The Cambodian American Resource Agency (CARA) was founded in 1998 by a group of Cambodian-American professionals and community members who had a deep interest in the uniting the local Khmer community. The mission of CARA is to help initiate and provide support for community-based events involving the Khmer community in order to increase recognition and raise awareness of the Khmer culture. CARA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and its programs are funded in part by a number of renewable grants.
CARA, as an organization has had a very active and involved presence within the Cambodian-American community. The involvement of the group has spanned a wide variety of community-based programs that include the Khmer Dance Class, the Khmer Language School, Khmer Wedding Tradition, Active Listening and numerous other workshops that help to promote cultural awareness among the local community members. Other workshops that are planned for the future and target the younger generation include Khmer Culture for Today's Youth and College Awareness. Since it’s founding, CARA took a number of leadership roles in organizing the annual Khmer New Year Celebration. CARA brings together organizations throughout the county of Santa Clara to help plan and carry out a number of celebrations.
CARA is an umbrella organization consisting of board members representing local community groups and organizations. Currently, the board of directors includes six individuals with various professional and academic backgrounds. All board members, including officers are volunteers and do not receive any material or monetary compensation. The make-up of CARA’s board is quite diverse, ranging from young professionals handling a full-time job and active family life, to retired professionals who continue to contribute to the community. All chose to set aside time and commit resources from their busy schedules to help give back to the community in their own individual capacity.