Tue, Dec 26, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Octogenarian and student on the joys of volunteering

Eighty-seven-year-old grandmother Chen Shui-yin, left, and 17-year-old high school student Tseng Pin-chien, right, receive an award from Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien, center, on Thursday for being “model volunteers.”

Photo: CNA

A gap of 60 years separates 87-year-old grandmother Chen Shui-yin and 17-year-old high school student Tseng Pin-chien. They do have one thing in common however, and that is their interest in doing volunteer work.

The Hsinchu City Government held a special ceremony on Thursday last week to thank volunteers for their contributions, and the room was packed with over 100 volunteers. Chen and Tseng were the oldest and the youngest of the people collecting awards, and were the focus of attention because of the two generations’ difference in their ages.

Chen, who has 11 grandchildren, started doing volunteer work in 2002. In the decade or more since then, she has clocked up around 14,000 hours of service.

She recalls how, when SARS arrived in Taiwan over 10 years ago, very few people were willing to volunteer in the hospitals, but she wasn’t worried about becoming infected, and volunteered to look after patients in the Hsinchu Armed Forces Hospital. As a result, she was asked to be a long-term volunteer by the hospital’s medical team. Since then she has served in various departments, such as the emergency room and the maternity ward, pushing patients’ wheelchairs and reassuring the relatives of injured patients. She says, “Helping others makes me happy, and this keeps me healthy.”

Tseng says that her grandmother also does volunteer work, and she was influenced by her and started volunteering from when she was a third grade elementary school student. She says that she has a lot of pressure from her school work, and volunteering in her extracurricular time after school is a great outlet for relieving stress.

She said that her heart lit up when she saw the smiles on the faces of the disabled friends she once took on a trip, and this gave her a sense of immense achievement. Even though she is now in the third grade of high school and has a lot of pressure with her studies at the moment, she still wants to take any opportunity she can to do some volunteering.


1. sixty years phr.


(yi4 jia2 zi3)

2. volunteer v.


(zi4 gao4 fen4 yong3)

3. extracurricular adj.


(ke4 yu2)

(CNA, translated by Paul Cooper)

八十七歲阿嬤陳水銀與就讀高中的十七歲少女曾品千,兩人年紀雖相差一甲子, 卻都有著同樣的「興趣」,那就是當志工。







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