A Taiwanese student has won the US President’s Volunteer Service Award — by giving homemade Taiwanese pineapple cakes to his neighbors.
Hu Kuan-ting (胡貫廷), who attends National Taiwan Normal University’s Affiliated Senior High School, was honored with the volunteer service award from US President Barack Obama.
Hu, who beat about 10,000 competitors to become one of the 20 winners awarded each year, said he felt wonderful helping other people and was honored that his efforts have been recognized.
During his year in the US under the US Department of State’s Ayusa Program in association with Intrax Co, Hu volunteered at nursing homes and cleaned foliage in the neighborhood where he lived.
He also distributed homemade pineapple cakes, a traditional Taiwanese snack, to his neighbors.
Having heard how sharing food with others was a good way to mix in with the community, Hu said he sought baking tips before leaving for the US and made entire platters of Taiwanese treats, such as scallion pancakes, as well as making his own bubble tea, to share with others in his new community.
Hu said he learned a lot during the year in the US, adding that he did not think that he still had room to improve his language skills, until he went abroad.
According to the US government, more than 1.5 million people have been given the award, which encourages people living in the US to do good deeds and contribute to their communities.
It also seeks to encourage civic participation and inspire people to make helping others a key part of their lives.