Even while suffering from cancer, philanthropist Chen Chou (陳綢) has not slowed down in her quest to do good deeds.
On Monday, she set off on a bike trip with a group of children to extend their spirit of service across the country.
The 81-year-old native of Puli (埔里), Nantou County, is famous for her charity work, which has earned her the affectionate nickname of “grandma” from the public.
Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Taipei Times
Chen led a group of 15 children on a 14-day “map diary of smiles — summer charity trip.”
The cycling team will travel south from Nantou to Pingtung and then up the eastern seaboard, before heading home.
To make the trip more meaningful, Chen and her young guns will provide community service in Chiayi in a Typhoon Morakot-stricken neighborhood and street-cleaning services in the famous vacation destination of Kenting. They will cap it off by sorting materials at a recycling station in Hualien.
Aside from a few sections on the expressways where the group will travel by train or bus, they will complete most of the trip by bike.
Fifteen students from National Chi Nan University will join them for part of the trip to help take care of the kids.
Before the group set out early on Monday morning, Chen gave each of the children a red envelope to wish them a safe and happy trip. Inside was NT$100 in lucky money and a walnut, which symbolizes good luck.
The average age of the group is 15, with eight girls and seven boys. Eleven of the children come from single-parent homes, or are raised by grandparents.
“I’m really looking forward to the coming two weeks and to completing this dream with my friends,” second-grade participant Huang Yen-ju (黃彥儒) said.
A parent, Wu Shu-hui (吳淑慧), thanked Chen for giving her kid a chance to learn to help others and called the event a life-changing opportunity for her child.
Chen is known in the country for her charitable deeds and for overcoming a life riddled with misfortune.
She was born to a poor family and was given up for adoption as a young child. She never received a formal education.
Chen was diagnosed with colon cancer 40 years ago and has since dedicated her life to charity.
According to local media reports, Chen sells glutinous rice dumplings to save enough money to build a temple and support her work.
The philanthropist established the Liang Hsien Tang Welfare Foundation and continues to help disadvantaged children and families with the money she makes from selling food.
The pains from more than 100 chemotherapy treatments has not stopped her trying to make the world a better place.
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
ASEAN BATTLEGROUND: Japan and Australia could be drawn into Pacific tensions as China sets its sights on the Diaoyutai Islands and further beyond the first island chain Tensions between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to intensify, the National Security Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, recommending that Taiwan continue to emphasize its shared values and interests to encourage resistance to Chinese aggression. US commitments in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to continue unabated despite the war in Ukraine, as Beijing takes advantage of the conflict to expand its influence in the region, the agencies said in reports delivered to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Sunday, ahead of a hearing yesterday on regional developments and trends. Although Russia’s invasion of
ONLINE REPORT: Confirmed cases filling out the online contact tracing report can check a box to indicate that a close contact had received a booster dose, an official said The guidelines for diagnosing COVID-19 have been revised to include people aged 65 or older who test positive with a rapid test that is confirmed by a healthcare worker, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 65,794 new local infections. The CECC had first announced the change on Monday, before publishing the new guidelines. Starting today, people aged 65 or older, regardless of whether they are undergoing home quarantine, home isolation or self-disease prevention, can be classified as a confirmed COVID-19 case by a healthcare professional, based on a positive result from an antigen rapid test, said
INFLUENCERS: The Chinese Communist Party uses social media to paint itself in a positive light, while promoting historical ties between Taiwan and China Government agencies are considering measures to counter China’s use of Taiwanese Internet celebrities to conduct “cognitive warfare” campaigns in Taiwan, a source said yesterday. China has trained local Internet celebrities to help it spread propaganda as part of its “united front” efforts against Taiwan, the source said, adding that Beijing was also using TikTok, a Pinterest-like app called Xiaohongshu (also known as Little Red Book) and other social media to influence young Taiwanese. Citing the Mainland Affairs Council, the source said that officials had warned people cooperating with China that they could face fines or other punishments. Stipulations under the Act Governing Relations