Ever since elementary school years, my parents have been constantly involved in attending charity events such as volunteering at nursing homes or donating anything and everything they could. As their child, my parents also pushed me to follow in their footsteps, which I now sincerely appreciate. Since I played the piano, my mom would promptly volunteer me to perform at nursing homes. I would reluctantly attend each charity event like it was a chore. I thought, “Why is this important? Why do I have to do this?” At the time, the immediate answer to these questions was, “It’s because otherwise my mom will get upset with me.” But in retrospect, the answer to these questions is much more complicated and compelling than simply escaping my mother’s wrath. My parents have always been inspirational and supportive role models in my volunteering work.

I was introduced to run a toy drive when I was in sixth grade. Instead of just donating my toys, I had to somehow find people to donate their toys too. After making a flyer for the toy drive, I went to every single house in my neighborhood to ring their doorbells and personally hand them a flyer asking for toys. After running around in the rain and visited 150 houses, I returned home tired,cranky, and frankly, not hopeful at all for any results.  However, the fruits of my effort started to show just two days later when my neighbors started to call me, asking for more details.  That year, I collected 400 toys and was able to personally deliver them to the hands of the children in El Salvador the following summer.

I remember the moment I handed each child a toy, their face lit up and their frowning faces were now full of smiles and laughter. This deeply touched my heart and made me realize how fortunate I am and how I should be doing much more for them.  Since then, I have been constantly trying to catch up to all the good things my parents have already done.  I think I finally understand why this work is important.  If everyone can contribute just a little bit of their time, we can all make a big difference in the lives of people who are less fortunate. Therefore, to everyone of all ages especially to young students, I encourage you to join us.  Let’s quest to help pave and brighten the path of someone else’s future.

by Margaret Chen, currently a student at The College of New Jersey

從小學二年級開始,爸爸媽媽經常帶著我參與各種社區服務和慈善關懷活動。轉眼我即將要從大學畢業了,我的父母仍然鼓勵我繼續參與服務。他們可以說是我的義工生涯啟蒙老師。記得小時候去安養院慰問時,不管我願不願意,媽媽總要安排我表演唱歌,跳舞或彈鋼琴。我不了解為什麼要去安養院,為什麼爸爸媽媽一定要我去那裡表演。 為了不讓爸媽生氣,我只好心不甘情不願地去做這件苦差事。

到了六年級的時候,有一次媽媽要我在社區裡收集玩具,捐贈給貧苦的兒童。我開始漸漸明白參與社區服務和慈善活動,不僅僅是讓我母親不生氣,而是為了幫助那些需要幫助的人。在那次玩具收集和捐贈活動裡,我不僅必須捐出自己的玩具,還要去問我的鄰居們是否也能捐出他們家多餘的玩具給貧困的兒童。 在挨家挨戶按門鈴,拜訪了150戶人家並親自把收集玩具的傳單遞給他們後,我精疲力竭地回到家,跟本沒指望會有什麽成果。然而,兩天後鄰居們開始給我打電話並詢問捐贈細節,我的辛苦付出漸漸顯現出一些成果。最後我一共收集了400多個玩具,並且在第二年的暑假裡,親自把玩具送到薩爾瓦多貧困的村落裡,親手交給那些小朋友。



–  義工 陳允鐸