The Ministry of Education recently announced winners of the Outstanding Volunteer Award and Outstanding Volunteer Team Award for academic year 2019. A total of thirty individuals, as well as six teams were awarded, and among them, 15 Tzu Chi University students and three volunteer teams received awards. It was not a surprise for Tzu Chi University, since it has instilled humanistic culture and altruistic giving into its education for years, encouraging students to reach out and serve the needy, which has been highly regarded by the public.
Tzu Chi University’s Jianqing Healthcare Service Team, Special Education Service Team of the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Prevention Team received Outstanding Volunteer Team Awards. These three award-winning teams have been engaged in volunteer services for many years. In 2007, the Jianqing Healthcare Service Team began to serve Jianqing Village, where many indigenous people live, to enhance the residents’ health, look after their well-being, and care for their children. The Special Education Service Team has been providing respite services and loving care in Hualien for families with disabilities. The Anti-Drug Abuse Prevention Team has been visiting numerous schools, to address the importance of saying no to drugs and helping to build drug-free campuses and society. Their endeavors have benefited many people and won public recognition.
The 15 Tzu Chi University winners of the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award are Wan-Rou Zheng, Xuan-Han Lan, Bai-Ren Wang, Yun-Ci Du, Jun-Ting Lin, Xin-Mei Gao, Liang-Yun Chen, Yu-Ting Chen, Xin-Yu Zheng, Pei-Chun Zheng, Jia-Ying Yan, Ruo-Xuan Wang, Jing-Yin Xiao, Yu-Yin Dai, and Jing-Ru Luo.
Each of them has engaged in volunteer service for at least two consecutive years, and each one’s total service hours is more than 200. Many of them continue to serve others voluntarily. These students have been associated with volunteer service and participated in service-learning projects for several years. They have taken part in serving people living in rural tribal areas, enhancing community residents’ well-being, providing social services, serving the needy overseas, etc.
Liang-Yun Chen has been involved in various volunteer services for four years, such as participating in activities sponsored by the Anti-Drug Abuse Prevention team, teaching Mandarin Chinese in Malaysia, and taking part in projects sponsored by the Special Education Service Team. Liang-Yun shared that during her college period, volunteer services accounted for a large part of her activities. She has learned a lot from serving others, and enjoyed doing it. When people asked her, “Don’t you feel tired after spending almost all your weekends to serve others?” she answered, “Not at all.” She has enjoyed working with her peers to prepare for each volunteer activity beforehand and review its results afterwards. At that moment of her service, she has received children’s smiles, hugs and gratitude, which have touched her greatly!
Ruo-Xuan Wang was a member of the Anti-Drug Abuse Prevention Team and Bei-Chang Elementary School Tutoring Team. She tutored students of Bei-Chang Elementary School for three consecutive years, and in her mind, she tried to inspire their enthusiasm to learn. In her senior year, she organized a volunteer team to enhance the learning interest of underprivileged children by providing tutoring services. She said, “Giving is receiving,” which she learned from serving others. From taking part in volunteer services, she also learned how to interact with others and work with her peers; moreover, she appreciated group members’ efforts to achieve the goals through brainstorming, playing their individual roles, and working with each other.
Pei-Chun Zheng was born with albinism. Since she was a little girl, she has participated in volunteer services under her parents’ guidance. Pei-Chun was admitted by the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, due to her whole-hearted services to the public. She went to Malaysia twice to provide educational services. She also formed a Robotics Program Teaching Team to serve students living in rural areas, since her freshman year. People with disabilities are considered by the public to be in need of others’ help, but in her eyes, most of them want to reciprocate by helping other underprivileged people, so she has tried to inspire them to utilize their skills and altruism to assist others.
What each one of us can do is limited, but the joint efforts of a group might make many impossible missions come true. In her freshman year, Wan-Rou Zheng joined TCUSCLOVE, a volunteer team that serves people living in Sichuan Province, China. She realized that voluntary service does not only involve one’s enthusiasm. It requires that we exercise wisdom. In addition to serving the needy overseas, she has served local residents, and led tribal children to learn their cultural heritage in a variety of ways. She says, “I am fortunate to join a caring group and I am also glad to meet another enthusiastic group. It is really wonderful.”