The Asian American Small Business Shopping Guide

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Alternatives to Retail Therapy

As we continue to get vaccinated and return to our lives, let's move away from retail therapy and start investing in community care.

We are more than one year into the pandemic of our generation, and while it may (and will) negatively impact our mental health for many years to come, it most likely has positively financially impacted many of those who work white collar jobs.

Even with the United States’ five most valuable companies being amongst the biggest winners, economists are forecasting a post-pandemic boom with people resorting to retail therapy as a means to mental wellness. Amazon alone gained $570 billion in the pandemic (an increase of 63.3%), despite their anti-union stance and recent “win” in Georgia.

Rather than partake in a form of therapy with roots in market capitalism, globalization, and etc., I think it’s time for us as a society to pivot and reconsider this type of therapy and look towards investing in communities with solidarity (gender, class, racial, etc ) that benefits those who are most at risk.

As a response to the government/society’s shortfalls, people and businesses have been resorting to crowdfunding as a means to stay afloat from medical bills and closure. Last year, support for mutual aid great over donations to large organizations.

Below is a list of LA-based grassroots organizations that are directly impacting those who are most vulnerable.

*Disclaimer. These are a handful of groups doing amazing work on the ground in Los Angeles. I highly suggest to do some research if you’re interested in seeing how you make impact directly in your community. Impact and support don’t only come financially, but if you would rather donate your the time and commitment to volunteer, please do so <3

No Us Without You LA, a "Boyle Heights-based nonprofit that provides food and support for back-of-house hospitality workers without legal status who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Polo’s Pantry, a mobile food pantry dedicated to groups helping unhoused and marginalized communities in LA.

Nolympics: Koreatown Finds Neighborly Love: Ktown for All in Profile

Ktown for All, supporting Koreatown neighbors experiencing homelessness.

KCRW: 9 community fridges dot sidewalks across LA

Los Angeles Community Fridges. Donate your fridge to the LA Community fridge network!

lataco: Facing mass eviction, hundreds of tenants in chinatown are fighting back in renters struggle

Chinatown Community for Equitable Development is an all volunteer, multi-ethnic, intergenerational organization based in Los Angeles Chinatown that builds grassroots power through organizing, education, and mutual help.

Red Canary Collective: You Should Know a Farmer

Alma Backyard Farms, urban farming for the empowerment and reintegration of the formerly incarcerated.

Heart of Dinner, helps to combat food insecurity and isolation within NYC’s elderly AA community. New York based!

I would also like to add membership or support of any kind to any museum, arts organization, and nonprofit. Even if our beloved organizations may have made it this far into the pandemic, the road to their recovery will take years to come.

Lastly, this list of incredible AA small businesses are still scrambling to make ends meet. Click through to see who may need the most support.

Article featured in this issue:
April 2021
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Video Shorts from this Issue

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More Articles this Issue

Making Space to Make Waves: Tapping Into Your Abundance

How to stop getting in your own way and start living with fullness.


Alternatives to Retail Therapy

As we continue to get vaccinated and return to our lives, let's move away from retail therapy and start investing in community care.


Unwinding our Values: to Gaman and Grind

Is our nonprofit value of "suffer for the cause" really healthy for us at the end of the day?


Plant Parenting as Plant Therapy

The state of my garden is certainly a reflection of where my mental health is at in that time of my life; recently, I’ve noticed that my garden is flourishing more consistently than before.


Healing Through Food

How a loaf of bread helped me process grief after the Atlanta shootings.


Finding Sanity Amid College Application Hysteria

As a current college freshman who had her fair share of struggling to balance academics, sports, and extracurriculars in high school, I’m here to give you the honest advice nobody tells you but you’ll wish you knew.


Changing the Tides on Mental Health

Learn more about the Changing Tides (CT) Crew, which consists of 6-8 AAPI young adults who strive to destigmatize mental health and create safe and accessible spaces for the community.


Japanese Wellness Words That Will Make You Feel Good

The Japanese language includes numerous and varied wellness concepts, many of which no word in English can adequately convey.


The Breakup Routine

Breaking up is hard to do. Relive the past with us as we share the floundering routines we used to do post-relationship.


Small Business Feature: Whispering Wicks

In our first small business feature, we interview the husband-and-wife team behind the candle company known as Whispering Wicks. Read on to learn more about how candle-making helped these two ICU nurses relax.

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