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International Community Health Services supports COVID-19 safety with…Minecraft!

By Stacy Nguyen, journalist, designer, and community member

International Community Health Services (ICHS) is a nonprofit community health center that offers affordable health care services to anyone in need. They serve thousands of patients every year at multiple locations across our region.

ICHS was founded in 1973, during a time when low-income immigrants living in Seattle’s Chinatown International District (CID) did not have access to health care providers who spoke their language. A group of community advocates saw this need for culturally appropriate medical services in our neighborhood and organized to start up the Asian Community Health Clinic, which grew and expanded over the years, adopting its current name, ICHS, in the 1990s to reflect the diversity of the communities it had come to serve.

Today, ICHS continues to be an anchor for culturally appropriate health care — and it also has become an advocate and an important voice in our community. In the realm of public safety, ICHS has supported outreach and education related to COVID-19 for CID residents and community members during the pandemic, which includes hosting community meetings, informational resource development and distribution, coalition building with other agencies, and organization of direct health services.

One really cool thing ICHS has also done is host two virtual youth summits on Sept. 25 and Oct. 2, 2021 to educate and engage more than 150 young people, ages 11 to 19, around the COVID-19 vaccines and how to keep our communities safe — via Minecraft!

Minecraft is a game where people can explore and build worlds. Minecraft minigames, created by the University of Washington Minecraft club, were played during the summit. In addition to being fun, these minigames also held information on COVID-19, vaccines, and encouraged group discussions.

In addition to its youth summit, ICHS has also distributed COVID-19 test kits to community organizations, vaccinated folks at Little Saigon Street fair, hosted mobile resource fairs at parks across Seattle, and more, over the past year.

How to give ICHS some love

Contribute to their Bloom Campaign

As we all know, healthcare is expensive! Organizations like ICHS, which provides over $1,000,000 in free and low-cost health services for patients who otherwise would not be able to afford them, are so important to have in our community. Support their work by donating to their Bloom Campaign.

Volunteer at one of their upcoming events

ICHS is in need of volunteers to help out at many of their community events! Connect with them through their contact form. (There’s a toggle down option where you can select “Volunteer” as the reason you want to connect).

Follow them on social media

Find and follow ICHS on social media to keep updated on the latest happenings. They are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

This blog is part of our Support Your Neighbors in the CID series, which spotlights amazing folks in the Chinatown International District, nominated by their neighbors for doing cool and impactful work around community safety.