Tag Archives: Community Outreach

The Multiple Tastes of Life, the Stone Soup Project’s Plans to Keep the Homeless Fed

Story of hope here, translated…

Last year, the volunteer for the raw materials at the March 18th student movement, Wu, saw how the donated food got dumped out because it couldn’t be finished.  There were homeless people who’d come forth and asked, “if he could have some of the foods?”, and someone had turned the man away, using, “the food is for the students”, it’d made Wu empathic.

One evening, the resources group received a casing of steamy buns, Wu’s coworkers from Fair Trade Organization, Chu, Chang were able to sneak the buns to Longshan Temple.  That, was their very first encounter with homeless people, and, their views of the homeless were altered completely.

Wu said, that day at Longshan Temple, he’d met an older man, who’d handed out the steamed buns for them, at eight or nine in the evenings, as the homeless had returned home to sleep after working their odds and ends, the older man kindly placed the buns next to those who were already asleep, and it didn’t play out like how they thought it would, people fighting over the food items handed out.

After being in long-term contact with the homeless, they’d understood, that the homeless don’t just lay around all day, and do nothing, seventy percent of the homeless actually have jobs, and they’d gone out, early in the morn, to work, and, it may be working at the construction sites, or, holding up signs by the side of the roads.

Chu wanted to do something for these individuals, so, she’d called up Wu, Chang, plus her coworkers, “Uncle”, “Baby”, and became the team of “the Tastes of Life”.  The five youths averaging not yet 30, last July, put forth the “Stone Soup Project”, asked the online community to donate the foods that they can’t manage to finish, and the team found a chef, to cook the hot meals, so the homeless won’t go hungry.

“The Stone Soup Project” had gotten a ton of supports, and, there were local shops in Wanhua that had supplied the food sources, and they’d held over eight Stone Soup Food Sharing Activities.  Not only were they trying to get the food items donated, they are also looking for more volunteers to help out, so, more people can get in touch with the homeless population.

Chu said, a lot of people wouldn’t DARE stare straight into the eyes of the homeless or handicapped people on the streets, feared that it wouldn’t be polite, “turning their heads away, they were actually, refusing to deal with the issues”.  They’d hoped, that through sharing of the food, there would be more chances for people to have interactions with the people on the streets who were being ignored by the world, the next step they wished to take is toward the vendors on the streets, to get the public involved, to break the barriers, so people can understand, that even the smallest offerings can help take care of someone in need.

So, this, is how kindness starts small, and grows bigger and bigger, isn’t it?  The man first felt empathic over the situations he’d encountered, which initiated a response in him, to care, and, through helping, he got to know, that he was making a difference in the lives of those who are homeless, which then became the drive, for him, to keep doing what he was doing, and, he wanted to help others to get to understand the culture of the homeless, so they can be more aware like he himself had become too.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Cause & Effect, Cost of Living, Helping Behaviors, Inspirational Tales, Interpersonal Relations, News Stories, Observations, Perspectives, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Stories of Hope, Story-Telling, White Picket Fence

The Tucheng Home Visit Volunteer Teams Lent an Ear to the Middle School Dropout Students

Kindness is still all around here, from the Newspapers, translated…

“The younger generations cared about their friends, and so, we become their friends, and to try to pull them back onto the right tracks.”, the team of volunteers that’s already set up for six years ago, is the minority group that showed care and concern toward middle to high school dropouts, and in the six years it’s been operating, he’d managed to counsel over five hundred kids, and there were those who were counseled who’d become friends with the counselors too, and even after they’d graduated, they’d still kept in touch.

“The volunteers made home visits in the evenings, and we’d have courses each and every month, to keep our knowledge base up”, the seventy year old volunteer team captain, Chen stated, at first, the team had more than 160 members, but, after hearing the long work hours and the lack of overtime pays, and without the transportation pays, a LOT of people who’d signed up had dropped out, currently, there are only forty volunteers, average at age fifty, to help with the specific cases that dropped out of school, until the separate cases graduated.

“It only takes half a month for some bad influence to set in, and, to return them to the right tracks, it takes a WHOLE lot more effort and time.”  Chen said, in a heartfelt manner, that the cases he worked with are mostly from broken families of origin, and the kids sought that sense of belonging outside, but met up with some bad influence, and, so, they would have their defenses up toward the volunteer uncles and aunts.

In order to get close to this group, the volunteers must frequent the net cafés, the pool halls too.  Chen said, actually, what this group of youth needs is for the adults to hear them out, “You can’t start lecturing them right away, ‘hey, come back to school with me’, you MUST understand where those kids are coming from, to spend some time with them, and you will find, that most of them are willing to talk to you.”

Even though the work is difficult, but this group of volunteers don’t complain, and it’d made a LOT of teenagers break their own defenses down, many, even after they’d graduated still kept contact with the social workers; Chen said, they’d encourage the kids to receive technical trainings, or to work with schools, that way, they’d have a stable source of income, and can also help the families of origin at the same time.

Other than showing care and concerns for dropouts, the home visiting volunteers in recent years, focus on those with a foreign parent, the individuals who lived on the lower end of the socioeconomic status, the children from single parent households too, hoping to help more and more children, and families to return back on the right tracks.

And so, this, is a program set up by the government, to show care and concern for kids from not-so-good backgrounds, and, without the passions of these social workers and home visitors, this program would NOT be working so wonderfully, and, people are still trying to make a difference here.

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Filed under Awareness, Being Exposed, Cause & Effect, Coping Mechanisms, Early Exposures, Helping Behaviors, Kids Raising Kids, Kindness Shown, Peer Pressures & Influences, Social Awareness, Social Issues, The Teenage Years, Values, Wake Up Calls