The old people of Changhua City are a lucky bunch. On Jan 16, the Changhua City “gifts for elderly” were presented for the 15th year. This year more than 18,500 people over 70 benefited as each one of them received a red envelope with NT$6,000, totaling more than NT$110 million. Mayor Chiu Chien-fu said that giving gifts to the elderly and properly managing their welfare has turned Changhua into a compassionate city.
For the press conference announcing the gifts, Changhua City’s Social Affairs Section had prepared a big pot of rice wine chicken to wish a happy new year to a dozen elderly people over the age of 70 and centenarians Lin Ku San-mei and Chen Chao-hai. Chiu presented them with their gifts and served them rice wine chicken, and a great time was had by all.
Chiu said that respecting the elderly is a traditional Taiwanese virtue, and that every Lunar New Year the city office shows its concern and respect for old people by giving to the elderly. Chiu also said this measure had been in place for 15 consecutive years, and that the gift was increased from NT$5,000 to NT$6,000 last year.
He went on to say that the Lunar New Year gifts for the elderly were presented on Jan.16, and that the gift giving would be completed in a single day. Eligible elderly people were presented with their gifts at the borough office by the borough warden at a pre-arranged time.
Chiu also said that the city office does not have ample financial resources, but saves on other expenditures and does all it can to assure good social welfare. Apart from the gift for the elderly, the main measures include gifts at the Chongyang Festival — also called Double Nine Festival — scholarships for low-income families, maternity subsidies, medical subsidies for children and teenagers with cancer, funeral subsidies for the poor, and free food deliveries, trips and Lunar New Year’s Eve gatherings for elderly people living alone. (Liberty Times, Translated by Perry Svennson)