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Heart of Dinner Joins the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon as an Official Charity Partner


Passionate about Heart of Dinner and our marathon runners? Put your creativity to the test by crafting cheer posters to boost their spirits as they run 26.2 miles towards the finish line! Your vibrant designs and motivating messages can make a world of difference in keeping our runners inspired. Need a spark of inspiration? CLICK HERE for awesome cheer poster ideas. Thank you so much for your unwavering support and for rallying behind our team!


This year, for the first time ever, Heart of Dinner is thrilled to join the NYC Marathon as an official charity partner. Representing our mission to directly address food insecurity and tackle the challenges of social isolation and loneliness among Asian American older adults, we proudly introduce our dedicated team of five marathon runners: Ethan Huang, Ja Tecson, Long Adams, Swan Chen, and Toshiki Nakashige. Each runner has committed to not only push their physical limits on the marathon course but also to raise a significant target of $5,800 individually. As they pound the pavements of New York, they will also be raising vital awareness about our cause, shining a spotlight on the inequities faced by our beloved Elders living in under-resourced and underinvested communities. Join us in cheering them on, as they run with heart, dedication, and purpose for Heart of Dinner.

Ja Tecson

Hailing all the way from Los Angeles, we’re so excited to introduce, Ja Tecson! 🌟 Ja, alongside his most supportive and loving family, will be flying to NYC to support this milestone moment on November 5th. Ja has championed Heart of Dinner from afar with steadfast support and enthusiasm. As a father, husband, creative, and devoted runner, he intertwines storytelling through his captivating photography and art direction with a deep commitment to community. 📸🏃‍♂️🌟

“Running the NYC Marathon for Heart of Dinner is a profound honor. This journey reflects moments that are bigger than me, echoing the invaluable lessons of community and intuition ingrained by Yin and Moonlynn,” shares Ja. "Their inspiration fuels my run, making every step a testament to the collaborative and compassionate spirit of Heart of Dinner."

With immense pride, we watch Ja and his family take this significant journey, embodying the values we hold dear at Heart of Dinner. Let’s send waves of cheers and love to Ja and his family as they approach this momentous day! 🏃‍♂️🍽️💖

Meet Our Runners!

Ethan Huang

Kicking off our introductions alphabetically, meet the incredible Ethan Huang! As a long-time volunteer at our East Village operation site, Ethan has been a beacon of JOY, fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. His infectious enthusiasm and commitment to our community perfectly encapsulate the spirit of Heart of Dinner and we're so honored he chose to dedicate his time and care towards uplifting our mission. 🥰

Here’s a little more about Ethan in his own words: “I'm Ethan, a 22-year-old Taiwanese American from the Bay Area, now working in consulting in San Francisco. Running and volunteering at Heart of Dinner started concurrently for me, becoming the avenues through which I met my closest friends in NY. Excitingly, my routine of volunteer Wednesdays and long-run Saturdays will come full circle as I run the NYC Marathon on behalf of Heart of Dinner!” 🗽

Every stride Ethan takes and every cheer he receives will echo the love and dedication he's consistently shown our community. Join us in supporting Ethan and Heart of Dinner as we race towards a future filled with care and connection! 💫

Long Adams

Celebrating our wonderful runner, Long Adams! 🏃‍♂️✨ As the countdown to the NYC Marathon continues, we are incredibly thrilled to spotlight Long, a truly remarkable champion of Heart of Dinner. Throughout the most challenging times of the pandemic, Long has been an irreplaceable part of our community, consistently volunteering as a dedicated driver, transporting essential and culturally-thoughtful groceries from Queens to Manhattan. His commitment ensured that we had the vital ingredients to create the care packages that have been a lifeline for our beneficiaries week after week. 🚗 🍽️

But Long's compassion doesn't stop there! Going above and beyond, he expanded his volunteering to pack and deliver these care packages directly to our cherished Elder beneficiaries.💖📦

Hailing from China, with chapters of his life written in the Midwest and South, Long now embraces Brooklyn as home. A passionate runner, including races like the Atlanta marathon, a certified yoga instructor, and a lover of the arts, Long revels in the joys of making pottery, cooking, hosting friends, and harbors dreams of writing and dancing.

Long’s bond with our mission and work is beautifully captured in his words: "Heart of Dinner bridges my connection with my heritage and identity, being miles away from my family in China. I'm exhilarated to run for HoD at the NYC Marathon, channeling the love we've shared and funds we'll raise to continue our mission of nourishing through food and compassion."

Join us in showering Long with all our love and support as he represents Heart of Dinner in the 2023 NYC Marathon, embodying the spirit of community, dedication, and heartfelt service.

Meet our next NYC Marathon runner, Swan Chen! 🏃‍♀️✨ Introducing Swan, a tenacious mother of two and a finance executive by day who has an undeniable knack for New York Times games. Born and nurtured in the heart of NYC, she made a move to New Jersey ten years ago but has always kept the city close to her heart. Running through all five boroughs this year isn't just a race for Swan—it's a homecoming, a nostalgic journey back to where it all began. Despite never seeing herself as a natural athlete, she's stepping out of her comfort zone, proving to herself and to all of us that with heart and determination, anything is possible.

Swan's connection with Heart of Dinner is as heartfelt as it gets. It started at home with a simple, beautiful endeavor: guiding her children in penning affectionate notes in English and Chinese, blending skill-building with sentiment. This act of love evolved into a community movement, weaving in extended family and friends and deepening her association with the Heart of Dinner community. Especially after a challenging 2021, the involvement of dear ones like her mom, aunt, godmother, and friends' mothers—all bilingual retirees—gave this endeavor an even more poignant meaning.

In Swan's own words, "Heart of Dinner resonates with me on so many levels, primarily in supporting our elderly and addressing food insecurity. What began as a humble exercise for my children's handwriting evolved into a familial commitment with the involvement of the strong women in my life. As I lace up for the TCS NYC Marathon, it's not just a race—it's an embodiment of the values, connections, and the spirit of community we've fostered together."

Swan, your journey with Heart of Dinner and your commitment to the community fills us with pride. We are deeply honored to cheer you on as you take on the TCS NYC Marathon for Heart of Dinner. Thank you for running with love and purpose! 💓

Swan Chen

How do I stay informed about any updates related to Heart of Dinner's participation as an NYC Marathon charity partner?

Sign up for our newsletter to receive Heart of Dinner marathon-related announcements and updates, including details about joining our cheer squad, poster-decorating gatherings leading up to the race, and more! Click here to be added to our newsletter.

As much as we would love to bring on all of the elderly in our neighborhoods, we have reached our maximum capacity. Please apply for our waiting list and when we are able to expand, we hope to bring on more elderly recipients as soon as our bandwidth and capacity will allow!

How do I include some elders to receive your care packages/meals?

Toshiki Nakashige

Presenting our fifth and final marathon runner, Toshiki Nakashige, journeying all the way from Japan to run for Heart of Dinner! 🏃🏻🌟

Born in Dallas to a Japanese language teacher and a sushi chef, Toshiki's love for running can be traced back to those cherished Sundays at the community recreation center, running alongside his fitness-devoted mother. His college bucket list kickstarted a love for marathons and, 11 races later (yes, you read that right, E-L-E-V-E-N), he's cut down his PR by an hour! Every stride and sprint taken, every finish line crossed, he thinks of his mother, his beacon of inspiration, especially now as she can no longer run due to osteoarthritis.

Beyond his marathon milestones and mentoring, Toshiki also champions science through his podcast. Yet, it's his personal journey that leaves a mark on our hearts. Toshiki's journey is about love, facing loss, and gathering the resilience to move forward. After facing xenophobia in NYC, a heart-wrenching turn of events took place. The declining health of his beloved grandmother prompted a bold decision. Amidst the global chaos of Covid-19, he courageously chose to relocate to Japan to show his love for her and also pay tribute to his own mother, serving as a bridge of warmth and connection to her family who all lived far away. Although fate intervened and she passed before he could reach, Toshiki decided to honor her memory in a deeply touching way. Settling in her small mountain town where he continues to keep her spirit alive by connecting with Elderly neighbors, understanding their stories, and even sharing simple joys like introducing beetroot to his 75-year old relatives! Through his compassionate actions, Toshiki is the embodiment of respect and love for our elders, celebrating and honoring their humanity and legacy.

We see Heart of Dinner's mission in Toshiki's story. He's training hard for the NYC Marathon, and at the same time, it's his journey and the stories behind his run that struck a chord with us. As he readies for the 2023 NYC Marathon, his steps echo with purpose, integrity, and dedication. Please join us in cheering on Toshiki!

As much as we would love to bring on all of the elderly in our neighborhoods, we have reached our maximum capacity. Please apply for our waiting list and when we are able to expand, we hope to bring on more elderly recipients as soon as our bandwidth and capacity will allow!

How do I include some elders to receive your care packages/meals?


Help fund Heart Of Dinner’s meals and nourish our community of elders.

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