According to their motto - “Love, truth, and service to community” - Xingyang Volunteer Federation works to enhance people’s sense of social responsibility through providing them various volunteer opportunities.The office is in Xingyang, Henan province.
Recently, we offered services to the elderly at Qiaolou Nursing Home. With a basin of water beside them, volunteers helped to cut their toenails. I was moved by the scene.
Last year, my grandmother turned 85. She fell and could not walk. My mum’s brothers and sisters took turns taking care of her. Last October, it was our turn to take care of her. One day, my mum asked me to get some hot water for my grandmother's feet.
I was reluctant to do so but my mother urged me to do so.
It was the first time I washed my grandmother's feet. I used two of my fingers to take off her socks and then threw them aside. I asked her to put her feet in the basin. But my mother admonished me, "You are not washing her feet, you are just putting her feet in the basin. You have been living with her all summer. She has washed your feet and your body many times." I felt embarrassed when I heard this.
So I rubbed my grandmother’s feet thoroughly. The calluses on her feet were thick, which showed me that she had worked so hard for her children. I washed her feet carefully and the water soon became dark. I changed to another basin of water and washed her feet clean. I also washed her socks and cut her nails. She has leuconychia so some of the nails were so difficult to cut. When I finished, I looked up, and she smiled at me. Though she had no teeth, she kept smiling. The wrinkles on her face seemed so kind and happy. Thinking of my previous selfishness, I really felt guilty.
That was my first time washing my grandmother's feet. She passed away this spring. I will not have any more opportunities to wash her feet again. Her smile became unforgettable in my mind.
It’s important to serve the elderly people. I am so happy the volunteers chose to wash the feet of people they do not even know. For thousands of years, our society has been carried forward by people like them who provide love to others who need it.
Original article written by Mo Li, translated by Maggie Li and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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