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Our Beginnings

Fountain of Life Inc. is an independent nonprofit organization that was established in June 2022 to serve the unique needs of Asian elders living in the Greater Kansas City community. Many have recognized the social and emotional needs of elders. There are wonderful senior centers in the community for elders to gather and socialize. However, in the Kansas City community, Asian-language speaking elders who cannot communicate proficiently in English often face cultural and linguistic barriers in accessing and utilizing the programs and services offered by local senior centers and community centers. It is in response to this overwhelming community need that Fountain of Life was birthed.

Image by Robert Thiemann
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Our Founder's Inspiration

The precious life of Fengnian Tung is the inspiration behind Fountain of Life. Fengnian immigrated from Taiwan at age 59. After immigrating to the United States, Fengnian lived with her son and daughter-in-law in the Greater Kansas City community and helped take care of her grandchildren. In her sixties and seventies, she spent many hours attending various ESL classes where she learned to read and speak very basic English. However, elementary literacy is not the same as fluency. Fengnian remained limited English proficient for her entire life. Unable to drive, she also relied on her family for transportation. In her eighties, caregiving roles gradually reversed. As Fengnian aged and was no longer able to be independent, her three grandchildren stepped in to support their beloved grandmother as well as provide caregiving relief to their parents.

It was during this time when the idea of starting a senior community center for Asian elders crossed the mind of Jennifer Tung Alexander, one of Fengnian's granddaughters. Jennifer soon learned that a senior community center serving Asian elders was not a new concept; in fact, several existed on the West and East Coast. She began to talk to others about the need to build a local senior community center for Asian elders, connected with those who shared a similar passion and concern for the unique needs of Asian elders, and together established Fountain of Life in June 2022. 

In August 2022, Fengnian officially joined Fountain of Life where she was an active participant until her passing in January 2024. Fengnian participated in the Virtual Exercise Group three days a week and tuned into several Healthy Aging Seminars. A talented knitter, Fengnian also joined the Knitting Community Service Group where she gathered with senior friends to knit baby blankets for families in need. She participated in painting, adult coloring and paper cutting art groups. She also joined senior friends for meaningful social activities including watching a matinee movie, taking a field trip to Matt Ross Community Center, and enjoying a Hot Pot Social, Lunar New Year Celebration, Mid-Autumn Festival Lunch, and Shabu Shabu Social. Fengnian even helped to fold dozens of Fountain of Life brochures!

Our Approach

Fountain of Life is headquartered in Johnson County, Kansas where Asians make up the third largest racial group with "satellite" operations in Wyandotte County, Kansas where Asians make up the fourth largest racial group. In July 2022, we began offering programs and services to elevate and transform the quality of life for Chinese-speaking elders. Since that time, we have been gradually expanding services to reach Korean, Vietnamese, Hmong, and Burmese-speaking elders. 

Fountain of Life is a community-based organization that welcomes seniors of all racial, ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds. We collaborate and partner with faith and civic groups serving the Asian population of Greater Kansas City. We seek to provide safe places for limited English proficient seniors to build friendships and get connected to health and aging services in order to enhance their quality of life. 

Fountain of Life seeks to meaningfully support seniors who are both aging in place and aging in community. We aim to accomplish this by offering accessible senior community centers with engaging programs and activities and by providing wellness outreach to home-bound seniors. 

Old Asian woman comfortably posing
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