Mission The Mission of The Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Foundation ("The SKAC Foundation") is to honor the values of restaurant owners Shui Kuen and Allen Chin through supporting the educational aspirations of children of workers in the Asian/Pacific Islander food service industry in the United States of America.
History/genesis The selfless commitment and hard work of Shui Kuen and Allen Chin, co-owners and operators of Chung's, a well-known Chinese restaurant in the greater Detroit area, allowed their six children to successfully complete post-secondary education and pursue a diverse range of career paths. With pride, the Chins regularly shared news of their children's latest accomplishments with long-time and new restaurant customers alike. On October 11, 2005, Allen Chin lost his life on his way to the restaurant. Shui Kuen Chin survived the car accident and provided encouragement to her children as they sought to turn the family tragedy into something positive. The result is The Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Foundation.
Supporting educational aspirations The Chin children have decided that The SKAC Foundation's support of educational aspirations will take the form of an annual scholarship award program to be known as The SKAC Scholarship. Subject to change, two (2) annual scholarships of $1,000 will be made.
It's been about a month since the accident, when everything was changed and thrown into flux in an instant. We're still trying to adjust to this new reality, but we sincerely thank you for the much needed support during this difficult time. It has brought great comfort to us all to see how loved Dad was and still is.
We were surrounded by family, friends, and customers whose lives had been touched by Dad during the large and moving memorial service in Detroit. It was followed by another moving gathering at burial services in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mom is slowly recovering from her injuries. She's moved to the Bay Area, in with Chris and Nadine, to be closer to the comfort of family where we're all doing our best to help smooth her with all of the changes. She also sends her thanks the tremendous show of love and support that have helped her during this time of need.
Our parents worked 364 days a year at Chung's to provide for the family and send all six of us kids to college. They gave to us an opportunity and a privilege that they, and many others, did not have - access to a college education without financial burden.
To honor their commitment to youth education and continue their life's work, we have created the Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Foundation. We have been working with the wonderful Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, a SF-based non-profit, on all of the details. Already, we received a number of donations, which AAPIP is in the midst of processing. Our hope is to channel all of the donations received into a corpus/endowment that, through an annual scholarship program, will support the educational aspirations of the children of workers in the Asian/Pacific Islander food industry. If you are interested in making a 100% tax-deductible contribution, please email us or visit our website.
We know that this holiday season will be a difficult one. We'll miss Dad even more at this time of year when our family was always together. However, we still feel Dad is with us in our love for each other and the love that you've all shown us, and we know that with each other's help and support we'll be able to keep him with us.
We owe you our deepest gratitude for your kindness, sympathy and support. You've been a source of strength throughout this time of sadness and pain.
Dear family, friends, and other generous supporters,
Welcome to the Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Foundation website. This is a work in progress, so please let us know if anything is unclear or if there are broken links, etc... We hope this can be a resource to those trying to contribute to the scholarship and to those who will be applying for it as well.
There is a hole in all of our lives today; one that my words will do nothing to fill. But I hope that by sharing some feelings and thoughts about Dad with all of you I can express what he meant to me and maybe help you think of what he meant to each of you too.
Dad taught me so much. He taught me how to read and gave me his love of reading. He taught me how food could express love and how taking care of someone starts with feeding them. He taught me how to laugh at myself and to laugh at adversity.
But I'm sure Dad would be glad to know that the most important thing he taught me was that there is only one true virtue in life - kindness. Whether it was business relations, or a stranger in off the street, we all know Dad would rather trust a person than be afraid of being wrong about someone. I remember one time, a stranger from China wandered into Chung’s. He'd just immigrated and didn’t have any money or a place to stay. With Mom’s help, Dad took care of him, let him rest at the restaurant and then bought him a bus ticket to New York where he could find a job and friends in Chinatown. That was just how Dad was.
And he'd rather give people second chances because he appreciated the second chances life had given him. While, sometimes people would take advantage of him, and even though Dad knew, he would open himself up again and again. He would just give, again. Dad would rather be taken advantage of than think that anyone would choose to do bad.
But with these simple principles, Dad filled his life with laughter and love.
Sure there was so much that Dad didn't have, so much that he dreamed about, but didn't yet have: retirement, travel, grandkids. So much that we saw he was working so hard for, getting ready for. So much that we who love him wished he'd had. Wished we could've given him. But Dad never once made you feel that there was anything missing in his life. He only made you feel the joy of living; of knowing that life could be really just be about giving and sharing.
And if ever he asked for anything, it would be so that he could give more to those he loved most.
Now, as I think Dad would’ve, if I could, I’d like to share a few words to everyone in the family.
To Angie, Nadine, Jeff, You know Dad loved family, and he truly loved how you had joined the family and made us bigger and better. Besides being more people for Dad to tell his jokes to, you were more people to love. And Dad really loved you.
To Craig, Chris, Curtis, Cindy and Cliff, It's so hard now that we've lost Dad. We always thought there'd be more time, but I know Dad will live on in each of us. Now that he's gone I can really see more clearly the ways that he is a part of me. And I can see the ways that he is part of each of us. When each of us tries to make everyone laugh or cooks way too much breakfast for everyone or sings along to the radio. But more than these things, I see Dad in each of us when we love each other as family. As we give everything we have to each other, and wish only that we had more to give.
To Mom, Mom, I only wish there was something that I could say to make things better. Dad was always so proud to be married to you. Listening to you sing. Seeing you in the clothes he bought for you. Having people say how young you look. Being surrounded by the family you made together. People always marveled at how close we were as siblings, and it was because of your love for each other that will always be at the center of our family.
And to Dad Dad, you'll forever be in our hearts. I’ll never forget your world’s shortest answering machine messages, “It’s 9:15, call you later.” I'll never forget how you always had about $10 in change in your pockets just in case someone wanted to buy the paper or make a phone call; never forget you trying to rustle everyone up in the morning because you just couldn’t wait for everyone to spend as much time together as possible, never forget the way you’d smile and get such a kick out of telling me about a joke you made to Angie even though I was there and heard it the first time too, and I’ll never forget how I’d fall asleep in the car ride home from the restaurant and you’d carry me in the house (even if you knew I’d already woken up and was just pretending to get a free ride). And I'll never forget how such dry and over-worked hands could have such a gentle touch and could be so soft and full of love. I’ll never forget these and a million more memories. You’ll be with me in everything I do.
I never told you all the things that I should have. I never made sure you knew just how much I love you and how much we all appreciate you. I know you spent your whole life providing for all of us, trying to protect us, picking us up when we fell. I just wish I could get one more, great big hug from you. This is just the kind of time when I could count on you to just understand, to put your big arms around me, and make the whole world go away.