The Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (TFCF) held its annual award ceremony in Taipei yesterday to confer its Golden Support Awards on individuals for making donations to help children from low-income families — support they themselves received in their childhoods.
Much of the focus was on baseball star Lin Chih-sheng (林智勝), one of the award recipients, who was overcome by emotions and teared up when the TFCF arranged a surprise for him by allowing him to see his childhood benefactor, doctor Huang Cheng-hsun (黃正勳), via a pre-recorded videotape.
Huang sponsored Lin through the TFCF program for six years from middle to high school.
Lin said he was brought up by his paternal grandparents because his parents divorced when he was very young.
“I grew up in very poor conditions and my grandparents made a living by growing vegetables,” he said.
“I was an active kid and had to eat all the time. They often had difficulties feeding me,” Lin added, adding that at elementary school, when his classmate were eating their lunches, he would often asked them whether they could save some for him.
Lin is now a star shortstop for the Lamigo Monkeys in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. The Monkeys team rewarded Lin’s standout performance with a five-year contract worth NT$30 million (US$1 million) in 2011.
Lin has not forgotten TFCF’s support during his childhood and is himself now sponsoring a number of children on a long term basis.
Lin had tried to find his benefactor, but had been unsuccessful, until yesterday’s event.
In the video, Huang, who could not attend in person because he was giving free medical diagnoses at a temple in Greater Taichung, told Lin: “The support I gave you in the past was just a small help. I hope you can pass on this love to other people.”
“I shall pass the love I received on to others. I will strive to play ball the best I can and to repay the goodwill back to society,” a teary-eyed Lin said.