The Taipei City Government yesterday invited 70 children in the city’s care to enjoy a year-end buffet and some holiday cheer ahead of the Lunar New Year.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the city’s Department of Social Welfare held Lunar New Year’s events every year for children who are wards of the city and those who have been placed in foster families because their parents are unable to take care of them.
“This is not only a gathering to bring them warmth and care during the holiday season — we hope more importantly that it will cheer them up and encourage them to make progress in their studies and lives and become better people,” Hau said.
The mayor said he felt uplifted by the smiles on the children’s faces as they enjoyed the meal.
The city government also gave the children their consumer vouchers, worth NT$3,600 per person, and NT$500 in convenience store coupons so they could buy themselves something to celebrate the Lunar New Year, he said.
The children and foster families have also been invited to be the first members of the public to view the Taipei Zoo’s newest arrivals, the giant pandas Tuan Tuan (團團) and Yuan Yuan (圓圓), Hau said.
Asked about his plans for the New Year, Hau said he would stay in Taipei and thank government staff who were working over the holidays by visiting them.
“As for the rest of the holiday, I will just rest at home,” the mayor said.
Meanwhile, five government cars and five motorcycles were torched yesterday in a basement parking lot fire.
A cable news station reported that children had lit fireworks in the parking lot.
The fire alarm at a Taoyuan County household registration office went off after heavy smoke and fire spread through the parking lot.
No one was in the building because of the Lunar New Year holidays, the police said.
Ten vehicles were destroyed in the fire, first by the flames and then by fire extinguishers.