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Caring for the AAPI Community in 2021 Begins with the Ox and Continues Beyond Cultural Celebrations

Caring for the AAPI Community in 2021 Begins with the Ox and Continues Beyond Cultural Celebrations 

AARP’s “Happy Year of the xOXo (Ox) Statue” in San Francisco will be auctioned to support local older adult organization Self Help for the Elderly 

2021 is the Year of the Ox and for AARP, this means it’s a year-long symbol of vigor and vitality for elders of our community. One way in which AARP continues to show care for diverse communities is through steady and diligent support of local organizations. This year, AARP sponsored the creative design of an ox statue – known more widely as the “Happy Year of the xOXo” ox statue – that currently stands in front of the Civic Center in San Francisco.

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The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco was the first to debut AARP’s “Happy Year of the xOXo” statue in its first-ever The Year of the Ox on Parade. A tradition in the making, 11 life-sized Oxen were publicly displayed across San Francisco to help ring in the new year of the Ox. AARP was able to work with local artist, Monique Zhang to design the Ox to reflect upon the Chinese culture, people, and traditions.  

The 11 ox statues are now available for auction to benefit local San Francisco Chinatown non-profit organizations. AARP's sponsored "Happy Year of the xOXo" Ox Statue's net proceeds will benefit 55-year-old Self-Help for the Elderly (SHE) and is available to bid from March 23 - March 28 at https://bit.ly/2QeZnGR   SHE serves over 40,000 older adults each year in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for older adults. The organization provides a comprehensive range of multicultural and multilingual services in its firm commitment to older adults’  security, freedom and peace of mind and promoting their independence, dignity and self-worth. 

“I'm honored to have my artwork showcased by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and to have it then be shared through an auction to benefit such an important organization like Self-Help for the Elderly that empowers elders who are the pillars of our community,” said Zhang. “This makes this project feel all the more meaningful. My design is an expression for the vigorous, fearless spirit inspired by the oxen. The Chinese community of the Bay Area has represented a resilient force that supports the recovery of economy and strengthens each other through unity, and AARP offered significant support by sponsoring this ox – further supporting both local artists and the community at large.”

AARP’s “Happy Year of the xOXo” ox statue exemplifies the strength and endurance of the AAPI community. The Ox stands proud in colorful textures to represent the silk fabrics of the traditional Chinese attire. The various colors overlap to symbolize the coming together of family. The intricate design in the front signifies the wisdom of the ancestors and the older generation. As the design progresses back, the colors and textures are simplified to represent the younger generation. The heart motif throughout symbolizes shared roots, history, love, and family connections. On the body of the Ox, there are four calligraphy symbols representing joy, age, vigor, and strength, to depict a "joyful silver hair(ed) life with vigor." 

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About AARP 
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50-plus to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. By providing ongoing, accessible, and up-to-date information and resources for the community, AARP looks to find new ways to provide continued care and support for the AAPI community. To learn more, visit aarp.org/aapi and @AARPAAPI on social media. For more stories like this, visit: aarp.org/chinese 

About Self-Help For the Elderly 
Self-Help for the Elderly began serving seniors in San Francisco’s Chinatown community in 1966. Today, Self-Help for the Elderly serves over 40,000 older adults each year in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. We are a non-profit organization. Over 90% of clients are low-income and from minority communities. They are dedicated to improving the quality of life for older adults by empowering seniors to help themselves and by providing comprehensive range of multicultural and multilingual services. They are firmly committed to the seniors’ security, freedom and peace of mind and promoting their independence, dignity and self-worth. Under their attentive care, seniors will gain access to programs and services which will empower them to make lifestyle choices, to enhance their standard of living, and to achieve the best possible health. The mission for Self-Help for the Elderly is to promote independence, well-being, and dignity for older adults through culturally aligned services and programs in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Self-Help for the Elderly envisions a world where all elders have the respect, care, and support to lead dignified and vibrant lives. To learn more about Self Help for the Elderly: https://www.selfhelpelderly.org/ 

Monique Zhang Bio 
Monique Zhang is an internationally recognized Fashion Week Producer and Cultural Ambassador of  East meets West. Monique is also a principal fashion designer, stylist, and trendsetter. Over the course of her diversified fashion career, she has brought her Asian heritage to American culture to showcase major talents. Ms. Zhang’s artistry spans from fashion design to personal and commercial branding. Monique has founded two culture exchange platforms: Chinatown International Fashion Week in 2015 and Jade Week San Francisco in 2017. Monique is well known for her charity and fundraising as a San   Francisco/Bay Area community leader. Her skills to lead and execute projects, and serve her community  for a brighter future with higher meaning are masterful. Monique has created over 100 fashion shows and charity events over 20+ years.  

"Happy Year of the xOXo" Designed by Monique Zhang 
The Happy Year of the xOXo ox represents the vigor and vitality of the elders in our community. In the position of strength, the Ox stands proud in colorful textures to represent the silk fabrics of the traditional Chinese attire. The various colors overlap to symbolize the coming together of family. The intricate design in the front signifies the wisdom of the ancestors and the older generation. As the design progresses back, the colors and textures are simplified to represent the younger generation. The heart motif throughout symbolizes shared roots, history, love, and family connections. On the body of the Ox, there are four calligraphy symbols representing joy, age, vigor, and strength, to depict a "joyful silver hair(ed) life with vigor." This Ox was sponsored by AARP with net proceeds benefitting Self-Help for the Elderly

Statue Details: 

  • Approximately 5.5' x 6' x 3' 
  • Weighs 150 pounds 
  • Made of high density foam and fiberglass 

Shipping & Delivery 

  • Base is not included. 
  • Additional shipping & handling fees apply. Insurance is available upon request. 
  • Payment must be received in full before making delivery arrangements. Please make check payable to SF Chinese Chamber of Commerce (730 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94108) 
  • No returns, refunds, or exchanges. 
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