The following is a translation of the Chengdu Volunteer's Association's Valentine's Day fundraiser on February 14, 2012. This organization provides food, clothing, and study materials for children in need in the remote areas of Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Learn more about their work here!
At 7pm on February 14, 2012, fifty to sixty enthusiastic volunteers from the Chengdu Volunteer Association gathered in Renmin Park to start the rose-selling fundraiser for Dengze, who has leukemia, and Haiyan, who has kidney failure. The volunteers discussed their strategies with each other and then later went out in small groups to shopping centers to start selling the roses.
One volunteer, who was an exceptionally good speaker, always managed to sell her roses. Other volunteers tried different methods; for instance, one would hold the roses, while another would carry around a letter of thanks written by Dengze and Haiyan. Together, they would sell the roses to couples sitting on benches and read to them the letter.
For the most part, people were kind. Although some weren't interested in buying the flowers, there were plenty of others who eagerly donated upon hearing that the proceeds would go to charity. Some people even gave the flowers back after they bought them to let the volunteers sell them again! In less than 2 hours, most flowers were sold out, and an impressive sum of six thousand yuan (~$950) had been raised.
Another volunteer, Zhang Xin, works with Xiao Zinxin.
Chengdu Volunteer Association is dedicated to helping patients suffering from various disorders. The following is a reflection of a volunteer worker following her visit to a girl suffering from cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive, non-infectious motor condition that can lead to physical disabilities in development, particularly in areas of body movement.
I came to Xiao Zixin’s home for the first time on February 11th. I’ve never been in contact with children with cerebral palsy before, but I knew that Xiao Zixin’s situation could not be too good. Along with the surgery, her father had just passed away the previous year, leaving her, her mother, and her sister in the house alone.
When I got there, I immediately felt a warm, pleasant home atmosphere, void of any depressive emotions. Xiao Zixin's family made us feel comfortable, and conversations flowed naturally. The cheerful and optimistic mother "Auntie Shaw" was the mainstay of the home, and believed that only knowledge and education could change the fate of her family. Zixin could not attend school for the past semester because of her surgery, but she tried her hardest to catch up nonetheless. During her tutoring sessions, she listened intently and studied for more than two hours without rest. I was touched by her motivation and perseverance; on the first day of learning English, she hadn’t known all 26 letters. But, by morning of the next, she had learned them all, in addition to completing some math problems. Zixin’s operation was done very successfully. Auntie Shaw explained that if she is kept healthy, her post-surgery life will not be negatively impacted by the operation.
I will continue to help this optimistic family, and I hope that more people will join me in the effort. I can hope, because Xiao Zinxin and her family will always maintain their hope.
The original article, written by volunteer Luan, was translated by TFish staff Shishi Ma and edited by U.S. intern Ally Nguyen.
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