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
– 義工 陳允鐸