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Janice Sung: Asian American Hero

Sung, a winner of the 2012 Asian American Hero Award, squeezes time from community service work for gourmet home cooking.

Cupertino resident Janice Sung wears many different hats in community service. What brought her an Asian American Hero Award last November involved various organizations such as the Cupertino-Hsinchu Sister City Association, American Cancer Society, the American Tea Culture Association, and the Taiwanese & Chinese American Athletic Tournament Association.

While many volunteers choose to work with organizations that match their own interests, Sung says she will go whereever help is needed. This explains why as one who has never played team sports she served as president of the Taiwanese & Chinese American Athletic Tournament from 2011 to 2012.

"I don't pick an interest area because I think volunteer work is meant for us to give back to the community," said Sung. "We all relied on the resources of society to become what we are today, so we should do something for society in return when we can."

"I've been available to do a lot of things for the community after raising my two children," she added.

Sung came from Taiwan with her husband and two sons in 1996. The couple chose to live in Cupertino for their boys' education. Sung first started community service at her youngest son's Chinese school. Later she served as a secretary for the Association of American Northern California Chinese Schools from 2000 to 2003.

She was the opening ceremony manager of Cupertino Moon Festival from 2004 to 2005, as well as the team captain coordinator of the Northern California Chinese Unit Committee for American Cancer Society in 2005.

In 2008, Sung joined the Cupertino-Hsinchu Sister City Association. She once served as co-chair and then chair. Now as board director of the program, she will go to Hsinchu, the high-tech city of Taiwan, again in April to look after the exchange students.

Sung will go abroad again in May with her husband to Korea, this time for an international conference of the Wu-Wo (which means "selfless" in Chinese) Tea Association, with which their own American Tea Culture Association is affiliated.

Her 2013 schedule looks busy, but she says she has relieved herself of certain past duties for the birth of her first grandson. The youthful-looking grandmother says she enjoys helping the babysitter take care of the four-month-old boy when his parents are at work.

Sung calls herself a family-oriented woman. For the health of her family, she doesn't buy any processed food. Instead, she makes her own bread, cookies, fruit jam and yoghurt with organic ingredients. She even makes Chinese dim sum and noodles from the scratch. The noodles come out all in the same width as if they were machine-made.

Patch recorded Sung's demonstration of how to cut homemade noodles neatly. The video is attached to this article.

About the Asian American Hero Award Sung received, she said, "I hope this award helps more people see the meaning of volunteering. When people see what I do, perhaps they will also volunteer to make our community better and more harmonious."

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