Fri, Mar 27, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Miaoli teen honored for aiding seniors

Staff writer, with CNA

Kao Hsing, center, poses with his parents at an awards ceremony in Miaoli County on Wednesday, after being presented with an outstanding volunteer award.

Photo: CNA

A volunteer in Miaoli who set up a soup kitchen and delivers hot meals to seniors who live alone earned an outstanding volunteer award and was selected to visit the US on a youth ambassador program.

Kao Hsing (高興), 17, a second-year culinary student at Sanyi Senior High School, has volunteered alongside his parents since he was a child, distributing daily necessities to people in need.

The soup kitchen that Kao started last year now has more than 10 volunteers, and he has been delivering food by bicycle to elderly people living on their own.

In recognition of his efforts, Kao has been named the winner of this year’s Prudential Elite Youth Volunteer Award.

The firm started the program in the US in 1995 before adding nations including Taiwan and South Korea. It says the award aims “to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities.”

Kao is also one of two people picked from 5,000 candidates to travel to Washington in May as a goodwill ambassador.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) recently met with Kao and commended him for his volunteer work.

Kao was honored on Wednesday at an event held by Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) to announce the launch of a charity program in which 300 volunteers from 19 civic groups are to help care for elderly people who live on their own in the county.

Miaoli County has nearly 80,000 residents over the age of 64, who account for 13.95 percent of the county’s total population.

Hsu said the number of seniors living alone in the county stands at 1,109, and called for more people to join the newly launched volunteer effort.

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