, promote and celebrate Filipino cultural heritage.
- Assimilate Filipinos into mainstream society.
- Foster closer relationships between Filipino Americans and other ethnic communities.
- Keep Filipino Americans connected to the homeland through forums and discussions.
- Develop a well-focused plan that will assist the elderly, the handicapped, the youth, LGBTQ, and families in need to improve the quality of life for all Jersey City residents.
HealthierJC + PAFCOM
For PAFCOM, promoting a Culture of Health means nurturing a closer relationship among Filipino Americans, and all multi- ethnic groups to achieve a more neighborly community life. This closely aligns with HealthierJC goals to expand access to quality education, promote fellowship, and build future community leaders. In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the contribution of PAFCOM and a history of working closely together on a range of Culture of Health initiatives.
In the words of PAFCOM… “The collaboration with ‘the Jersey City Department of Health and Human services, and the Partnership for a HealthierJC (has been) a big factor in the success of our programs.” – Helen Castillo, PAFCOM Program Director
PAFCOM used the HealthierJC Mini Grant and donations from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ, to fund a series of programs, attended by 156 Jersey City residents of all ages.
- Weekly Zumba classes (live and virtual) for Wards A, B and C.
- Virtual strengthening and stretching exercises for seniors.
- A nutritional ‘Taste of the Philippines’ event at a Ward D Soup Kitchen.
- Distribution of Filipino meals to homebound seniors in partnership with the South Hudson Civic Organization.
- Free health screenings in Pasko sa Hudson Mall (Pusong Pinoy) in conjunction with the Philippine Nurses Association and Jersey City Medical Center.
Several Jersey City neighborhoods, primarily from Wards A, B, and C benefited from, and responded positively to PAFCOM outreach. As part of their ongoing mission, PAFCOM delivered programs to uplift, educate and promote positive health outcomes within Jersey City multi-ethnic Filipino communities.
During this unprecedented time, everyone is learning new ways to survive and overcome Covid-19 pandemic challenges. Many health care providers risking their lives to care for the sick, worked may long hours with little to no time for proper nutrition and self-care.
In addition to community outreach, PAFCOM collaborated with local Jersey City Filipino American restaurants and other business enterprises to support hardworking front line workers at Christ Hospital and Jersey City Medical Center.
Over an 8-week period, a total of 640 meals and 200 care packages containing toiletries were prepared and delivered to the medical staff combating the virus.
PAFCOM has a distinctive record of accomplishment for taking action to support the Jersey City community and promoting the Philippine American culture. PAFCOM looks forward to future collaborations with the Partnership for a HealthierJC to advance a Culture of Health in Jersey City and support the Jersey City Filipino community.
For more information about PAFCOM, please visit the organization’s website at https://www.pafcomnj.org/
“We are grateful for PAFCOM’s presence in our city. For the vibrancy of its membership and for strong and reliable Partnership, most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic!
Mabuhay PAFCOM!” – Maryanne Kelleher, Director of the Partnership for a HealthierJC