Richmond seniors are being provided with a new opportunity to live actively.
Happy Life Network Association — a non-profit organization launched Oct. 31 — aims to educate retired seniors on their health and provide them with volunteering opportunities and recreational programs.
Primarily focusing on the Chinese community in Richmond, HLNA hopes to expand over time, reaching out to other ethnic groups.
Former Chinese radio broadcaster and owner of Hanson Travel agency Hanson Lau, 69, serves as the society’s president.
While the final activity curriculum — with options ranging from ballroom dancing to learning how to master an iPad — is to be decided on, Lau intends to participate as well, as an encouragement to other seniors.
“I’ve heard stories about people who stepped out of their social circle once they had retired; they changed their lifestyle completely or ended up depressed,” Lau said. “It’s such a waste of their experience and talent, so we want to see them involved in the community.”
A retired computer expert, for example, could volunteer as a teacher for other seniors who are not familiar with the latest technologies. “That way, retired residents are exposed to an expanded network.”
Aware of the existence of similar initiatives within the community, Lau said the approach and programming of HLNA are different.
“We are not bound by government funding, but by the needs of the members participating in a course,” he said.
“If they need two more classes, we can just throw them in. And the small scale of groups gives participants the opportunity to interact.”
While HLNA wants to stand out in flexibility, the board committee is not ruling out collaborations with other Richmond organizations targeted at seniors.
As board members are sitting down to finalize the program, an inaugural gala dinner will be held Nov. 10 at the Continental Seafood Restaurant to raise awareness of the HLNA’s launch. The event begins at 6.30 p.m. and tickets are $48 per person.