Irene and her daughter raised enough money to donate 10 laptops and carried them down to Costa Rica. The laptops were given to the school and the students were thrilled. Irene was also able to teach some yoga in the school court yard.
After 911, Irene reached out to the local Fire Engine 8 in downtown and asked how the neighborhood could better connect with the station. An easy answer was to connect over food and Irene organized many moms to supply 40 meals for 40 nights. Dinners for the entire station were made by moms, several with newborns, who dropped off dinner at the station before they sat down with their own families.
In the following years Irene looked for other ways to connect and noticed that the Station wanted a specialized bell to ring by hand for the front of their engine. Irene and other moms organized a Sunday morning pancake breakfast in the downtown parking lot of Walgreens. They were able to pay for the bell with money raised from the breakfast and the Campus Community Neighborhood Association made up the difference. The bell is enjoyed by the firefighters in downtown as well as the neighboring children who come for visits at the station.
For many years Irene was one of the 350+ volunteer attorneys with the Pro Bono Project of Santa Clara County, handling a variety of cases for low-income residents. During this time she noticed a shortage of attorneys to address the high demand for legal assistance and advice. She proposed creating the Mediation Project under the Pro Bono Project and became the director and trainer for the program. This meditation program significantly reduced the amount of time spent in an expensive court system while empowering lower-income individuals to participate in their own legal outcomes.
Irene was recognized by IBM, the Santa Clara Bar Association and the State Bar Association for volunteer legal contributions. Including: political asylum, dissolution and mediation for low income clients as well as mediation with LACY, Legal Advocates for Children and Youth. She also was the founder of the mediation program for the ProBono Project of Santa Clara County.
As part of her yoga studio Irene integrated her instruction with the community and offered free classes at the San Jose Museum of art. Including a children’s class which always ended with the “pig pile” pose where are the children would run and pile on top of Irene in a group hug.
Like any grassroots campaign, our strength is in the enthusiasm of our supporters. Our mighty team of dedicated residents believe change is possible when we work together. Join our Team Irene!