The NSRCF was founded by a small group of New England Nisei as a tribute to those organizations and individuals who helped them during a dark period in their lives. In the same spirit of generosity and concern shown them, they created a scholarship fund for college students in underserved Southeast Asian communities. Today, the NSRCF’s endowment has grown to more than $1 million, ensuring a solid future for the scholarship program. A few of our donors have shared with us why they give.
This Fund is a fitting, permanent memorial and tribute to those who worked so tirelessly to make a college education possible for those of us who were of college-age and interned in relocation camps… Through giving to the Fund, we are given the opportunity to help others as we have been helped — with the same generous spirit of reaching out to that unknown but deserving student. No gift is too small nor is it too large. Together we can make a difference.
As a concrete expression of gratitude, some 18 years ago, a small, dedicated group of Nisei up in New England formed the NSRCF to provide financial scholarships for needy college students within the Southeast Asian refugee communities in the United States. Beyond our cultural sense of obligation or indebtedness (known as giri), the NSRCF program has unique aspects which appeal to me: it operates on a bare bones budget with its “office” in a private home; its activities are oriented toward service, not toward inflating itself; and it unselfishly looks beyond its own ethnic community and seeks to help other Asian groups who otherwise may be overlooked. This reflects the true spirit of giving. I hope you will agree with me and join with me by participating in this most worthy program.
The NSRCF was meant to be a repayment of a debt and a permanent tribute to those tireless visionaries who had done much to restore the badly shattered faith of evacuees in their fellow white Americans. Perhaps no single humanitarian project did as much to help pave the way towards a future rich with all the opportunities, once denied to us, that we enjoy today. Our Issei parents, who passed on to us that strong sense of giri, would thus expect us not to forget our repayment of that kindness, even if it is just a token of our deep appreciation.
As others have already done, let us make the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund a beneficiary in our wills, so that even after we are gone, the Fund will live on, doing good, dispensing hope — reaching out and giving educational opportunities to those displaced and deserving, as was once given to the Nisei.
I am glad that the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund has been formed to keep alive that spirit of helping. I am glad that my teachers at Topaz High School, who helped me maintain my belief in the redemptive nature of our American society, can now be honored by dedicating funds in their names. Just as I continue to honor my parents, in that amazing and indomitable generation of Issei who made it all possible, through a NSRCF Named Fund scholarship.
Won’t you join me in keeping the spirit alive. Won’t you join me in honoring those who honored each of us with their confidence, their help and their affirmation?
Longtime NSRCF Supporter
I looked at the scholarship winners and said, “My God, there I am forty five years ago.” I felt like I was part of a long chain all the way from 1945, holding hands and helping each other.
Office of Refugee Resettlement
The good to which the Commemorative Fund seeks to turn the tragedy of earlier relocation is an exemplary human impulse to which many Americans might wish to subscribe if given the opportunity.
In remembering our past, do we focus on our rage and sense of powerlessness or do we seek freedom? The means to increase our strength? Do you we focus upon ourselves as an isolated and wronged minority or, acknowledging the injustice, do we seek to move forward, linking ourselves with others who are struggling now? I became involved in the NSRCF because I felt the need to use our understanding and our memories of the past to do good, for the sake of others and for our common human future.