Kids’ Bookhouse 10 Years Anniversary Collaboration with Yang Ming Service Team in Taitung

2021-12-03

Yangming Volunteers and Kids’ Bookhouse Service Team (Photo provided by Tzu-Ching Liu)

This year (2020) marked 10 years since the founding of the Taitung Bookhouse Service Team of National Yang-Ming University (NYMU; which merged with National Chiao Tung University and became National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University on February 1, 2021). On the evening of October 17, they assisted the Kids’ Bookhouse in hosting a special concert at NYMU in memory of the bookhouse founder, who passed away suddenly in July 2020. Apart from the full support offered by the service team, valuable assistance from the faculty and students of NYMU allowed for the holding of this memorial concert during the pandemic.

Mr. Chen Jun-Lang, or “Daddy Chen,” returned to his hometown of Taitung in 1999. Seeing that many children from single-parent or double-income households were struggling, he began offering free dinners and tutoring to these children. Later, he founded the Kids’ Bookhouse to assist children in cultivating skills and independence in society. Over the last 20 years, he founded nine bookhouses, benefiting thousands of disadvantaged children. Daddy Chen’s spirit of supporting people in need touched and inspired numerous people and whole communities, including students from NYMU, to become involved in providing services for disadvantaged children in Taitung.

The NYMU Taitung Bookhouse Service Team first comprised a group of public service-minded students from the Department of Physical Therapy. Since its founding a decade ago, every winter and summer vacation, the members serve at the Kids’ Bookhouse. In 2017, the team was incorporated into the Students’ Association of the Department of Physical Therapy, becoming an independent club, and later received the 2017 Outstanding Youth Service Award from the Youth Development Administration of the Ministry of Education. In the winter of 2020, the service team learned that, as a result of the pandemic, the bookhouse was having trouble finding a venue for their annual Thanksgiving concert. Therefore, the team contacted NYMU, and the concert was arranged to be held in NYMU’s Auditorium Hall. On the evening of the concert, over 10 members of the service team volunteered to assist in guiding traffic, ushering guests, and providing information. Many service team members who had graduated returned to NYMU to lend their support for this meaningful event.

Prof. Wong Fen-Hwa, President of Student Affairs in NYMU, who had followed the efforts of the service team for many years, sponsored the event, covering the venue fee out of her own pocket. Wong stated that 2020 marked 10 years since the service team had connected with the bookhouse. The Auditorium Hall had also recently been renovated, presenting a timely opportunity for this concert to be held there. To mark the passing of the founder of the bookhouse, at the concert this year, the children who attended the bookhouse expressed their gratitude. The support from the NYMU service team, especially their warmth and friendliness, ensured that the teachers and children receiving the bookhouse service felt welcomed like family. In fact, NYMU students who work in remote areas gain a great deal of experience. This concert also provided an excellent opportunity for the students to give back and learn.

Li Yu-Tong, a student volunteer that evening, stated that the performance of the children who attended the bookhouse was outstanding and moving. She immersed herself in the warm atmosphere fostered by the bookhouse team. Wu Po-Sheng said that seeing the children shine on stage made him feel proud. According to Wu, the most touching scene occurred at the end of the concert when the bookhouse workers bowed to the volunteers to express their gratitude.

Cheng Shuan-Chun stated that the bookhouse was like a second home where everyone supports one another with the same warm spirit. Specifically, he said that when seeing the dedication of the teachers in the bookhouse and the confidence of the children, he was inspired to support their work even more. Benevolence creates a positive cycle, motivating the people of NYMU to proactively serve the disadvantaged.

Link: https://enews.ym.edu.tw/w/ymnews429/focus_20102810311195715

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