JW House – A Home Away from Home for Families in Medical Crisis

This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: JW House – A Home Away from Home for Families in Medical Crisis
Speaker: Anne Marie Knapen-Asnong of the JW House
Meeting for the week of January 2, 2017 to January 8, 2017

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page. 

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Message from President Mitty

Welcome to 2017!

Are you a new visitor? Then I want to welcome you to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s online meeting! Every week we curate inspiring and educational content in an online format like the one you’re seeing here. As you continue reading, watching, and scrolling, our hope is that you’ll leave feeling a little bit more inspired. As an online Rotary club, we have these asynchronous meetings online, but we also meet in-person in the Silicon Valley / San Francisco bay area for service projects and for social events. Keep reading on, and feel free to also join us for one of our in-person events if you can make it!

Members and returning guests, welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year weekend! It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through with this Rotary year. With 2016 behind us, I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring. What I do know is that one of the first things it will bring will be our club’s elections for the Rotary year beginning in July! Members, those elections are to take place in January and will be conducted by email, where private voting links will be sent out. Please keep an eye out for the nominations email next week!

Just about all members who participated in our club’s global Secret Santa exchange should have received their presents by now. If you haven’t yet, please reach out to me so I can check with your Secret Santa to see if they have a tracking number for your present. For those of you still haven’t done so yet, this week is your last chance to post photos up! We have a number of them going on our members-only Facebook Group. Photos and stories will be featured next week.

I want to also take this time to thank member Tzviatko Chiderov for his awesome work coordinating the Coffee with a Rotarian initiative! We had 12 people participate in this new initiative in December, and I’m excited to be releasing everyone’s video contributions on a weekly basis! We’ll continue having more Coffee with a Rotarian sessions, so you’ll have more opportunities to sign up if you haven’t had a chance to yet!

And to everyone — I’m always happy to find out how our club (or how I) can help you out. Reach out to me and let me know how you’re doing or send a new member spotlight video to update the whole club about your life! After all, there’s only one of me, and dozens of you! Our club is here to help you improve your community and change the world — but we can only do that if you reach out.

Lastly, I know you’ll enjoy the program for this week’s meeting. The JW House really helps families in need, and you’ll find out exactly how once you watch the program. (New guests, the program is the last video on this page!) Major thank you to members Rushton and Ken for having volunteered at the JW House on behalf of our club this past November, and for each playing a part in making this recording possible.

Yours in service,
Mitty Chang, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

Photo of the Week: Hot Tea versus Artic Temperature

We know a good photo is worth a thousand words. We also think that photos can have the power to inspire and to awe. Every week we try to bring to you a photo that we think will do just that.

This week’s photo is from imgur, and is what happens when you toss hot tea into the air in the Artic. Nature does some pretty awesome things. Thanks to member Rushton Hurley for suggesting this photo!

Weekly Inspiration: Growing Furniture on a Furniture Farm

Every week we bring you videos of innovation, inspiration, and entrepreneurship. This week we are featuring a video from Great Big Story, about Gavin Munro who grows furniture.

In the heart of the bucolic county of Derbyshire, England, Gavin Munro tends to a unique crop: furniture. Munro grows completely natural household furnishings by carefully pruning and grafting trees over the course of a decade. Though the process requires patience, the beautiful results are both functional and sustainable.

Super cool! Makes you wonder what else you can grow more efficiently!

Laughing Out Loud (L.O.L.) with our Lady of LOLs

yvonnebubbleWe believe that laughing a little every day keeps you healthier. Every week we try to share with you something that will make you smile! This section is curated by Rotarian Yvonne Kwan, our club’s “Lady of LOLs.”

Welcome to 2017 everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year weekend! I’m sharing some short jokes I heard over the weekend. Enjoy!
Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time consuming.
I’d tell you a chemistry joke but I know I wouldn’t get a reaction.

Happy Birthdays with the Baroness of Birthdays

We love our members. Without them, this club wouldn’t exist. This section is a segment dedicated to appreciation them and their special days.

Hello Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley! This is Nicole, your Baroness of Birthdays. I was thrilled when Mitty asked me to be your Baroness of B-days. My two favorite things are balloons and cake!! Every month, we’ll give shoutouts to our fellow Rotarians and I’ll give you all some fun facts that you might or might not have known before.
For this month of January, we are celebrating Raquel D’Garay-Juncal and Richard Knaggs!
January is named after the Roman god Janus, who was always shown as having two heads. One looked back to the last year and one looked forward to the new one.
It is the coldest month in the northern half of the world, nature is quiet and the birds travel less. However, in southern half of the world, January is the warmest month. During this time, unlike the northern half of the world, animals are active and plants are growing.
January is Human Trafficking Prevention and Hot Tea month.
“Dieting on New Year’s Day isn’t a good idea as you can’t eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second.” – Helen Fielding

Coffee with a Rotarian: Chris introduces Tzviatko

This new segment of our meeting is dedicated to featuring stories from members about other members! We pair our club members with other club members for one-on-one coffee sessions either digitally or online. It’s an opportunity to get to know your fellow Rotarians better. After the coffee session, each of our members records a short video message about what they learned about their fellow Rotarian, and we feature those videos here.

This week’s featured Coffee with a Rotarian video comes from member Chris Cochrane from Canada! Chris met digitally with member Tzviatko Chiderov from South Africa. This is what Chris had to say about Tzviatko:

If you missed last week’s meeting with what Tzviatko had to say about Chris, check it out here!

We’ll feature member Kristi’s video next week!

The Coffee with a Rotarian project is chaired by member Tzviatko Chiderov. Thanks Tzviatko!

For Members: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

Coffee with a Rotarian Update

If you participated in the Coffee with a Rotarian in December, please be sure to send Tzviatko a link to your video if you have not done so yet. We’re still missing a few videos! And regardless of whether or not you participated or not, keep an eye out for future emails from Tzviatko about the next Coffee with a Rotarian assignment! Get to know more of your club members! And remember, location does not matter since you can have an online coffee session.

New Monthly Member Photo Challenge: “Something New”

The monthly member photo challenge is being chaired by member Kristi Govertsen! Wonderful idea by Kristi. Every month there will be a new photo theme, and members are encouraged to submit one to two photos that fit the theme. Post your photo(s) in the week’s comments. Photos will be featured in future meetings.

Reminders – Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Club elections and club assembly coming up in January! Keep an eye out in your email inbox!
  • Dues are due by the end of the week!
  • Coffee with a Rotarian is still ongoing! Videos coming soon
  • Secret Santa should be completed! Looking for some photos and videos!

Service Blotter for January on-going below:

Members, want to get your service update into the next service blotter? Please share what you’ve been up to, as it allows us to get to know each other better in the process! Just click on the link below to let us know!

For Members Only: Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we hold regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
93 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Next Meetup

Join us and Rotary Clubs in Area 8 packaging meals for STOP …

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017, 8:30 AM
3 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

Stop Hunger Now Service Project (Cupertino), Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 12 PM

(Please note the date change; it is now January 14.) Come assemble Stop Hunger Now food packages with Rotarians from Cupertino and Sunnyvale during our Rotary Area-wide service project on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Monta Vista High School, 21840 McClellan Road, Cupertino, CA! There will be two separate shifts – one from 8:15 AM to 10:30 AM, and another from 10:15 AM to 12:00 PM. Sign-up will be available on Meetup. Guests are welcomed but will need to check-in with our club. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life with a hands-on service project while getting to know some of the other Rotarians in our area!

Event chair: Mitty Chang (please check-in with Mitty once you arrive)

Rotary Wilderness Expedition to Big Basin (Boulder Creek), Sun. Jan. 29, 2016 from 11 AM to 3 PM

Join fellow Rotarians and friends for an adventure expedition into the gorgeous redwood giants of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We will be meeting at 11 AM (exact location to be announced) and will aim to return to our cars by 3 PM. Please pack your own lunch and water.

Event chair: Andrew Taw

Rotary Area 8 Talent Show (Cupertino), Sat. Feb. 4, 2016

Join Rotarians from through Cupertino and Sunnyvale for an area-wide social featuring talent from every club! Details to be announced.

Happy Dollars

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.

Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Last week’s happy dollars went towards funding club projects! Here are messages from last week’s happy dollars:

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his $15 donation! Brian had this to say:
“Happy Festivus, everyone!”

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his $15 donation, to be donated to Rotary’s PolioPlus! Rory had this to say:
“I’m still alive, employed and in good health. What’s not to be happy about? Please dedicate my gift to Polio Plus.”

Thank you all for your donations last week! The money from the donations last week went towards funding club projects. Thank you!

This week’s donations will go towards the general club fund to power club projects!

So what are you happy about? Share with us below!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting about “Me The Human” – 8,000 high school students helping Syrian refugees:

From member Nicole Pham (California, USA):
Great job Misaki !!! I’m always proud of you and interact 5170. My something new is pretty extraordinary for me and I am so happy to show this picture of me with my new baby cousin. I was present in her live birth and now she is 3 days old. Every day she is even more beautiful than the day before. I am so thankful to have her.

From member Shags Shagrin (California, USA):
Misaki, I love your passion for the project and Rotary in general. Thanks again for a great presentation! Following Tzviatko’s lead, here’s a photo of Truffle when he was “something new” and seven weeks before we brought him into our lives.

From member Nathan Gildart (Tokyo, Japan):
Misaki, you’re a credit to your peers and community. As a high school teacher in Tokyo, where service is central to our ethos, I’m continually impressed with the kindness, empathy, motivation, and innovative problem-solving I see in people your age. The Syrian crisis has bothered me from its beginnings during the Arab Spring, so I admire the work you and your peers are taking on. The design of the project (seven themes over seven months) is thoughtful, and critical that you have included educating yourselves and others. (with a consideration for finding the correct information – the truth – and knowing where proceeds are going) You have mentioned that proceeds will go to “international work” and local offices working in the US. Judging by the Interact District 5170 Website I assume a core benefactor is the International Rescue Committee. Keep us posted when there are links to donate to the project. One other comment on an experience you mentioned. Even though we often can’t relate to others in crisis it’s important that we empathize and work for positive change, so keep doing what you’re doing. We applaud you!

From member Tzviatko Chiderov (South Africa):
For the “Something New” challenge, please meet my “new” niece whom I just met 2 weeks ago — 4.5 month-old Stefi!

From member Yvonne Kwan (California, USA):
Happy New Year, everyone! I love the monthly photo challenge idea — I’ll be sure to post a photo soon! Misaki, you make me proud to be an alumnus of this Interact district! I can absolutely hear the passion in your voice when you talk about the Syrian refugee crisis. I love that you are urging an emphasis on the humanity of these refugees, which often becomes lost in the political battles that this crisis is, as you already pointed out, intertwined in. Keep up the awesome work, and keep inspiring everyone around you!

From member Keith Marsh (California, USA):
Misaki, thanks for your program helping Syrian Refugees. This is a crisis that most of can not begin to imagine. Loved the video by George.

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: JW House – A Home Away from Home for Families in Medical Crisis

Every week we bring to you a program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest speaker is Anne Marie Knapen-Asnong of the JW House in the Santa Clara, California. The JW House provides a home away from home for families with children who are in medical crisis.

Anne Marie Knapen-Asnong started her professional career as a teacher in Belgium. Before moving to the Bay Area, she had switched from teaching regular classes to helping out children with learning problems. In her spare time, she volunteered in Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven, and Saint Luc Hospital in Brussels, where she restructured the children’s library and was active in Salus Sanguinis, a nonprofit that helps leukemia research and organizes trips and activities for children suffering from that disease. She also volunteered to help children with their studies when they had to miss school for extended periods of time due to serious illness.

Anne Marie has been happily married to Geert Knapen since 1986. Together, they have four children: Jan-Willem (1988), Helena and Elisabeth (1995), and Alexander (2000).

After moving to California in 1998, she became a full-time mom. She continues volunteering at her children’s schools, helping her neighbors, and being involved in her church. When her oldest son JW became sick in 2002 (he was suffering from brain cancer and passed away in 2005) and started dreaming of a home away from home for families who have a loved one in the hospital, her son’s dream became hers: she has been involved with JW House nonstop, ever since.

Members and guests, please join me in welcoming Anne Marie from the JW House!

Special thanks to members Rushton and Ken for having volunteered at the JW House on behalf of our club, and helping make this presentation possible!

Related Links:

Meeting Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 to 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice. (Sometimes speakers cancel on us!)

Upcoming Recordings:

  • Update coming soon

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, please email [email protected] with your request. Requests will be checked up until 5 minutes prior to the recording time. Please note the timezone is all California, USA time.

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
  • Rory Olsen

    Anne Marie,

    Thank you for an interesting program.

  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Thanks for a great presentation Anne Marie. I hope you are able to get your wishes in 2017!
    Very cool video about growing furniture – super interesting idea and it makes a lot of sense.

  • Thank you. Excellent.

  • Keith Marsh

    Anne Marie, thank you for the work you do in memory of JW. Love the “Something New” photos so far.

  • Roger Plested

    Excellent meeting

  • Brett Sham

    Anne Marie, thanks for a great presentation, it was so inspiring to hear your passion and to hear of the amazing service and support provided to families in what must be such challenging times for them.

  • ShagsCA

    Fantastic program, Anne Marie! I’m from Youngstown, Ohio, and we have a Ronald McDonald House that’s adjacent to the local hospital with a pediatric center. They are very similar, but for the families not having their own suite — more of a shared house with separate sleeping rooms. I was part of a Jewish men’s group that would volunteer there on Christmas so the “regular” volunteers could take the day off to be with their family and friends.

  • Anne Marie, it is wonderful to have our members learn about JW House. My wife and I have been part of several groups who have volunteered by preparing and serving meals, and talking with the people there who are caring for loved ones at the hospital is truly powerful. In Rotary, we are dedicated to finding ways to be of service to others, and what you and the JW House team show that beautifully. Thank you all for what you do!

  • Thank you Ann Marie for sharing the JW House with us. I hope that your plans for the future are successful and that no one ever has to be turned away again.

  • Yvonne Kwan

    Love the growing furniture video! The way he explains his reasoning for growing furniture seems like such common sense — so cool!

    I’m also loving all of these interactions between members! It’s exciting to see these different “Something New” pictures and to hear updates from the Coffee with a Rotarian segment! So great to hear from Chris this week and Tzviatko last week! Looking forward to Kristi’s update next!

    Anne Marie, thank you for sharing the beautiful mission of JW House. For families to know that they have a safe place to rest and recuperate during their time of need is so powerful. I hope that your plans to expand go successfully so that fewer families (if any) will be turned away in the coming years.

  • Andrew Taw

    Anne Marie, thank you so much for your presentation. JW House is such a beautiful project and I’m deeply touched by your story. I’m sorry to have missed the opportunity to join Ken and Rushton in volunteering but I definitely want to the next chance I get.

  • Fernando Morales

    I’m checking in to my first meeting here as a guest and I was pleased to see members share so much with each other.
    I enjoyed hearing about JW House, thanks for all the information Anne Marie. It is great that you can provide support to those offering their own support to a loved one and often neglecting their own wellbeing. It gives them the strength they need to relay on to their loved ones. I’m from Honduras and this topic of families traveling hours to the city for medical care and having to stay overnight, sometimes even outside, often comes up as options for support are limited.
    It’s great to see a program address this issue so effectively. Best wishes on your plans for expansion!

    • Welcome Fernando! We’re glad to have you visiting us! Hope to see you more often!

  • BDL

    JW House is a great organization: thanks for the hard work, Anne Marie.

  • Nathan Gildart

    Anne Marie, I’ll echo the group with being touched and inspired. Many families are clearly benefitting from the kindness and care given by JW House. There should be more support for this kind of thing, especially with the growing numbers asking for assistance. Good on you all at JW House!

    Love the growing chair video as well! That’s going into a tweet and an innovation newsletter to my school’s faulty!

  • Anne Marie. I love how you turned such a difficult situation into a positive endeavor. Your Son sounds like he was pretty amazing too during hard times. I had to take advantage of smilar services while on the East Coast and know how much it helped. Thank you!

  • Richard Knaggs

    Thank you for the kind Birthday wishes. How innovative is the growing furniture video… Wow…. I wonder how much it costs. Thank you Anne for your presentation and condolences on the loss of your son. What a beautiful idea and such a valuable service. It is amazing how ones passion can sell a dream. This dream is definitely the future of health care.

  • Kristi Govertsen

    I’m loving the Something New photos! We’ll continue to work out the kinks this month, and find a great way to showcase everyone’s photos. In the meantime, it great to get a literal snapshot of everyone’s lives. 🙂
    Additionally, I’d like to thank you, Anne Marie, for the great work you do!

  • john lozano

    Anne Marie, thank you for your presentation. I live in the Bay Area and have driven by the JW House often, always wondering what is happening in your beautiful house. It was nice hearing about all the wonderful things you do for families in need, especially during very difficult times. I hope to stop by and visit. Thank you for providing a needed resource for the Bay Area community.

  • Ferheen Abbasi

    Anne Marie, thank you so much for your wonderful presentation. And thank you for sharing your story about your son. So powerful and inspiring. His memory lives on in such a wonderful way. Thank you for all that you have done to help families.

    For my “Something New” picture, I want to showcase this photo I took at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. My brother came to Japan on the 1st and I’ve been taking him around places I’ve already been. But together, we went to Hiroshima for the first time, and it was the most powerful experience I have had in a while. The museum was phenomenal – I highly recommend it to all of you if you have a chance to visit Japan. There were many photos I took that day, but I think this is the one that captures my feelings the best. President Obama is the first serving US President to come to Hiroshima and he gave a poignant speech about how the memory of Hiroshima must never fade.


  • Raquel D. Juncal

    Anne Marie, thanks for your presentation. I hope to have the opportunity soon to visit JW House and learn more about the project. As a medical doctor, I do not share social security management (in Latin America) in its task of supporting the general population. Although there are good things, there are others that could improve, and projects like yours brings a different vision to address the issue effectively.

  • Nicole Pham

    I am so moved Anne Marie. Thank you. A million times thank you for all you’ve done for those who need a source of hope in their lives. In the summer, I was a camp counselor for children and families affected by childhood cancer. I could see the joy it brought these families to be in a place of peace where they didn’t have to worry about sickness.

  • Felmer Lenida

    Thank you for the amazing presentation, Anne Marie. The hope that you give everybody is just so inspiring.


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Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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